Five Reflections From Starting My Own Marketing Firm
Jennifer J. Lopez, Founder and CEO of Valley Innovators, Principal at Persimmon Marketing
I started Persimmon Marketing almost four years ago with the goal to help small and medium businesses enhance their brand while driving awareness and leads for their solutions. I’m proud to have worked with twelve companies -- from high tech to eldercare -- with their marketing strategy and tactical execution. After some recent reflection, I’d like to share a few lessons learned to help others that are looking to optimize their marketing efforts.
Walk before you run – Solutions that fulfill buyer needs are why companies are established. Often a marketing person will be brought in to help promote the company/ initiative once it’s complete with the hopes of immediate growth and brand awareness. It’s important to ensure that a proper foundation and messaging are established before rushing into multiple deliverables. Integrated marketing programs that are thorough take time. There should be immediate successes but the overall goals can take months to achieve.
Create a consistent message across channels - The most common mistake is the lack of mention of what they are selling. Whether on a corporate website or in sales collateral, it’s really common for a business to jump right into to their story or what they feel makes them different with no mention of what they are actually selling. With any type of written marketing material it’s really important to ensure the basics are covered. The five W’s are an easy way to ensure you are hitting the points needed.
Develop concise marketing materials - If a potential buyer is visiting your website without prior knowledge of your value proposition, they expect to quickly find answers on your site or reading your marketing materials. If material is dense and lengthy the visitor is likely to leave. In general keep it short and break up the text with bullet points and images.
Leverage experiential marketing to build relationships through events- Many companies jump both feet into their event without taking a step back to assess all of the area’s they can positively affect. A smaller event can have a single goal but a larger marque event should have lasting effects on multiple areas of the company. In general these events should have three main strategies that are integrated into the event -
1. Industry/ Company strategy – Marque events are a great opportunity for a company to showcase how they are the leader in an industry.
2. New product/ initiatives - Most marque events have a substantial number of attendees that are current clients/ members of the organization. This is an optimal time to announce the development of new products and initiatives. Always include company stake-holders in the strategy of a marque event.
3. Revenue - Sales enablement should stretch further that providing resources for preset meetings at the event. They should begin the event registration phase of the planning. Through surveys, session spotlights, and email campaigns a prospects pain points should narrowed down, giving the sales team more information. Loosing site of revenue means loosing site of your job.
A well-run marque event should make a profit (after year three of being run properly) and help support the generation of revenue in other business units.
· Have a communication strategy – Event execution really begins with proper planning. Once the event starts there isn’t much turning back.
· Communication – Communications shouldn’t end with driving attendance. Various forms of communication should be established to help prepare and excite the attendee for the event. Basics like what to expect are important
· Details – Details cement the post event memories of everyone who attends the event. Adding small things to ensure attendee’s and vendors makes a conference truly different.