Small Business Needs Fewer Marketing Channels?

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There’s been a sort of explosion in small business using websites, social media and e-mail over the last year. Unfortunately, the results aren’t what everyone was promised. Let’s have a look at what’s happening and why.

A common – and very useful – marketing principle is that all businesses should use as many marketing channels as they can.

This means, for example, that a dentist (or any business) should use:

  • yellow pages ads
  • newspaper ads
  • a website
  • e-mail
  • direct mail
  • physical, mailed newsletter
  • social media
  • radio ads
  • information products (reports, booklets, guides)
  • audio (teleseminars, interviews)
  • video (YouTube, on website)

Now how do you feel when you read that list? What happens in the pit of your stomach?

Personally, I feel overwhelmed reading that list – and let’s remember that I’m a fair hand at this stuff. It’s just that trying to do it all at once is just way too much to take on. Imagine trying to do it if you’re all alone, or a mom & pop shop.

So how do we balance the marketing principle “more channels is better” with the reality of having only so many hours in a day?

The answer to this question is what lets people like me make a living. Yes, we have a few “secrets” as well as some techniques, tactics, tricks and even principles. The one you’re looking for right now is “progressive marketing.”

It’s called that because you do more marketing as you make progress with your marketing.

Let’s say you already use yellow pages, newspaper and the radio. You want to add more marketing channels so you can reach out to more people.

Progressive marketing says the first channel you add is related to the channels you’re already using. So you choose to add a website. It gives you someplace to send people who see your ads and hear you on the radio.

Once you have your website up and running, you make sure it’s bringing the results you want. Then you pick another marketing channel to add, and you repeat the process. Get results then add another channel.

Okay, let’s pause for a second…You’re probably wondering whether there’s a faster way for you to add channels so you can get results faster, right?

The answer is yes, you can add several channels at one time. And yes, there’s a catch.

The more channels you add at one time, the more it costs. That’s because you’re going to need help to make lots of channels work at the same time. You’re also going to need help because, well, you probably don’t have the knowledge and experience needed to use all the channels available to you.

Quick note: be careful about using sales people to set up your marketing.

The sales person at the newspaper probably doesn’t know much, or anything, about writing a good ad. The same goes for all the other sales people you’ll meet. Your business is also not their first concern…getting paid for selling ad space is their first concern. (Think about that before you get happy about having them “throw in” your ad copy for free.)

Now this is where I”m supposed to tell you about how good I am at this stuff, and how you can work with me, right? After all, that’s what all the gurus and marketers do to drum up business.

That’s a neat idea, except there isn’t enough time in a day for me to work with everyone who reads this blog. Heck, just helping this week’s new readers – 1485 people – would be a heaping handful. Just like there isn’t enough time for you to tackle all those marketing channels at once.

But there is a solution…  🙂

I just spent a weekend with Armand Morin and his team in Orlando, Florida. During the weekend, we were able to work out a plan for helping a lot of the business owners who read this blog.

There are some logistic details to work out. We need to finish the website for what we’re planning. And I flat out want to get home to my wife and kids before we launch anything. (Sorry if that seems selfish, but I’m missing them.)

We’ve put together a package that’ll get you going with 3 channels and guide you to putting more channels into place over 12 to 24 months. That really depends on how quickly we make progress on improving your sales and revenue. Progressive marketing means we add more channels only when the first channels we add make money to pay for themselves and new ones.

I’ll be home next Sunday. That’s two whole weeks away from my family, so I’ll be using Monday to get caught up on stuff at home.

In the meantime, leave a comment here. Which channels do you want to add to your marketing? A website? Newsletter? Direct mail? And include which channels you’re currently using.

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