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Here’s A Marketing Strategy Question That You Don’t Hear Everyday…

Maybe there are a few companies out there that have unlimited budgets to apply to getting customers. But most of us are not in that exclusive group. The finance folks have a tough time with marketing budgets. Concrete outcomes are hard to measure. When times get tough, marketing budgets are usually the first things cut. This is always a mystery: do companies stop needing revenue when times are tough? So here is a marketing strategy question that John Barkdoll-my late and very bright business partner-used to ask: “What’s the fewest number of people you need to reach to achieve your financial goals?” Kind of a contrarian idea isn’t it? You hear that you have to get “ your name out there.” True. But to whom? Everyone? Or do you just want to get your message to the people with whom you want to do business? This is not an easy path to take. But it can be a very cost effective one. Instead of starting with the assumption of producing ads, brochures and social media, start with really defining whom you want to talk to. Then figure out how many you need to convert to paying customers over what time period to meet your goals. (“As many as humanly possible to get” may not be a reasonable goal given your resources and the capacity to absorb growth.) When you have defined whom you really, really want to reach, read Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business by Jay Conrad Levinson.