Putting All Your Marketing Eggs in One Basket

I had the pleasure to experience the beauty of the Space Coast, Cocoa Beach, Port Canaveral, and Kennedy Space Center from the air and sea in the past few weeks.  Florida Air Tours allowed my girlfriend and I a breathtaking sunset view from their helicopter, while Experience Sail gave us a refreshing wind-powered view of the Port and Cocoa Beach from the ocean.

Now, I know you are wondering what sightseeing tours from the air and sea have to do with marketing.  Well, wonder no more.

Before we were able to enjoy the helicopter or sailboat, we had to be briefed on various safety procedures and what to do if something went wrong.   We also got the right equipment to help us in the event that something did go wrong.  While we did not expect something bad to happen, at least we were prepared.

When it comes to small business marketing, many businesses do not actually consider the things that could go wrong with any type of advertising or marketing they do. The business owner who falls in love with an idea sometimes does not want to think about all the things that could go wrong and even she does, does not want to think about how to react if it does go wrong.  This can be a costly mistake.

Perhaps an example will help.   Jeff decides that he wants to do a post card campaign for his business because he has talked to a few of his competitors outside of the area and it seems like it works fairly well for them.  So, he contacts a few direct mail providers and gets a post card designed and sent out.   Then, he waits impatiently for his phone to ring or his e-mail to be buzzing with people who want his service.  The only problem is nothing different happens. (He first thought something must be wrong with the direct mail piece, but all the information was accurate.)

He is now $5,000 poorer and still does not have any new customers.  While that may not matter to a large corporation, a small business owner doesn’t like throwing money away because he realizes how precious it is.

What makes matters worse is he allocated all of his marketing money to this one campaign.  He does not have anything left.  So, he is now stressing and worried.  He needed something to happen…and happen quickly.

What could he have done instead?

Well, for one, he should have not put all of his eggs in one basket.  (While there are many stories of people or companies betting all they have on one thing and winning, there are hundreds of failures for each one that succeeds. That’s why people talk about it.)  If he only had $5,000 to invest in marketing he should have thought long and hard about what methods could have produced the best return for his budget.

And how would he do that?  By developing a marketing plan that forced him to consider the resources he had available and what he wanted to accomplish.  The helicopter pilot considers how much fuel he has, how many passengers he has on board, and weather conditions, to name a few, before he goes in the air.  The sailing captain considers the wind, the ocean conditions, the port traffic, and other items before he sets sail.  So too should the business owner.

Taking the time and energy to develop a marketing plan is not easy or fun.  But it is more fun than throwing $5,000 away on one bet.

If you are interested in learning how we can help you develop a marketing plan, please visit us at JustSmallBiz.com.

by Brad A. Swezey