Did you know that not every entrepreneur is a marketer?

It’s true.

Marketing is critical to every kind of business…but I have run into quite a few entrepreneurs throughout my career who are uncomfortable with the idea.

Some even view marketing as a necessary evil. Ouch!

Here are the “9 Eternal Truths About Marketing That Every Entrepreneur Needs To Know”

1. Be involved in all your marketing efforts even if you outsource everything:  Never let go of the marketing reins completely. Know everything that everyone is doing inside and outside your organisation.

Every marketing message is a representation of you, your brand or both. Look after your marketing efforts like you would your own child.

2. Marketing is not evil: I totally understand mission-based businesses and the need to be “elegant” or “classy” with all marketing and sales messages.

But always remember this: Consider it irresponsible to not bring your product or service to the marketplace with the same passion you created it in the first place. I know there’s a line each of us won’t cross and that’s personal taste and quite subjective, but there’s nothing to be ashamed of when you are bringing something you’ve worked your entire life for to as many people as possible.

That may require copy platforms and creative considered more “aggressive” than you thought you would be comfortable with…but if it is always in the spirit of making a bigger impact, sell hard…

3. Advertising opportunities are now infinite: Telling entrepreneurs who are more hands-off with their marketing to run away from anyone who claims they can be your “one-stop shop” for all marketing, creative and media buying is one of the best pieces of advice I can give based on a career of “buying a la carte” from only the best experts working in their expertise. And this one is true no matter how hands-on or experienced you are with your marketing efforts.

4. Single Channel Marketing  I warn any entrepreneur or business owner who will listen – hands-on marketer or not – to ask lots of questions about the diversification of media being used on their behalf. I recommended that those they put in charge should talk about how the company/product/service can be a solution in multiple channels…single channel marketing is not only boring…it’s also quite dangerous.

5. No one spends enough time on lists: Business owners must pay close attention to their customer list, prospect list and how they look for new lists at a very detailed level. Not doing so is a prescription for disaster. It is a function that is truly the lifeblood of our businesses. To ignore lists…and to not make lists a top priority…is a huge mistake. And make sure you talk to different segments of your list based on their relationship with you is critical to maximising success.

6. If applicable, use your personal brand in your marketing: Many entrepreneurs/business owners are squeamish about putting themselves “out there” in a big way for fear of sounding boastful and not genuine. To that, I will quote baseball pitcher Dizzy Dean (and I think John Wayne used this one too): “It ain’t bragging if you did it.”

7. Customers refund transactions…not relationships: E-mail should not simply be used to pound your list (and your customers/prospects) into submission. Understand LTV (Lifetime Value) at the deepest level…which gives all marketers the most leverage and the maximum chance for success in multiple channels.

8. Credibility and transparency trumps all: Creating proof elements through testimonials and case histories…and professional endorsements…are about building the case, not bragging. And when you make a mistake or want to show vulnerability, people always appreciate transparency. Isn’t the cover-up always worse than the crime? There are countless stories in the world of marketing where a business confessed to something they were not proud of or failed with and came back stronger than ever. If you propose a cover-up, you’re doomed.

9. Always think “direct marketing”: Measurable and accountable advertising is what you always want…don’t let anyone sell you a brand and image advertising “campaign” without showing you some kind of return on your investment (ROI). The Internet is the ultimate direct marketing medium. But ALL marketing is direct marketing …asking for an acceptable ROI is a standard operating procedure.

By Brian Kurtz, Author of The Advertising Solution


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