It is no secret that trends in marketing and advertising are constantly changing and adapting to the behaviors of consumers that is also changing and adapting.

There are 3 pieces of advice I feel every business owner should follow:

1. Keep Your Marketing Strategy Fluid, but Maintain Consistency.
First of all, if you don’t have a marketing strategy. Stop right now and create one.

Those that do not continually change to keep up with consumer behaviors will suffer and phase out. Take Sears for example. Consumers expect more. Sears couldn’t deliver anything fresh and appealing to customers and has been a dying brand for many years because of it. Small business owners don’t have years to die off. It could be a matter of months.

Consistency is king in advertising. You want to try a variety of advertising options, but you also need to remember to have consistency to have enough data to know whether or not your advertising is working for you.

How Long Should You Be Consistent in Different Forms of Advertising?

Social Media: typically you can tell within 3 months whether you’re making progress and engaging your audience effectively. Remember, don’t put ALL your marketing dollars into this one avenue. Unless your product is pushed by a top celebrity or can be sold through what I term “QVC of Facebook” – then don’t expect large responses and huge sales via social media channels.

Print Media: depending on the type you choose to use – if you do solo mail campaigns, plan on doing them every couple of months for a minimum of six months to a year. If you’re using a monthly publication, like Buddy Mail in Southern Utah that is separated by three zones, so plan for at least 3 times in each zone (9 months) where you’re reaching customers 3 times each.

Other types of print publications will vary, just be consistent, but don’t fall into traps of being tied into contracts beyond a year. Be consistent, not crazy.

Being trapped into contracts longer than a year is dangerous and can hurt your business as your only tied to that one audience and publication for an extended amount of time. What if it doesn’t work?

Beware of being put into monthly agreements where you don’t receive monthly results. If you’re contracted to pay for a quarterly publication, but are billed monthly – is that the most effective use of your advertising dollars? If I am paying for something monthly, I want to use it or have results with it EACH month. Quarterly or annual isn’t consistent enough. That’s old school advertising and should be dropped at once and your marketing dollars re-focused on being current and in front of your customers as much as possible.

Web site: build it, maintain it, update it often, keep content fresh – hire a professional, if needed, but this is your company’s prime “calling card” – if you don’t have a Web site in 2018 — are you actually a legitimate business? That’s the question your potential customers will be asking themselves if you don’t have one!

2. Don’t Put All your Marketing Dollars Into One Basket. EVER.
I actually want to create a T-shirt with this saying and wear it into business meetings. However, I wouldn’t want to come across as blunt, but sometimes truth can feel blunt and rude when it’s totally not and only has the intention of helping. I see this as one of the BIGGEST ADVERTISING MISTAKES small business owners can make. They aren’t sure what to do, what will work and are all looking for the magic bullet to fast and record-breaking sales.

There are no magic bullets. You will always see big brands finding new ways to reach consumers, have fresh content and promotions and consistently fight to stay top-of-mind.

Feeling like you’re stuck and need to diversify your advertising? Contact us for a free consultation.

3. Create Your Own Business Mastermind Group.
Your group should consist of forward-thinking professionals who genuinely have each other’s best interest in mind and meet together often. Discuss critical questions about your business, challenges you’re facing, success that you’re experiencing or ask for connections others may have for you. The most important detail is reaching out and getting out of your comfort zone where you are bound to only find growth!