Marketing April 13, 2012 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,618 Reads share

Tweak Your Marketing: One Small Marketing Change Increases Sales

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When I first started in business, I constantly found myself searching for the one secret to marketing that would get set my insurance agency up for success… push me to the top of my market and deliver the success that I so desperately wanted to experience. No tool was left un-tested. I experimented with everything from ads on the back of local grocery receipts to TV & billboard advertisements. There was nothing that I  left on the table without trying it.

Then I discovered it… The one tiny change that increased sales, referrals, and my own income! Unfortunately, I could have saved thousands of dollars & several years of frustration because the “secret” that I discovered had nothing to do with the tools I was using & everything with my understanding of what marketing a small business really is.

This is my first article here on  & I want to give you, the small business owner, something that will radically change your perception of your marketing & the results you get from your activities. This one small change is so stupid-simple that many will ignore it. Your competitors may find it insulting, but you, the successful owner, will see it’s value & embrace it’s power to change your marketing & deliver better results.

So what is this secret sauce to successful small business marketing?

The simple change you can make in your marketing is not the tools you are using, the tactics you have tried, or even the frequency of your ads. The simple change you can make to increase your results in marketing and earn more money for your business & your own budget actually costs nothing. If you simply change your definition of marketing, you will experience better results.

Hold on, I can sense your skepticism tempting you to close your browser so let me explain myself first.

Remember back when I first started in business? I was trying everything under the sun to find the one activity that would cause people to need me, call me, & buy from me. As I learned more about marketing I found that I was amazingly wrong about how to market my business. My failed definition of marketing was, “Activities that get people to buy my services (or products).” The old me thought it was all about the tactics, tools, and activities, but now I know that marketing is not a tactic… not a tool… not even an activity.

Related: My Interview With Anita Campbell On Visual Marketing, What Wows Her and Influences For 2012

So if that is what marketing isn’t then what is it?

“Marketing is the system that moves your ideal client from stranger to loyal customer.”

When you look at marketing in this light, there are some HUGE implications to everything you’re doing right now to grow your business. Let’s briefly unpack the four obvious implications in this post & we’ll go into more depth on each in future posts.

Implication # 1 – Marketing is a system… not an activity, tactic, or tool.

You have systems for hiring, firing, receivables, and even taking out the trash. Marketing is a system just like any other in your business, only it happens to be the most important system… the one that is responsible for bringing in money & growing your business. Think of your marketing system as an assembly line. From start to finish a correctly defined marketing system should infuse all the necessary parts to produce a consistent, predictable, & trackable result over and over again without fail.

Implication # 2 – You must know who your ideal customer is.

Let me ask you, would you like to only work with the most profitable customer? Would you like to work with the easiest & most fun customers? That would be pretty ideal right? If your marketing is anything like mine was, then you’re trying to attract customers, but you don’t know exactly who that person is. Not to long ago I was trying to get anyone who would give me money to respond. It was not until later that I uncovered the secret that shrinking my market actually produced better results & a higher ROI.

Related: 10 Kick Ass Content Marketing Ideas

When you define your marketing correctly, all your marketing activities will be crafted to appeal to your ideal customer. Ideally, you would only work with the most profitable & the most fun customers, so start there & move into defining your ideal customer.

Implication # 3 – Your marketing needs to separate the ideal customers from all the strangers.

If the goal is to work with ideal customers, then your advertising must communicate a message that resonates with only those ideal customers & helps you identify them from all the strangers out there. We call this lead generation. Correctly defined marketing causes your advertising to change from name, rank, and serial number to engaging & effective tools that generate quality leads. It’s my favorite area of marketing & has the second largest potential for big profits.

Implication # 4 – Your marketing does not stop after the first transaction.

Again, use me as an example. When I started marketing my first business, it was all about getting the next new customer. Sure, I delivered great service. I had happy customers too, but I never leveraged those customers to produce more new customers, more revenue, or extreme loyalty.

A correctly define marketing system will follow through completely to build an army of loyal, profitable, & noisy customers (Noisy means they talk about your greatness, not that they complain or are problem customers). By far, the largest potential for you to increase your sales, make more money, & change the lives of more customers is through nurturing life-long relationships & loyal customers.

Related: 10 Reasons Your Business Should Use Email Marketing

The cost of not understanding how marketing works

Ultimately, my first business failed. There were many factors that went into creating my failed business.

  • But the largest factor was that I did not have a grasp on my marketing  as a system of creating & keeping loyal customers that were profitable & fun to work with.
  • I either had to much customers leaving out the back door or no enough quality customer coming in the front door. In the end it was to much to sustain on marketing activity alone.
  • It took me years of wasted money, testing ideas, & studying to learn what marketing a small business meant & how it should work.
  • My ignorance to marketing came close to costing me much more than my business. My family, friends, and even business relationships suffered through my learning experience too.

Implementing your marketing system

Today, it is my goal to shorten that experience & lessen the pain that I went through to learn how to get trackable, profitable, & predictable results over & over again.

Perhaps you’ve implemented some of what I mentioned earlier, but learned something new. Perhaps this is your first time thinking of marketing as a system. You may even be in the situation I was in close to a decade ago. No matter the situation you’re in right now, my challenge to you today is that you would take an hour this week to look at your marketing & hold it up to this definition.

Related: Marketing: Time To Be Legal, Decent, Honest And Truthful?

In the coming weeks I’ll go further in depth of each of the four implications we discussed today. In the mean time, subscribe to Tweak Your Biz so you don’t miss any of these future posts or the other great articles that are published. Question: What can you take away from this article & use in your own marketing? How do you define marketing in your business?

Image: “Businessman drawing a graph on a glass screen/Shutterstock

David Robertson

David Robertson

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