Marketing for the Little Business

This week we will be talking about how to market your small business. We will discuss Guerilla Marketing, Traditional Marketing, Content Marketing and how to do it all on little or no budget. One truth I have found in marketing is that when you spend less money you have to spend more time, it’s a tradeoff. When you feel you shouldn’t spend money on marketing your business ask yourself what your own time is worth. It might be more expensive in the long run not to hire someone. Of course, you can learn to do it all yourself, just make sure that’s the best thing for your business.

“Don_t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing.” - Mike Volpe

 

Marketing Trends you will see the rest of 2018

Continuing with our topic of hot marketing trends here are 6 you will see through the rest of 2018. Not every business has to stay on top of every market trend but every business should be aware of what they are so they can take advantage if the timing and opportunity are right.

6 Hot Marketing Trends (1)

What’s Hot and What’s Not in Marketing?

Marketing trends change all the time and it can be hard to keep up with which techniques are outdated and which are the hot new thing. As I tell all of my clients, good marketing never changes just the delivery so keep providing good content, good information, and a good product and you will have clients that are looking for you. That being said, we will look at the hot trends through the week and find new ways to reach your clients. Here is a quick list to get us started.

Marketing - 6 Hottest Marketing Trends to watch

How Many Types of Marketing are There?

So far I have found 52 distinct types of marketing with only a little crossover between them. Of course, some of them work together like Email Marketing and Content Marketing. They can be used at the same time and for the same purpose. The next two days I will post an infographic with the main broad categories of marketing as I see them. Concentrating less on delivery types and more on content.

Marketing - DifferentTypes of Marketing

What to do When Your Team Can’t Make a Decision

Dictator-by-default syndrome is where a team can’t reach a decision and the business leader has to make a choice that usually few in the group like. This has been framed as a leadership failing, a teamwork failing or both. Companies try to combat it with teambuilding, assertiveness training and other methods that miss the problem. It’s not the people, it’s the process.

“Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.” -- Bria

Asking the Impossible

It is nearly impossible for a group of 3 or more people to reach a consensus on an issue with 3 or more issues through traditional methods (voting, debate, etc.)

Acknowledging the Problem

To circumvent the dictator-by-default syndrome, CEOs and their teams must first understand the conditions that give rise to it.

The majority of executive teams function like a legislature. Each member represents a certain section of the corporate population. It is difficult for them to separate out functions and work on the problem at hand without their primary job influencing it.

The voting paradox also plays into the problem. With multiple choices and multiple people, you can end up with circular decisions and no real consensus. Even framed as a binary choice, implied choices pop up. For example, buy or not to buy has the implied third option of buying something else.

The use of the business case, which forces decisions into a yes-or-no frame-work, is a tacit admission that groups are not good at discussing and prioritizing multiple options

Managing the Impossible

Once CEOs and their teams understand why they have trouble making decisions, they can adopt some straightforward tactics to minimize potential dysfunction.

Articulate clearly what outcome you are seeking. Executives need clearly stated goal. There should be no assumptions and no guesswork. IF everyone doesn’t understand the problem you are set up for the dictator-by-default scenario. Don’t assume, ask.

Provide a range of options for achieving outcomes. Once the problem is clearly stated, break up the simplistic options. You shouldn’t have 3 or 4 choices, it should be a range. Inviting participants to think of alternatives and other options. As long as the problem is stated correctly, you can have good results.

Test fences and walls. When teams are invited to think about options, they almost immediately focus on what they can’t do – especially at the divisional level, where they may feel hemmed in by corporate policies, real or imagined

Often the entire team not only assumes that a constraint is real but also shies away when the discussion comes anywhere near it. When team members cite a presumed boundary, my colleagues and I encourage them to ask whether it’s a wall, which can’t be moved, or a fence, which can

Surface preferences early. Get a feel for where the team is initially. Non-binding votes are a great way to get a feel for where the team is at decision wise. Narrow down the decision-making field by learning what people are thinking. If no one is even considering an option, take it off the table as you work through the other options.

By the third and final round of the exercise, this weighted voting had helped them narrow their discussion to a handful of businesses and channels, and genuine alignment began to develop among team members.

State each option’s pros and cons.

Make sure all sides of an argument are being discussed. Use a devil’s advocate to fully explore the how and why. The devil’s advocate can bring to light problems you need to discuss further or reasons to abandon a line of thought altogether. If the idea stands up to the devil’s advocate then it will better stand up to scrutiny higher in the corporation.

Devise new options that preserve the best features of existing ones. Despite a team’s best efforts, executives can still find themselves at an impasse. Teams should continue to reframe their options in ways that preserve their original intent, be it a higher return on net assets or greater growth.

Two Essential Ground Rules

If teams are to avoid the dictator-by-default scenario they must adhere to these two rules.

Deliberate confidentially. A secure climate for the conversation is essential to allow team members to float trial balloons and cut deals.

Deliberate over an appropriate time frame. All too often the agendas for strategy off-sites contain items like “China market strategy,” with 45 minutes allotted for the decision.

Leadership and communication exercises have their merits. A team can’t make effective decisions if its members don’t trust one another or if they fail to listen to one another. The problem I see most often, however, is one that simply cannot be fixed with the psychological tools so often touted in management literature. If executives employ the tactics described here, which are designed to fi x the decision-making process, they will have far greater success in achieving real alignment.”

Teamwork – Staying Coordinated

Teamwork is important but with our ever-expanding world teams can be spread over thousands of miles. More likely they are spread over a couple hundred but the effect is the same, a lack of face to face meetings. Having the right tools will help a team collaborate even with distance between them. Nothing replaces a little face time but with these tools, you can come close.

Team - 6 tools to help your teams collaborate

Teamwork – The Essentials

You can’t just throw some people in a room, label them a team and expect results. Teams are built over time and need experience working together. When a team is first formed it will work slower and less efficiently than if you just assigned individual tasks to get the same work done. The advantage of a team comes as they gain the experience of being a team. Eventually, they are more efficient and will generate ideas that no single person could on their own. Is it worth it? Not always. You need to weigh the pros and cons of teamwork to decide. If it’s a small business and there isn’t much choice then you need to get the team to gel as quickly as possible to minimize the disruption that happens as a team comes together. Here are the essential ingredients in getting a team to work together.

Team - 6 Essentials for a productive team