If there is anything that I’ve learned in the last few years while running businesses, it would be that marketing is difficult. No, I’m not talking about the class in college that you skipped, or slept through, but the actual action of marketing your business.
I’ve admitted this in the past that I never gave the marketing class in college the respect it deserved. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but I should have given it more attention. I state this for a few reasons:
- Marketing is a fundamental
- Marketing classes don’t go deep enough
- Marketing is really hard
Marketing is Fundamental
When I say that marketing is fundamental, I mean it is a core function and requirement for a business to be successful. What is the purpose of marketing really?
The purpose is to find out who your customers are, what their needs are, how you can meet their needs, how to price your solution, how you can communicate your solution to them, how you can do so in a meaningful way that they purchase your product, and how you can track your results. If you ask me, that sounds like a huge portion of your business! It is certainly where the important parts happen, such as making sales. Henry Ford was quoted as saying:
“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”
Marketing is about reaching your customers in a meaningful way. If you don’t, then they don’t pay your wages!
Marketing Classes Don’t Go Deep Enough
One could argue that no class truly goes deep enough. They are designed to give you a surface knowledge so you can manage your way through a job or business. Marketing classes certainly don’t go deep enough, they merely gloss over the most basic things, but consider how much you need to know and do in order to:
- Run a proper newsletter campaign
- Manage your Facebook and Twitter accounts
- Manage your Google Adwords campaigns
- Give out business cards and flyers
- Research and attend trade shows
- Make business connections
- And still manage to run the other aspects of your business
To be honest, each of those bullets alone could warrant a full class if you studied each concept in-depth. Not only should you be paying more attention during this class, you should be spending more time studying and practicing it in the real world than you do in class!
Marketing Is Really Difficult
Throughout the last few years, I’ve been faced with learning curve after learning curve of new systems, products, and services. I’ve waded my way through the tangled web of integrating the systems to bring a certain level of automation, and still new systems are always hitting the market.
I’m blessed to have as good a technical background as I do, or else I’d be spending far more time on help sites, and forums begging for someone to help me, or risk having to read a plethora of technical resources just to figure out how to do these things.
Marketing your business is one of the most important things that you’ll ever undertake, so don’t do it lightly. Immerse yourself in marketing how-tos and don’t let the intimidating mountain of work lull you into passiveness.
Learn how to market on Twitter, learn how to market on Facebook, and learn how to truly connect with your market. There is so much more to successful twitter marketing than sending out short automated messages.
Every system and community has its nuances, and while it will take a while to learn them, your business (and your sales) will reflect the hard work that you put in. Give marketing the respect it deserves, and watch your business thrive as a result.
Let Us Know In The Comments
What about you, did you underestimate the need for marketing? What was the hardest lesson you had to learn in marketing? What was the hardest or most effective system you’ve used to market? Did you think you knew a system perfectly, but once you truly learned it, it worked a lot better for you?