Marketing Should Always Be in the Front Seat

Many small businesses always place marketing in the back seat if not the trunk. They become so absorbed with earning sales (closing deals) to delivering their promises that marketing becomes quite unimportant.  This is a big mistake, a really big, mistake!




May I add a gigantic mistake?

Small businesses that achieve sustainable business growth understand that the front seat is reserved for marketing.  Unless other people from their ideal customer to their target markets know about them, their companies and their solutions, they will have far greater difficulty earning the sale. These clueless business people will remain pocket poor.

Part of the reason the first phase of the sales process is relegated to the back seat is because there is no strategic plan.  The word plan as a verb is a four letter dirty word to many small business owners. To quote President Eisenhower “Plans (noun) are worthless; planning (verb) is everything.”

Many small businesses fail out of the gate because they have not invested the time to:

  • Understand the basic business planning schematic
  • Recognize the basic foundation and business philosophy for their small business
  • Clarity and commit their vision and values to writing
  • Conduct both external assessment and internal appraisal
  • Craft a mission statement
  • Identify critical goal categories or critical success factors

All of these actions must be taken first before any marketing plan can be efficiently and effectively developed.

Then the sales plan follows the marketing plan instead of what usually happens is sales takes the front seat. And stays in the front seat until there is no dollars coming in and by then it is usually too late.

Of course there are plenty of advertising to public relation (PR) to even creative design firms that say they can write a marketing plan.  If you are sure they can, before you sign that usually expensive contract, ask to see their strategic plan.  If the items as noted above are not clearly visible, these folks have jumped the gun. Their recommendations are more about their own pocket book than yours.

The ability to write a strategic plan begins with the right tools and the right experience.  Those who can assist you such as business coaches to business consultants in this endeavor truly do not have skin in the game respective to where you put your “attraction” dollars.  Their goal is for you to achieve sustainable business growth because your results is what drives new business for them.

Just remember, to continual to attract attention and build relationships must be 24/7.  When your small business becomes extra busy, then it is even more critical to continue with attracting attention.  Unfortunately,this is when those who are behind the flow stop marketing. Usually what happens is a lot of catch up and wasted dollars. Technology helps to automate some of these marketing messages through social media.

So if your sales are in the front seat, now is the time to kick sales to the back seat and put your marketing up front and close to you as the driver, leader, for your small business.  If you disagree, then why as research suggests 20 to 60% of the buying decision has already been made before you even make a sales call?  That decision has been based upon the marketing efforts of your competitors and hopefully even yourself.

* * * * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.


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2 Responses to “Marketing Should Always Be in the Front Seat”

  • I’d rather marketing was in the back seat. Difficult to watch the audience reaction, if they are sitting behind you.

  • Pete – That is one perspective. What usually happens for small businesses is they forget about marketing and become so focused on selling and delivering the sale they end up without any sales leads in the marketing funnel.

    Leanne Hoagland-Smith

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