Like every great relationship, sometimes your company and its marketing need a little space. The phrase “we need a little breathing room” can send chills down a romantic partner’s spine, but when it comes to marketing, space isn’t only helpful – it’s essential.
I see a situation frequently in small businesses – an entrepreneur gets too caught up in their product or service, and the marketing of it. As a result they fail to step back and think about what marketing makes sense from the market’s perspective given the stage of evolution of the company. They lose sight of what needs to be done to allow the business to bloom.
Stepping back is an important but difficult act for entrepreneurs. It’s hard when you’re an entrepreneur to look rationally at your company and its market to figure out what investment of time and money makes the most sense. But stepping back to get that view is vital to defining the right marketing for every stage of a small business’s growth.
The other kind of space that marketing needs is the space of visibility and accountability. Marketing is a function that is so intertwined with other functions in B2B companies – especially sales – that it can feel next to impossible to separate it out. But marketing does need to be looked at independently so it can be reasonably measured.
How to do this? Time away from your business is always the first step. If all you do 18-hours a day is focus on your business, chances are you’ll have very little perspective. The second step is to seek outside perspective – ideally you have an experienced trusted advisor that you can bounce your marketing ideas off of. And the third step is to identify 3 or 4 metrics that can gauge the success of your marketing. It can’t be revenues as that is a function of marketing plus sales. But length of time on your website, number of attendees at a webinar and number of downloads of a whitepaper are all good ways to measure your marketing.