One of the things we pride ourselves in at Cucumber is an entrepreneurial approach to our marketing strategies and our relationships with our clients. Marketing a small business is not something you do once and settle on harvesting the results of your successful marketing campaign. As a small business, you run things on a tight budget, and you don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in your marketing. You have to be strategic, and you have to be very smart about your marketing tactics.
You already know that marketing is important for growing a business, but how do you know if your marketing is effective and efficient? This is where the entrepreneurial approach I mentioned above comes into your play, and this is how we do it at Cucumber.
Thinking fresh starts with thinking. This sounds obvious, but as a busy small business owner or business manager, how much time do you actually spend on thinking and strategizing versus implementing reactively? Thinking fresh is about proactive thinking, anticipating what’s ahead and analyzing what happened in the past, so your future actions are data-driven, not sporadic, but also open-minded, so you are not stuck in “we do what we’ve always been doing” or “this is just how it is around here.” Once you start thinking fresh on a regular basis, you might surprise yourself with unexpected marketing strategies. This is the reason why we do not specialize in one specific niche – we provide marketing services for lawyers, laser eye clinics or retail businesses in Vancouver. This allows us to think fresh and not think as marketers but more as end-consumers. Because we work with various industries, we do not have any preconceived notions based on specific marketing rules in that specific industry.
Keep it cool
This one also might sound obvious, but it deserves mention. Keeping it cool – yes, as in – cool as a cucumber – is critical when running a small business. It goes in line with thinking fresh nicely because, guess what? There’s no secret sauce in marketing and business in general. This means you will fail, and not all of your campaigns will succeed. By remembering to keep your cool, you will set your mind on future goals while addressing today’s priorities.
How do you keep your cool?
- Understand the suggested strategies and expected outcomes. When your marketing team creates marketing strategies for you, consider their relevance to your business. Think of any historical data you have from past campaigns.
- Know your numbers. Understand what the expected outcomes look like as data. Are your expectations aligned with what your marketing team is expecting to receive as a result of the marketing campaigns? This will allow you to be realistic in your expectations – and we all know that many issues can be avoided when the expectations are clear for everyone on the team.
- Provide timely feedback to your team. Communicate! As obvious as it sounds, very often, business owners or managers hold back their feedback, thinking that what their marketing team is suggesting is the gospel. Don’t be shy to ask lots of questions and provide your feedback often, especially at the beginning of your working relationship with your marketing agency or in-house marketing team. The first three months are critical to start on the right foot!
Growth doesn’t happen overnight. And sometimes it feels like nothing is working; this is exactly why you need to make sure you have super clear reporting in place, as well as day-to-day processes to track your progress. Knowing your KPIs, reviewing them weekly/monthly and refreshing your strategic planning on a quarterly basis are key to healthy growth. There’s a great saying (and a book by Marshall Goldsmith), “What got you here won’t get you there.” So whatever got you where you are today in your business won’t get you where you want to be (assuming you want to grow your business?).
What does this mean? It means you have to evolve and grow, and that includes your marketing. You have to reinvent your marketing approach by evaluating and re-evaluating often.
And to keep this in line with fresh thinking – ask yourself, do you have a growth mindset in marketing and business in general? If you do, then you should have no problem thinking fresh, and keeping it cool, which most likely will lead to growth!
Growth is fun. Growth takes time. Growth can be messy! It takes a village to grow anything worthy! Let us be your village! If you are considering hiring marketing help – contact our Vancouver marketing agency! We would love to set up a discovery call to see how we can help you grow.