Bennett column: Plan your visit with the marketing doctor |

Bennett column: Plan your visit with the marketing doctor

Michael Bennett and a cactus

As a businessperson, can you afford to invest in advertising and marketing without first having a strong strategy that clearly identifies your specific audience as well as your goals?

The obvious answer is “no,” but many business owners and managers are already so busy that it’s a challenge to find time to focus on advertising, marketing or promotion. So the question becomes: How and where to begin?

One option is to pay an advertising agency. Another is a strong local media professional to provide agency-like services without the fee. Both are viable. But more important than cost is finding that talent that will provide dedicated service to your business.

As a multimedia expert, I constantly coach team members that their objective is to understand the needs of our clients, not to simply sell our products. Once there is a clear understanding of the client’s needs, then a plan can be built that provides solid, customized marketing solutions. You deserve that level of service from anyone who calls himself or herself your marketing partner.

Once there is a clear understanding of the client’s needs, then a plan can be built that provides solid, customized marketing solutions.

The first step is a needs analysis based on a snapshot of your business today with an eye on how you would like to see your business positioned in the future.

A customer-needs analysis is sort of like going to the marketing doctor at least once or twice a year to get a check-up. Like your body, your business changes as it advances through its life stages, as do the available marketing platforms.

Sales Development Services conducted a survey of small- to medium-sized businesses to find the top attributes that are important to them in a media-advertising seller.

Here are the top five:

1. Someone who knows my company and line of business (64 percent)

2. Someone who knows my customers (51 percent)

3. Someone who delivers what he/she promises (50 percent)

4. Someone who knows his/her product (47 percent)

5. Someone who is professional in conduct and appearance (37 percent)

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If you are not working with someone who possesses these attributes, are you not being short-changed? Each advertising and marketing product serves a purpose in a strong, integrated program. Because most of us can’t afford to invest in all of the products out there, it is important you have a custom media marketing solution that makes sense for your specific business and its goals.

When you look at the purchase funnel of your business you must determine how you want to market. What stage(s) are important to your business at any particular moment? Are you trying to create:

• Awareness?

• Familiarity?

• Consideration?

• Purchases?

• Loyalty?

When you buy any marketing, advertising or promotion, you deserve and should expect phenomenal service throughout the entire execution of the program, from the beginning concept to the analysis at the end of the promotion.

Michael Bennett, the immediate past publisher/advertising director for the Post Independent, is a digital business development manager with Colorado Mountain News Media.

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