Now Is The Time For All Good Men And Women To Start Marketing!
In my almost forty years as a marketing professional and consultant, the one question that I’ve probably received the most is, “when is the right time to start marketing?” The answer is always – Right Now! Whether it is when business is booming or when business is in the tank, like now, the very best time to start your marketing campaign is today, this very minute. The reason is that for all companies, but especially small businesses, it takes months, sometimes years to develop a broad awareness of their company and product(s) in their market. Even large companies with budgets of millions cannot establish awareness within their market over night.
It is understandable if we realized that the human animal requires from seven to ten visual contacts before a cognitive recognition occurs. That means that you have to put your company name in front of a potential customer at least seven times before they recognize the name and remember it. That is part of the reason we use multifaceted marketing as a tool to effectively get our message out to our market. We want to have our message reach our market in several different ways over a long period of time, so that we have the best chance of getting in front of our potential customer as often as possible; at least seven times.
I’ve given you one good reason to start marketing right now, because it takes time to make contact with your potential customer. But there are other very good reasons to start now. A great analogy comes to mind: The Tortoise and the Hare.
Remember the story about the hare that ran so fast he never worried about winning a race. As a result he took many breaks along the way. His competitor, the tortoise, on the other hand, moved very slowly but never stopped. In the end, the hare found himself so far behind that no matter how fast he ran he couldn’t catch up.
Now ask yourself; do you want to be the tortoise or the hare? If winning is your objective, the question is rhetorical. The tortoise wins the race. In our case, the race is run with marketing. Especially during a recession companies cut back and reduce or stop their marketing efforts. For those few companies who stay the course and maintain their marketing effort, the rewards are substantial.
Winning the race means you stay in the minds of your potential customer base. You are the company or product they think of when they get busy again. When the recovery happens, and it will, you will be miles ahead of your competition and will have the momentum to keep going while they are just getting started. The fact is, they will never catch up.
Marketing also means you stay in front of your current customer base. Keeping them happy is critical to your future success and marketing is one way to stay in touch. Marketing can help you let your customer base know that you care about them. It lets you communicate what your company is doing and update them on new products or innovations. It also maintains a presence that ensures your competition isn’t taking away your customers. All of these things are important and necessary if you are to be successful.
Finally, marketing in a recession keeps you in the game. When business is slow we can become lethargic, or can develop a negative attitude about our future potential. Marketing keeps you (and your company) on your toes. It helps you see a broader picture of your market and the economy, and helps you identify new opportunities for penetrating your market, or developing new products.
Marketing has a wide range of benefits, but only if you are actively pursuing your campaigns. Whether it be internet based activity such as articles, PR or advertising, promoting your website with good SEO (search engine optimization), utilizing social networking, attending shows, working with industry publications, speaking at association meetings, or any of a wide range of other marketing activities, the bottom line is begin today. Marketing is critical to your success, and there has never been a better time to begin. Start marketing today.
Good luck and good marketing.