Why Is Marketing So Expensive?

Just about every small business owner I know dislikes the time and expense it takes to market their business. They’re networking at meetings, running ads, or joining groups to attract clients. They have a limited budget and they have limited time. They aren’t necessarily getting the results they need in the form of new clients. It’s hit and miss. They’re not really sure how to get the best return from their methods, so they’re trying a lot of things and getting varied results.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. This is a tough area to crack for many entrepreneurs, and the reason it’s tough is that it’s not completely a marketing problem. Here are three things you can do immediately to get clarity in this area of your business:

  1. Understand that marketing can be systematized, and until it is, it will continue to drain your time and money. For example, once you get your main marketing message clear, you will want to select three marketing channels to find prospects. Then you’ll develop a set of procedures that staff can execute to attract those clients within those channels. Include steps for measuring results, and you’ve greatly lowered your marketing costs. You’ll know what works and what doesn’t and you’ll be able to refine. Even better, you can delegate marketing tasks and free up your time for client work or strategy sessions.

    Let’s say you offer a monthly open house at your office to attract new clients. Each step can be systematized and delegated to staff. All you should have to do is show up.

    Another example might be using local networking events to attract clients. You’ll want to create procedures for your elevator speech, follow up system, and community interaction. Once you approach this systematically instead of attending the next networking meeting that looks good (and leaving the business cards you got in a stack by the computer), your results will increase.

  2. There is great synergy in completing foundational work before you begin to market. You’ll want to know exactly who your market is, how they think, and why they would use your services. From there, you can develop a message that is coherent and consistent that will work across all marketing channels.

    Once you complete your foundational work, which you only have to do once (until your offering or the market changes), your message will be crystal clear to your prospects. Then you can market your message everywhere.

  3. Executing your marketing strategy is your last step and one that will be continually repeated. (The two above steps only have to be done once.) This step follows the procedures laid out in #1 and communicates the message created in #2.

    This is actually going to the networking meeting or conducting the open house, or running the ad.

The take home message in this article is that most entrepreneurs have “marketing” grouped together with systematization, messaging, and the actual marketing execution. That’s why it’s so expensive. When you can separate these and make each area efficient, you will greatly reduce costs and increase the effectiveness of your marketing programs.