Jacoby Answers Small Business Marketing 'SOS'
Art Jacoby’s business consulting firm, his “labor of love,” has led to the growth of sales for hundreds of businesses. The success of his firm, named Jacoby, makes it difficult to believe he was ever nervous walking into a networking event. But, as he writes in the introduction of Jacoby’s ‘Sales Optimizer System’ Playbook, a how-to guide on encouraging sales growth, understanding the tremendous value he provides and communicating it effectively has allowed him to grow a successful and lucrative business, a lesson he passes on to his clients.
Jacoby said the first step in understanding and communicating the value a business can provide and encouraging sales growth is to tackle the company’s marketing strategy. “Your ability to be successful selling depends heavily upon your marketing success,” Jacoby writes in the S.O.S. Sales Playbook. “All sales take place in the context of a market with an industry of competitors vying for the same customer work as you. Marketing ‘sets the table’ for sales.”
Jacoby said the first step to evaluating a marketing strategy is to first look at the products and services being offered.
“Look at your products and services and get them right. It’s not about how good you think your product is. What matters is how good your consumer thinks it is,” Jacoby said. “You can be the best sales person in the world, but if your product isn’t good, then people are going to notice that.”
Second, evaluate the message that’s being sent out.
“Why should the consumer buy from you? A lot of small businesses stumble on that. Either it’s not very exciting, or it sounds kind of ‘salesy.’ You want to come across as authentic,” he said.
Jacoby said a very important part about evaluating a marketing strategy is to make sure that the right market is being targeted.
“It might seem fairly obvious that most companies would go after the right market, but most of them don’t, especially smaller companies. Smaller companies tend to go all over the map, trying to sell to many different industries when they should be focusing on one or two,” Jacoby said. He added that it’s difficult for some companies to narrow their market because they can justify going after several markets at the same time. Jacoby said once a target market is identified it is important to determine how to communicate effectively to that market.
“First and foremost, you should use inexpensive marketing vehicles,” Jacoby said. “The best way to do this is to join membership organizations and associations. That’s probably one of the best, most inexpensive vehicles for people. There’s a reasonable chance there’s an association or two that represent the audience you’re trying to target.”
Watch the video to learn more about how joining an industry association can help you identify your target niches and spread your marketing message:
Jacoby said that if a company would like to see their sales improve, it is important to take action sooner rather than later.
“Whatever you do, whether you do it yourself or if you get help, do something. Don’t be inactive. Try different things. It might work, it might not work, but at least you tried. It’s very easy to have excuses,” he said. “The average company spends less than an hour a month on strategic thinking. People are busy solving day-to-day problems. To improve your marketing and your sales, it’s not about fixing today’s problem. It’s about taking a step back and asking yourself what you need to do better or differently.”
For more information about evaluating your marketing strategy, or about Jacoby, visit www.businessgrowthconsultant.com.