Review these Top 7 Signs Your Business Needs a Marketing Department and begin to make adjustments. You will experience immediate improvement in your marketing results.
1) Sales Could Be Better
You’re not alone in feeling that sales could be better. The majority of business owners would welcome an increase in sales. And, in today’s competitive marketing climate we have found that even those businesses that are realizing stability and growth can unexpectedly experience a threatening downturn. Now, let’s get down to the underlying issues that might be the cause of your concern that sales could be better…
2) Three Clients/Friends/Employees Cannot Agree on the Focus of Your Business
Go ahead and interview 3 clients or friends or employees who you believe know you and your business. If you can’t identify 10 who will answer the following questions, that’s an issue in itself:
- What is the main focus of your business? (Not just your profession, but your particular business.)
- Whom do you serve? (“Everybody” who needs your generic type of service is not a valid answer.)
- Who are your competitors?
- What primarily sets you apart from your competition?
If your business is not consistently focused, your market audience, your team and your vendors are unclear regarding what action to take.
3) Marketing Message Mismatch
By this, we mean the message on your website, your business card, brochures, social media, how your phone is answered, how your sales force communicates, how your team communicates, the content of your initial interview and exit interview etc.
If your marketing message is not consistently focused, your market audience, your team and your vendors are unclear regarding what action to take.
4) Poor Client Reviews
Your average review is less than 4.5 stars. This is the level required for a business to succeed in today’s competitive business climate. Check the Google and Facebook review average for your business. Also, you should be getting an average of 1-2 new reviews weekly. Your business is in a critical danger position if you do not answer reviews immediately (within 24 hours) in a manner most beneficial to your business reputation.
Today’s market audience is more likely than ever before to decide whether to use your business based on readily available reviews on the internet.
5) Frequent Marketing Vendor Changes
By vendors we mean the people who manage your website, your social media, your printing, your media advertising…etc. Why do businesses change vendors frequently, meaning more often than every 4 years?
- Poor vendor selection practices.
- Vendors are not clear on the focus on your business.
- Vendors are not clear on what is expected.
- Vendor expectations are not realistic.
- Vendors are not managed properly.
- Vendors are not coordinated with one another.
- Vendors are not rewarded or celebrated for success.
Note: If average employee retention is less than 4 years, this is also a symptom of a business health issue.
Frequent change in vendors and team members can be a symptom of unclear focus and/or poor management.
6) No Plan in Place to Address the Above
This means the plan is in writing and every member of your team has viewed the plan and integrated it into their daily work activity. Here are the marks of a good marketing plan:
- Is in writing
- Fits your brand
- Fits your business goals
- Clear, brief, easy to understand
- Every team member and vendor knows the basic plan
- Has specific measurable goals
- Is reviewed and updated every 6 months
As has been said quite often: “Fail to plan and plan to fail.”
7) Plan in Place, But Not Consistently Worked and Tracked
- Not enough time or resources.
- The plan is sitting in a file somewhere.
- No team member is primarily responsible to work the plan or is given at least 4 hours/week to consistently advance and monitor marketing progress.
It’s not the plan in the file that counts, it’s the plan that is consistently executed, measured and updated.
If you’ve carefully reviewed the above 7 signs, you will know if you need a marketing department for your business.
When will you take action?
The line between business stability and instability is a very fine line. You can take one important proactive step now to help ensure the continued stability and growth of your business.