Most small business owners are wondering “How do I improve my marketing? How do I make it more effective and actually get better results?”
It’s important to remember, as a small business owner, creating great marketing doesn’t just happen. It’s a compilation of consistent effort over time and the cultivation of certain skill sets. Regardless of whether you outsource your marketing to a competent team of vendors or employees, the following skill sets will greatly enhance your company’s marketing results:
Marketing has one primary role, to effectively communicate a company’s proposition to the greater marketplace. Though this seems like an easy task, effective communication is more difficult than it seems. So, when you are trying to communicate your company’s proposition to a group of people, it is critical that you understand how people like to be communicated with.
Though English is the primary language here in the United States, the majority of people communicate very differently. Here at Grow Disrupt, we both use and teach the DISC Communication Style. DISC identifies individuals with varying scores in the “D”, “I”, “S”, and “C” arenas based on how they communicate and want to be communicated with.
That being said, if your company’s marketing is designed to effectively communicate with high “D’s”, then you will attract high “D’s”. If your company wants to attract “C’s” or an “S’s”, then the marketing message can be adjusted to attract a different style of communicator. When you speak your customer’s language, it’s easier for them to decide to trust you & take action!
Note: The DISC Communication Style is just one way to measure communication styles. There are many communication style assessments to choose from. Whichever assessment style you use, ensure it has a strong scientific background or you may find yourself with a faulty tool that doesn’t produce results consistently.
Psychology goes hand in hand with communication style. But where communication style will answer, “How do people want to be communicated with?” Psychology will answer, “Why do people do what they do?”
To execute successful marketing, psychology is a skill set that you must develop. Designing a marketing campaign that engages your ideal client at a core level, taps into what they want most, and gives them the appropriate call to action will set you apart.
To get started, I recommend reading the book Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Cialdini.
Resiliency is more of a competency rather than a skill set, but regardless it is crucial, and something you can develop! Honestly, there is no plug and play marketing campaign that works across the board. In order to find a successful campaign, it requires trying and testing various content and strategies. The key word there is “trying”. When trying anything, there are always attempts that will be successful and attempts that will fail. A smart marketer can mitigate the failures to minimize the impact, but not every social media post you create will be a home-run. Even after posting and only getting 2 Likes (one from your Mom and one from your significant other), you have to evaluate the outcome, focus on what works and eliminate what does not work.
Resiliency plays a significant role in this. If you are the kind of person who does not have a resilient spirit and does not understand that failure is just a step in the process, you are going to hit a wall with marketing. Trying and failing is a part of marketing, therefore, you are required to try and fail.
Public Speaking Skills
Though not every single marketing campaign will require you to make a keynote address, “public speaking” in the form of talking with team members, clients, and potential prospects is required. Back to the fact that marketing’s sole purpose is to communicate a company’s proposition to the greater marketplace, you need to be able to keep people’s attention long enough to transmit your message.
To do this, you have to learn the power of edu-tainment! This is the mix of educating while entertaining based on the principle that, “As long as listeners are entertained or engaged, they will retain information.” In addition to entertaining, in order to transmit the information, you must be able to do so succinctly.
There is no greater test of your ability to Edu-Tain than to stand on stage and receive immediate feedback from an audience of individuals who are either engaged or yawning to help hone this skill!
When it comes to branding, many small business owners think their branding is complete once their logo is finished, colors are picked, and fonts are chosen. Unfortunately, that is just the tip of the iceberg, and in order to really market your brand, you must have an intimate understanding of the core characteristics of your brand. If you do not, most brands start falling apart.
To fully understand the characteristics of your company, I suggest creating an info sheet for your company as though it were a character in a fictional novel. Answer the following questions (and more) to fully understand the characteristics of your company’s brand:
What do they like?
How do they dress?
How do they wear their hair?
Do they wear makeup?
What and how do they walk?
How do they move?
How do they communicate?
What do they want out of life?
Once you understand the character of your brand, it becomes easier and easier to look at a marketing opportunity and decide how to adjust the opportunity to represent your brand, or avoid it if it’s not a good opportunity to represent your brand to your marketplace!
These five skill sets are just a starting place for your marketing, but they serve as a very good foundation. This is not something that you can conquer in one master class or by reading one book! Remember, marketing is a lifelong skill that will continue to develop over time. Allow yourself to take you and your business to the next level.