Mark Zweig in a recent newsletter takes a shot at sloppy business practices of business owners. He says some owners take far too much out of the business and bleed it dry, and they “take their people for granted.”
The second point, however, is right on topic here so I’ll quote him directly:
The owners don’t do any marketing. There are many reasons for this. They don’t believe it really works, don’t have time, and don’t value anything but architecture or engineering. They think the marketing budget should be tied to revenue, and that it should decline if revenue declines. No matter what it is, there’s no real marketing expenditures or activities. Sure, they’ll call their friend in a client organization if they think it will help win a job, but that’s not the kind of marketing I’m talking about. I’m talking about branding and positioning, doing unique research and publishing it, using direct mail, email, PR, and social media, creating original communications and sharing them with a very targeted audience. Most companies do none of this! Then they sit around and talk about how “word of mouth” is their most effective marketing. No one can give you word of mouth if they don’t try you in the first place!
It’s a simple message. The question you need to answer is how close in the spectrum of marketing practices are you to Zweig’s observations. If you come up with a match, you know that there are some major changes to make.