BEWARE Random Acts of Marketing.
Do you love to gamble?
Step into the casino.
The bright lights. The buzz of excitement in the air. Flashing lights from multicoloured slot machines. Loud payouts from one-arm bandits
The luxury of tuxedo-clad waiters and vodka martinis served on silver platters.
It’s a marketer’s dream.
Getting people to part with their hard-earned cash because of the excitement, the thrill of the win and the experience you have, even if you are going to lose everything in your wallet along the way.
For many small business owners, when it comes to marketing, they are regularly spinning the roulette wheel and putting all their money on Black 20 and hoping for the best.
Literally, basing the success of their business on a roll of the dice.
It’s a disease of the small business owner I call Random Acts of Marketing.
Getting caught up in the moment, seeing the latest bright shiny thing and doing random pieces of marketing hoping for the best.
When they don’t win at the roulette wheel, they head over to the slot machines, or scratch cards, hoping the next bright shiny thing will bring them results.
More often than not, they might get a few quick wins, before losing it all to the house.
You see, random acts of marketing are tactics that aren’t driven by metrics – small business owners often don’t put strategies into place to measure the results of marketing so they either become vanity marketing – advertising to be seen by our competitors, or they become a money pit – neither producing the results the business needs.
Lots of business owners will chase that magical shiny penny because their competitors are doing it. Social media became a digital gold rush with companies stampeding to claim their digital real estate without really considering a strategy.
Exhibitions and trade shows are the go-to for small and growing businesses when they want to be seen locally or to find new customers.
Yet for many, it’s Random Acts of Marketing.
They prepare for the event and 9 times out of 10 it fails to deliver what the business really needs – customers.
Easily, it can become vanity marketing and money down the drain.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Business owners get caught up in the bright lights and experience of the event and forget the before and after when planning to attend a trade show or expo.
Few business owners consider the follow-up before planning the event.
Facts are, 97% of people aren’t going to buy from you at an event. They are browsing, information gathering if you will, starting conversations and getting inspired.
- How do you move that conversation along after the event?
- Have you considered ways to capture contact details and then nurture the lead until a time they are ready to buy?
- Who is going to follow up and how will it be done?
- Do you need extra support to follow up in a timely way?
By creating marketing campaigns that educate, inform and nurture those conversations, we turn the exhibition from a single random act of marketing to a purposeful event that forms part of our marketing plan.
It’s also worth thinking about the run-up to an event too.
Did you know when you attend an exhibition, you can influence who attends the event even if you aren’t a headline sponsor?
The most effective exhibitions are those where you invite potential clients, clients you are already in conversation with or even potential prospects along to meet you at an event.
Too few small businesses allocate marketing budgets to pre-event marketing to help get the right people for them, in-front of their business development team.
If you are dragging the sales team away from the phones for the day, make sure their time is best spent by putting them in front of the right people.
Investing in sending invitations to prospects, running Facebook Ads around the event location, leaflet drops, and getting onto local radio stations to talk about the event can all be effective ways to raise awareness of your business and improve the effectiveness of the event.
It starts to become clear that with a little thought rather than putting all our chips on Black 20 and hoping for the best, we can actually stack the odds in our favour by turning a random act into a planned marketing campaign.
For our business owners suffering from ‘Random Acts of Marketing’ disease, there’s one other symptom they display. They suffer from selective memory, especially when it comes to how much they take into the Marketing Casino and what they get when they check out.
See most small business owners don’t spend time learning the tools they need to track whether their marketing is effective or not. John Wanamaker was famously quoted as saying:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
The professional business owner doesn’t need to suffer from that malady. From marketing telephone numbers, vanity URL’s, UTM’s, QR Codes, Google Analytics, CRM-based tracking and so many more tools at our disposal it’s easy for us to see exactly where a customer has come from and which pieces of marketing they’ve interacted with.
But when we perform Random Acts of Marketing, we don’t have the time or resources prepared to track what works and what doesn’t.
One thing is for certain, the businesses that are going to survive the next decade will be the “professional business owner”. Business owners that have educated themselves on how to run a business based on the numbers, doing what works and stopping the things that don’t.
If you want random results in your business in 2023, then carry on with Random Acts of Marketing, I can assure you that you won’t be alone.
If you want to do things differently, then it’s time we talked.
Our Entrepreneurs Marketing and Sales System is a structured programme to help small business owners put into place the foundation blocks of their marketing with expert guidance along the way – that’s my role as a business coach and mentor.