I'm often baffled how so many business people perceive marketing. Contrary to popular belief or lack of understanding, marketing will not be successful if your approach to it is a one hit wonder, sporadic or spatter gun like. Getting the attention of your potential customers, and keeping it, is an art that takes commitment.

Marketing is everything that you must do to develop relationships with members of your target audience. The clue is in the word 'relationship'. You cannot develop successful relationships without effort and time.

The one hit wonder approach typically involves those people who believe the website they have just built or the advert they have placed is the key to their marketing success. They honestly believe it should result in a long line of potential customers forming an orderly queue. There is no consistent effort in this approach so it will not result in much.

The sporadic marketeer is the business owner who understands the potential value of marketing. However, as is typical, they are juggling many balls and inevitably some drop. This person is usually so busy that they may not even notice they've dropped the ball until weeks or months have passed. Over time they do a bit of this and a bit of that but their marketing effort is never enough to make an impact.

The splatter gun approach to marketing is often taken up by people desperate to do the best for their beloved business. There is no shortage of information and just one Google search on 'marketing' will throw up a gazillion theories, approaches and actions from the gurus of the day. There are far too many marketing 'actions' you can do in a mind boggling range of combinations to be able to do them all effectively. Successful marketing involves working out key areas of focus.

So, if you want your marketing efforts to be more successful and you recognise yourself in any of the above then it's time to admit that things have to change. Even me! I still recognise parts of the sporadic marketer in me, simply because it's a massive challenge doing everything necessary to run your business.

In all areas of business working out your goals together with a plan of action is key. Outsourcing is another tip. Many business owners will get immediate help with accounts but sadly, marketing is one of those areas that people believe they can DIY. That is sad because marketing should be the priority. Without sales you have no business. Without leads you have no sales. Without marketing you have no leads.

So, work with a marketeer to develop a usable marketing plan. Partner with them to ensure you deliver effective marketing messages consistently enough to develop quality relationships with potential customers, existing customers, suppliers and potential partners. It's a commitment that you'll need some help with and that if delivered, will result in rich rewards.

AuthorSara Drawwater