Many people consider small business marketing consultants a waste of money. And in some cases they are. After all, nowadays “everybody is an expert”, and every second person has “a marketing agency”.
While you will definitely have to do some due diligence, it’s not all doom and gloom.
5 Ways in which a small business marketing consultant can help you:
a. Discover what you do not know:
There is an old saying: “You do not know what you do not know”. This holds true in every profession. By nature, we only learn that which we need to survive or get by in the world. On top of that, we don’t always know exactly what it is we have to learn.
When you don’t know what you don’t know, you will never be able to educate yourself.
On the other hand – and not only in the marketing industry – when you talk to someone who deals in any specific industry every day, they will immediately become aware of what you need to know, but don’t.
They can then apply their knowledge and/or experience to bring you up to speed.
b. Help you to figure out your ideal customer profile:
Let’s say you business has had thousands of customers or clients through the years. Now let’s say that you were to feed all of their data into a computer, along with your personal experience in dealing with each of them, and ask it to come up with a profile for the ideal customer for your business.
Depending on which market you serve, their characteristics could include things like age, gender, interests, hobbies, annual income, specific professions or even jobs, a common set of challenges faced, etc.
That one “ideal customer” would then be created by combining – and finding the average for – all of the people that have dealt with you over the years.
That doesn’t mean that nobody else will want to invest in your products or services – but it does mean that there are many people out there – who all have similar characteristics – who not only benefit from what you offer, but are also easier to work with.
A small business marketing consultant can help you dig through all of the facts, and help you ascertain not only the most likely people to do business with you, but also which ones are easiest to work with, and which are the most profitable ones.
c. Help you identify weaknesses in your marketing:
Let’s face it – most small business owners are good at what they do. However, what they do is usually not related to marketing…
Sadly, though, it is something they simply have to learn to do in order to survive. After all, in this crowded world of ours, you can be the best at what you do, but if nobody knows about you…
Nobody will come.
Remember the movie “Field of dreams”?
Reality is a little different. Unless you are in a tiny town, and everybody needs what you have on offer, people will not simply “come” when you open the doors to your small business.
Usually, small business owners simply try to “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks”. Sadly, in many cases not much of it sticks, and marketing becomes a burden which often cannot justify its cost.
An experienced small business marketing consultant will be able to identify the weaknesses in your marketing strategy (and execution), and advise you on what can be improved, as well as where to focus your attention and the majority of your advertising spend.
d. Improve the return on your advertising spend:
Experienced marketing consultants not only know where you can advertise, but they also understand the different platforms. They know which platforms cater to which audience demographics, and which ones are more likely to be profitable for your type of business.
They also know what to avoid, and where advertising costs are simply too high to do it profitably.
In addition to that, their experience in copywriting is likely to result in more and better reaction to your marketing efforts, increasing your return on ad spend.
e. Help you to think outside the proverbial box:
In many cases, small business owners are simply fighting to survive in competitive markets. In cases like these, you need to do something differently.
At the very least, you either have to do things different from the way your competition does, or make it seem different to your potential clients or customers.
In many cases it is possible to come up with unique marketing approaches that simply attract more attention than normal marketing methods would.
In other cases, it is simply a matter of analyzing how your competition presents themselves to their target market, and to then position yourself so it seems as if your are addressing a different need (even if what you do is essentially the same).
Sometimes we all just need a fresh perspective – ideally from someone who knows more than we do about a specific issue – to help us do things better (which, in business, means more profit).
Hiring a small business marketing consultant could seem costly to some. However, think of the other side of the coin…
If you don’t do it, you could end up losing a whole lot more (in lost revenue and profit) than what you would have spent – even in the first year after you made your choice.
The fact of the matter is this:
You don’t know what you don’t know. And in the case of marketing your small business, how much your lack of knowledge is hurting your revenue.
And until you talk to someone who knows, you probably never will.