After 30 years in business I have seen “Marketing Experts”, and frankly 95% of them are a waste of time. However, that 5% are really worth their weight in diamonds to a business. A few years ago, I was so dissatisfied with what marketing cost my business and what we got out of it, that I went back to university to learn about marketing. I did this with the University of SA via a Masters in Business course.
In this course, there was a topic called “Accountability in Marketing”. Wow! Those two words in the same sentence blew me away. I always thought Marketing was a black art. So I was hooked. However, what this course taught me, was that even the best – absolutely world class proven marketers, can get it wrong, and waste millions for a company. So, I was back to my sceptical belief.
However in the last 4 months, something has happened that has changed my mind.
As a business owner, I know Marketing for my business is essential. However, marketing is not sales. Without constant sales, a business dies. But without fresh new injection of clients, the existing clients will dwindle, and eventually the business will die. So, over the years, I have kept my ears and eyes open to gain marketing knowledge.
At last, I found a 5%er. I attended a course called, “Lights, Action, Blog“, put on by Baker Marketing. I attended this course with a varied range of other professionals. But not only did I get some fantastic gems of knowledge – that basically costs me nothing, but I also finally met a 5%er. As an IT person, I know what IT can do for marketing, but how to bring that together in reality, is something different.
So in this simple blog, I am going to pass on some on the Gems that I acquired. With all respect to Baker Marketing, this is my own personal perspective, and may not apply to all types of businesses – but these are the Gems that I collected during this course.
- SEO – Search Engine Optimisation is essential. However, the question is how to keep up with a moving target? As people abuse search engines, such as Google, the Search Engines have to get smarter, stop the abuse and continue being a worthy search engine. With this constantly happening, the goal posts are constantly on the move. I have decided, that this needs a full time person to handle our work, and so we have employed a person to stay on top of this. To achieve this cost effectively, we have employed a Virtual Assistant. Currently we keep updating, our Web Content, Key Words, Do Key word research, Info Graphics, Videos and Links to other Web associated businesses.
- BLOGS – Be regular e.g. weekly, Be topical, Do it yourself. Easier said than done. However, I found a solution. I write my blogs now each week (actually about 2 weeks in advance), then I send them to my Virtual Content Writer, who dresses them, checks them grammatically and for keyword improvement. My VCW also adds images and suggestions. Then when I sign them off, they are published. This means I can fit this into my already overly busy schedule.
- GRAPHICS – For ages now, I have used “stock” images. However, these are now so well known, they are not necessarily the best option. So I have learnt not to hesitate to create my own images, when possible. I do this simply with my phone. As most web images need to be quite small, the quality of the image of a good smart phone, is usually quite satisfactory for this sort of function. This includes simple video’s.
These are the basic Gems I picked up at the course. However, I have since added 2 new and personal Gems of knowledge that I wish to share.
- Sales is not marketing. Balance is essential. One needs to sell to stay alive – so Don’t forget – Sales is essential. One also needs to Market ones business to get new clients, so invest in marketing. But never lose sight of the fact that both are essential, both are different, and both need investment for a business to grow.
- Take a break. I mean, really time out. Get away from the phones, the family, the business, the demands. Just breathe, and take stock for yourself. Every year, I do this, and what a difference it makes in all of my business. By having this time, I review my own personal goals, my business goals, I then in a very honest manner, assess how I am going with achieving these goals in my desired time frame. My own honest assessment, may lead to the need for mentoring, or changing. But because I am in an open safe place, I can take this on without stress of adversity. I think this is an essential nutrient for business.
I hope this information gives you one or more Gems. I know that even writing this blog, is great for me to help me in purifying this knowledge. How well e-marketing will work, well the fact you are reading this blog, is meaning that it is working – so thank you.
Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.