Here are some fundamental marketing rules for living life in the slow (but safe) lane:
Ensure all marketing collateral (web and offline) are in synch – invest sufficient time and resources to ensure there are no discrepancies between them to build a cohesive brand that effectively communicates what you do.
Take time to really evaluate business opportunities, don’t just blast through relationships, meetings or assessments – many times you can build viable partnerships by sitting down and taking a hard look at how third parties complement your business and vice versa.
Use the web for what’s its really meant for – as a highway for communications and commerce, its not the “saving grace” its been touted to be by many companies; 87% of Internet users today utilize the web to research goods and services.
Make time to look at your competitors, whether they are across the road or on the other side of the world – the web has created a commerce model where a competitor is just a click away; so carefully analyze what your competitors are doing.
Communicate with your customers and partners – it doesn’t do much good to build a beautiful web site that does not make it easy for people to contact your company. I’ve seen hundreds of web sites the last year that don’t have e-mail contacts or phone numbers listed prominently – take/make time to build a site that lets people communicate with you.
Hire people with some gray hairs – they may not flash the latest PDA at you or wear the latest trendy clothes, but many of them have years of experience building companies slowly and carefully, by paying attention to business fundamentals. I’ve got nothing against youth, but it seems like many over 40-somethings got left by the wayside in the .com mania and to the detriment of many companies.
Think small when your building a business, the billion dollar days are gone with last year’s PR hyperbole. I get no royalties from E.F. Shumacher, but I really think his “Small is Beautiful As if People Mattered” is a wonderful book and the forward is done by Paul Hawken, a brilliant serial entrepreneur, well known for his landmark PBS (Public Broadcasting Service for global readers) series on “Growing a Business” that inspired many of us to take the entrepreneurial plunge.
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