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Marketing Used to Be Like Golf – Now It’s Like Tennis


The world of small business is changing, sometimes faster than what we can keep up with.  Many factors contribute to these changes – increased competition, the social media revolution, the recession – and as a result, we’ve all been forced to rethink our marketing and advertising strategies and tactics.

Since the economy tanked a couple years ago, many small businesses are finding it more difficult to compete.  The biggest question we ask ourselves (I’m a small business owner, too!) is, “How do I make my business recession-proof?”  Really, the only way to do that is to give marketing a front seat ride.  It’s simply not optional anymore.

I can think of another dozen things that I consider important. For instance, customer service, a solid accounting process, employee training.  But none are more important than a good, smart marketing plan, especially during a recession.  Knowing how to market and then actually doing what you know (or what you learn) will make the difference in whether you stay in business or close your doors.

I heard that during the Great Depression, several companies actually became super stars and some are still in business today.  They learned how to take a bad situation and turn it around for their advantage.  During hard times, we learn the importance of making the most of every marketing dollar.  We study, and train ourselves to see things differently and we watch every dime that gets spent—and we consider it an investment, not just an expenditure.

I am a small business coach, and therefore, I look for ways to help my clients thrive, not just survive.  The first thing we need to realize is that people really have tightened the belt and aren’t spending money like they used to.  Therefore, we have to be wise in searching out the prospective buyers, and we must learn to use new and innovative ways to find our audience and get them to listen, and ultimately, to buy from us.

Marketing used to be like a game of golf.  We just walked out to the tee box, lined up the shot, took dead aim, and swung the club.  We hoped the ball came close to the cup and if it didn’t, we just hit it a few more times, and then we scored.

But today, marketing is more like a game of tennis.  We hit the ball and our opponent (our customer) might hit the ball straight back to us, or they may just hit it somewhere else entirely.  Literally, the ball is in their court.  Our goal is to get them to hit it back to us.  So we’re not just pushing a message out there (the golf example) in hopes of scoring,  but we’re engaging in a back and forth game in hopes of winning by confidence, skill and persistence (the tennis example).

I am going to write a series of articles that address this subject of smart marketing for the small business owner.  This is the first of the series.  I hope you’ll come back and join me for all of them.   It’s really a wonderful time to be in business, if we’re careful to make marketing a priority.

One way of enhancing your marketing is to begin to market with email.  Here’s a link to a fantastic course I’ve prepared for business owners who want to start with email marketing and don’t know how.  http://YourEmailMarketingSuccess.com Be sure to check it out – it could be your best move yet!