We often hear from business owners who are hesitant—or even skeptical—about how marketing services can help them reach their goals.
And frankly, we don’t blame them.
Many times, they’ve paid for a service, expecting results but getting only vague assurances that their investment was being put to good use.
If you count yourself among those questioning the need for additional marketing support, we’re glad you're here. It means you recognize that if these efforts are just window dressing, you're better off investing your resources elsewhere. And we agree.
But simply cutting your marketing budget to save money is, as Henry Ford put it, “like stopping your watch to save time.” It’s a counterproductive solution that will end up costing you more in the long run.
So what exactly is the right way to think about marketing for your small business? Let’s look at how you can create a customized branding and communication strategy that works.
What makes you special?
Try this simple exercise: In one or two sentences, capture what your business does best and why your customers love you for it. Then have a few others who know your organization do the same.
Did your answers come easily? Did they match? Do they clearly convey your value and set you apart from your competition?
If so, great. You have the opportunity to leverage that message into results. If not, don’t worry. You’re in good company.
Most small business owners are focused on building top-notch operations and high-performing teams. And while they speak passionately about their organization, they can’t help but wonder, “If only more people realized the value we bring … .”
That’s why having the right vantage point on your company is critical. Because it’s not what you say that counts; it’s what your customers hear.
Key Takeaway: Keep in mind that marketing is not simply a modern website or glitzy product photos. It is understanding who you are as a company and why that matters. It is sending a clear and compelling message to the people you’re trying to reach.
3 Mistakes To Avoid
Truth be told, bad marketing bugs us too. It’s not just that it makes our job harder. It’s because our team wants to see organizations and small businesses succeed. And we know what’s possible when they have a partner who can tell their story effectively.
As you plan for your company’s long-term success, beware of these common pitfalls:
Mistake 1: Settling for a one-size-fits-all solution
You simply can’t buy an effective marketing strategy off the shelf. If your company looks and sounds just like everyone else, you’re not likely to make an impact. And what good is a new website if your message is muddled?
You’ll be best off working with someone who can offer perspective on your specific challenges and help you set the right priorities.
Mistake 2: Taking a one-and-done approach
There are often immediate and obvious steps you can take to enhance your brand, and we love getting quick wins for our clients.
However, your strategy is more than the tools you put in place today; it’s how you apply them over time. Before you begin hiring out projects, make sure you have a cohesive plan that brings clarity to your message and can evolve along with your business.
Mistake 3: Not communicating expectations
Marketing and branding go to the heart of your company. So when you choose a partner, trust is everything.
At Cassel Bear, we build lasting relationships through what we call Operation No Surprises. Simply put, we are transparent about how we can help you, what it will cost, and how we will measure success. Working side by side, we set goals and make adjustments over time. Just as important, we keep you in the loop every step of the way.
Key Takeaway: You won’t hit your targets by doing the right things the wrong way. Your marketing strategy does not need to be overly expensive or complex. Rather, it needs to reflect your unique needs and allow you to move forward with confidence.
Stay focused on customers, not clicks
Now that we’ve covered the basics, would you like to know the inside scoop to get your website to appear in more search results?
We’ll be the first to tell you it’s not some well-kept secret. Just ask Google for advice, and you’ll get about 258 million ideas on the subject, by and large saying the same things.
Yes, it takes time and know-how, and it is important. But as you’re well aware, you ultimately don’t need more traffic to your website; you need more sales in the pipeline.
Once again, your marketing strategy is not just what you do; it’s how you do it.
Whether through your website, social media, or a traditional print advertisement, it’s essential to keep your focus on solving your customers’ problems.
Here are a few ways to keep your customer at the forefront of your messaging:
Highlight benefits, not features
People don't care how awesome you think your product is; they care about how it can make their life better.
Buzzwords and extraneous language can distract from the real value you offer. Bringing clarity to your messages will help you make the most of your audience’s limited attention.
Lend your expertise
Providing unique insights into how your audience can use your product most effectively will win their trust and build brand loyalty. Consider developing educational resources such as blog posts, product guides, and case studies that show customers you’re invested in their success.
Key Takeaway: Take a step back and view your messaging through the eyes of your customers. Are you simply talking about your product, or are you addressing their needs? By being interested in your audience, you’ll be interesting to them.
There is an endless array of services to help you connect with customers. But if you don’t lay the proper groundwork, your marketing efforts will not produce the results you expect.
Cassel Bear helps clients convey their unique value through clear messaging and customized strategies. If you’ve been frustrated with past marketing efforts, let’s rethink your approach. Schedule a call today to explore how we can help you achieve your short- and long-term goals.