As you close the books on the past year and envision generating record gross revenue and profit for your small business in the coming year, do you have a solid marketing plan for meeting those lofty goals? The pressure is often on your sales team to close more deals, but have you provided them with a solid branding and marketing strategy to generate leads? Do they have sales tools and exceptional customer service to reinforce their sales efforts?
Marketing tactics have changed a lot since I first contracted a website designer for my employer 18 years ago. Advertising dollars that used to be spent on direct mail, printed newsletters, yellow page ads and telemarketing are now being directed toward “inbound marketing”: websites, pay-per-click website ads, search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, smart phone apps and email campaigns.
As a small manufacturing business owner for three years, I met many other small business owners. Many dream of hiring a salesperson (at a minimum of $30,000-$50,000 a year) but wouldn’t think of spending anywhere close to that on contracting website development, SEO and blog writing to drive traffic to their website.
A carefully planned marketing strategy and budget can bring a far greater return on investment than adding another salary. In addition, your marketing expenses can flex with your business’s seasonal needs.