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Maintaining Marketing Momentum

By: Robert Middleton

Robert Middleton, of Action Plan Marketing in Palo Alto, Calif., has helped hundreds of professional service businesses attract new clients and get paid what they're worth.

His website is a resource for marketing professional services. Visit it at Action Plan Marketing.


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I recently read a great book called "Marketing Your Services" by Anthony Putman. Although I've known about this book for years, I didn't read it until recently. I now believe it is the number one book available on the subject. Written with great insight about what it takes to attract new clients, I decided I'd like to interview Tony to get his personal perspective.

I caught up with Tony by phone in Ann Arbor Michigan a couple weeks ago and discussed what it takes to develop "Marketing Momentum." I asked him what he thought was necessary, once you had a basic marketing plan, to keep your marketing on track and producing results.

The first thing Tony said was that creating marketing momentum means having a "marketing machine" working for you. What he meant by a marketing machine is having something working very smoothly, very effectively and almost mechanically in the sense that it doesn't require extraordinary thought or effort to keep it going. So you must have a marketing process that works easily. It takes time and effort to build one initially--that's your investment. What you're investing in is a process that works easily and predictably to attract clients. 

The second thing to realize is that the biggest mistake people make is "episodic marketing." This is where you go out and do some marketing and get some results and momentum and then think "God has smiled down on you" and you don't need to do any more marketing because you're finally doing so well. And then what happens is that business slows down and, because you've stopped marketing, you have no "marketing pipeline." You realize that moving someone from interest in your services to being a paying client takes awhile and doesn't happen immediately. When you have gaps in your schedule it's not so easy to fill them right away. By marketing consistently that never needs to happen.

The core secret to building that marketing momentum, Tony asserts, is that your marketing process has got to consist of things that you LIKE TO DO. It has to include things that you enjoy, that you get off on. (Yes, that means you don't need to make cold calls, network with organizations you have no affinity with or mail your brochure to thousands of companies if you just can't get into those activities.) And what you like to do might be totally different than what someone else likes to do.

What Tony is talking about here is so simple, yet so profound that I don't want you to miss it. Your number one job in building your marketing machine is finding those marketing activities which you can TRULY ENJOY. So many times clients have come to me with the assertion, "I hate to do marketing!" Can you imagine how hard it is for them and what kind of results they'll get with that attitude? 

Where I've gotten the very best results with clients is when I don't try to force them into a particular marketing activity but simply help them discover what they enjoy doing most and then work with them to design a realistic plan to make that activity pay off. When they find something they enjoy and get results from, they keep doing it forever. Those that go kicking and screaming into the marketing process don't keep at it for very long.

So where are your strengths? What marketing activities can you have fun with? What brings you a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction? For me it's writing, speaking and tweaking my web site. All of these are fun for me and they bring me more clients than I can handle! For you it might be something completely different. I've had clients that actually enjoyed cold calling and networking and as a result produced tremendous results from those activities.

© Copyright 2000, Robert Middleton

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