Why ad hoc marketing doesn’t work

When your business is ticking along it’s easy to forget to keep up your business’s marketing activities.

After all, if things are going well, they’ll probably continue to do so, right?

Wrong!

While it’s true that most industries have a slow season, smart business owners feed the marketing beast all year round.

For most businesses, waiting until things are quiet to market your business may be too late!

Maintaining a certain level of marketing helps keep the momentum. It supports a steady flow of new enquiries and returning clients.

The common pitfalls of ad hoc or occasional marketing

While it’s a good idea to use your slow period to firm up your marketing and action plans, there’s always something you could be doing to keep your business top of mind with new and prospective customers.

  • Lead generation means keeping the tap on at all times

Nurturing leads can be a long game. One blog every 6 months probably won’t cut it!

If you only pop up in their social media feed at odd times it’s easy for them to overlook what you have on offer.

Keeping in touch with past clients and attracting new ones takes regular marketing. Chances are, your competition may not be so quiet.

  • No plan and no strategy could mean you’re missing opportunities to put your best foot forward

A lack of strategy means you may fail to focus on your key products or services, or your most profitable clients.

This is not the best way to achieve your business goals. It’s also the worst way to build a solid, recognisable brand.

How to create and put in place marketing that works

Here are a few ideas for what you can do to support your marketing efforts when things are quiet (or busy):

1. Outsourcing

Finding someone to help you with your marketing is a great idea, but you still need to do some of the legwork. You will need to do a bit of planning, define your target audience, and create a brand guide, for example.

Then, you’ll need to brief them so they understand your business and your customers.

There are plenty of willing freelancers who can support you and lighten the load while you work on your business. You could hire a copywriter to write your blog and social media posts. Or, you could take on someone for sales outreach. Their task could involve cold-calling potential clients, and mailing out information on your offering.

It’s often a good idea to ask for recommendations to find the right fit for your business.

2. Automate selected marketing activities

You could also consider automating some of your marketing tasks. For example, by batching content creation, you can set up a social media publishing schedule on platforms like Hootsuite and Facebook Business Suite.

For email marketing, platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact are helpful. They include automation tools to help you keep in touch with people on your mailing list and respond to website enquiries.

Using templates are also an easy way to create shortcuts to your customer communications. They can also make it easier when you’re outsourcing client communications.

3. Book in regular marketing time

Take your marketing seriously! Just like you do with client meetings, dedicate some regular hours to marketing every week. Ad hoc marketing won’t deliver the desired outcomes

You might take yourself away from your usual desk and go to a local café to think, plan and create. You’ll be surprised how much you get done once you put time aside for these tasks.

4. Allocate a marketing budget

For many small businesses, knowing how much to spend on marketing is hard. Often your budget for marketing isn’t huge. But there are certain costs that help keep your brand in front of your ideal customers.

It doesn’t matter how small your budget is, setting goals and then measuring whether the marketing activities you committed to worked, is the only way to see whether your money is well spent. Sometimes you’ll need to give it time and it depends on the activity.

If you’d like to know more about making your marketing work, please get in touch. Just call Katarina on 0415 128 804.