A Pause Before Swinging for the Fences

In my last post, I talked about marketing base hits versus marketing home runs. Getting a few solid base hits each month instead of throwing everything you’ve got into one big thing can be a big boost to your efforts. But sometimes you just really need that home run. Before you get up to bat for that big hit, here are a few things to consider:

1. Check your positioning
Make sure you are correctly positioned in the market and know who you’re tying to connect with. You can spend a ton of money on design work and marketing, but it will be hard to get that money back if your message falls on deaf ears.

If you’re not sure about how to position your product, do some test marketing first. This falls in line with the base hit before home run analogy very well. If you wanted to position around plumbers, for example, you should land some plumbers as clients first before completely diving into that space with your entire message and brand. As you start to see traction in an area, you can start refining your positioning towards that space.

Once you have some plumber clients, gather a list of other potential clients in that space and do a single page case study about one of your plumber clients. Then use that case study to sell more clients in that space. As you continue to gain traction, you can weigh the potential of that demographic and decide if you want to tighten your positioning in that direction.

I suggest starting with a few different avenues and see where you end up. Example: I’m positioned around helping service companies generate revenue. Within that, I have three niche areas I target. If one becomes more lucrative, I may reposition completely around that or launch a secondary brand. Either way, it’s about continuing to refine your positioning until you find the sweet spot.

2. Why?
The second question I would ask before a company embarks on a rebrand is, “Why?” What do you hope to get out of spending your hard earned cash on a new identity or full brand? Really think through why you’re doing it and what you hope to get out of it. Just updating a logo or look without any sort of strategy can be expensive and a waste of time.

This is where I believe designers (my kind) have done a sort of disservice to businesses. They come in suggesting that a logo needs to be redone because it’s really ugly or looks old, or maybe because the designer simply doesn’t like it. All that is well and good. I love nice logos and love producing them for my clients, but if you’re going to spend the money, have a strategy and know why.

Maybe you’re looking to upgrade the quality of your look because it’s not reflective of the quality products that you sell. Or perhaps you wantto go after a different niche in the market and your current look just doesn’t fit. Maybe you’re launching a new line of products and it makes sense to upgrade your identity to match. Whatever the reason, be sure to have a clear vision for what this investment will get you. In most cases, I don’t believe that just updating the look of something will make you more money. There has to be some sort of strategy behind it.

3. Reconsider base hits
Even if you’re considering going big and doing a rebrand, you can have some solid base hits along the way. Perhaps while that new website is in the works, you can build out a landing page for a new product and do an email blast to drum up business. This is what I call “looking for low hanging fruit.” I’ve had clients that needed a new website and logo, but before embarking on that we setup a Google AdWords campaign and landing page for something specific. We generated some new leads and learned some things along the way, all of which was useful for the new website. Or maybe a solid base hit means following up on some old leads. Or maybe just get an appointment with another prospect and tell a success story about how you’ve helped someone. That’s a solid base hit.

Final thoughts…

I’ve always felt that what’s lacking in small business marketing is a consistent effort. We get busy and we don’t do anything for a long time, then we get desperate, so we have no choice but to swing for the fences. A much better approach is to try for a few base hits each month, small marketing tactics executed on a regular basis will lead to greater success. If you’re swinging for the fences, make sure you know why. Strategy before execution, always.

Comments are closed.