Would you build your own house?

Marketing is probably one of the most talked about concepts, yet least understood activities in the world.ss14

My two boys are forever trying to prove how smart they are about marketing by telling me what companies should and should not do.

The majority of business owners feel that they understand how marketing works – but at the same time do not know why the customers are not responding to their tactics.

Marketing could be compared to building a house. I believe there are a great many people that could, and do use a hammer – use it quite well. Many of those people could measure and cut boards to the correct length. Fewer – but still quite a few – could put a number of boards together to form a wall, and even be able to sheet that wall with plywood.

But how many people could actually create a complete building?

A single nail, a cut board, even a wall completed – does not constitute building a house.

The same goes for sales and marketing. Many people can close a sale. Some people can create an ok advertisement. There are people that understand how to engage people in social media and build a Facebook fan page.

But how many can actually create and implement a marketing plan.

If marketing plans were physical structures like houses – there would be some pretty goofy looking ones around. Some with no windows, some without shingles, others with walls not connecting, or a roof not matching the wall below – maybe even no roof, no doors, or without a basement.

But lucky for all the business owners out there doing marketing on their own – you can’t see a marketing plan being put together.

Well – actually not lucky – maybe if people did see how bad it was – they would STOP – and get the right person to do it.

Just like living in a house where the roof has holes, the doors don’t work and the place is not fit to live in – running a business without a proper marketing plan is not enjoyable – heck – it may not even be safe!

The examples of poorly planned marketing are endless. I just talked to a person yesterday that was sending out a marketing piece – and could not understand why there was no response. They had even got a second opinion by an ‘expert’ on that type of marketing piece.

Unfortunately they did not have a plan – not even an effective campaign. The chances that this one-off marketing piece would get to the right person at the right time was simply very remote. And even though the marketing piece was informative – it had some issues. Partway in to the information it sent the reader to a website link. The link was good background information – but took the prospect away from the needed action that the marketing piece was trying to solicit.

Just like when building a house you use detailed blueprints that shows every measurement, where the electric plugs are located, where the windows and doors go, the slopes of the roof, and much much more – so should a marketing plan describe the target market in detail, the buyer behaviour patterns, the best tactics and how to employ them in the correct order.

Putting together effective marketing does take expertise and experience.

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