New clients often sheepishly shake their heads as they admit how long they’ve been meaning to update their brochure, web site, fill-in-the-blank. Whether it’s time or money or ever-slippery priorities, small business owners and other harried types know that they should point some of their fractured attention toward marketing in order to lure new customers/clients. But how can you tell when your inaction is truly doing your business more harm than good?
A good place to start? Answer some relatively simple questions:
- Is your business where you want it or expect it to be this season?
- Has business slacked off recently and in ways that aren’t typical for you or your industry?
- Do you get the feeling your competitors are eating your lunch? What do their materials look like these days?
- Do you find yourself making excuses every time you hand someone a print piece or wince as you give them your card knowing they may well visit your web site and judge accordingly?
Obviously, if you aren’t seeing the revenues you need, marketing needs to be a priority. While other factors may play a role (customer service kinks, inventory issues, etc.), your sales team needs back-up. Yes, even if the sales team is just you.
In a perfect world, you might run an audit of all your materials and evaluate every element starting with the brand itself and how the logo fits the business and your audience(s). In the regular world, consider which piece might be your best bet to improve how prospective clients perceive your services/products and buy.
Sometimes you can get away with just freshening up a few graphics, reworking the copy to be more focused on what customers need and providing a clear call to action at every turn. But these days you need to invest some time and money into keeping your online presence current and working for you.