As we get into the Fall with thoughts of cool weather, warm gatherings and celebrations, my wife, Kim, encouraged me yesterday by telling me a story about the Pilgrims I never knew. After their 10-year failed experiment in Holland, they set off for the New World, and, as many know, had to become indentured to pay their way.
But just as they were about to set sail, the Pilgrim negotiating the terms didn't do such a good job, and they were changed in the investors' favor such that, after the servitude ended, the Pilgrims would no longer be able to keep their homes. Instead, they were to sell their homes and land and send half the proceeds back to the investors.
They didn't agree with that, but the ship was leaving, winter was coming, and many had already quit their jobs and sold their possessions, so there they were on a rocking boat trying to write a super-persuasive document in the hopes that a returning ship they might pass would be able to courier it back to the investors and change their minds. We think of last-minute business transactions by faith as a modern problem, but they are actually steeped in centuries of tradition.
(Image credit: Robert Walter Weir, Embarkation of the Pilgrims, 1857 painting, Brooklyn Museum, https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fil:Robert_Walter_Weir_-_Embarkation_of_the_Pilgrims_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg)
Thanks to BornesPro Media today for their invitation to come on to the Tip Couch and provide a tip. As usual, my action-packed answer was going to keep going and going, so I had to trim it down, but for those who want the full answer, I thought I could blog the rest....
A question I often get asked with regard to marketing is “How do you know where to start?”
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses start by launching whatever program is sold to them by the most convincing salesperson who walks through their door, but that’s not always wise. A better idea is to have a marketing plan with clearly defined goals and metrics as well as a budget of time and money. That may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be, and it's really the first step to getting your marketing in control and actually working for you.
(Image Credit: Pixabay, rawpixel, https://pixabay.com/en/document-paper-business-chart-3268750/)
Don’t think of a “Marketing Plan” as some great tome that will test your worthiness over months of grueling research and impossible rewrites. Think of it, instead, in bite-sized chunks, starting with budget. What funds do you feel comfortable spending to message your customers and prospects? A good rule of thumb is 5% of your gross revenue.
But your time matters, too. The more time you spend, the less money you need, and the reverse is true as well. Whatever time you have for marketing – an hour a week, five hours a day or anything in between – hold yourself accountable to that time and measure the results you get from it.
Once you have your budget, develop a conversion-tracking spreadsheet to track your spending vs. your results on each channel. Then create your message points and list the steps needed to develop each channel in a Work Plan. Your budget, conversion-tracking Spreadsheet, message points and work plan are the 4 main building blocks of your marketing and what that can keep your spending in line while you test different messages across different channels. That's the best way to get started.
Tom McClintock is the owner and founder of Relationship Martech.