May 11, 2016 Doug Cofer

Marketing: Where Do You Start?

Typically, when business owners and executives reach out to us, the conversation revolves around something they need. It could be a new website, new logo, SEO help or any number of projects that our team can do. They have identified an area in which they believe they are lacking and that’s why they have reached out to us. Almost always, they are right, and we are happy to lend our expertise.

However, just as consistently, the owners and executives we talk to aren’t really starting where they need to. They have jumped ahead and identified an area they feel they have an immediate need in but have forgotten to look at the bigger picture of their company’s situation.

When you are in the every day throws of running a business, it can be hard to move past the roadblocks and shortcomings you encounter. It’s the old saying of “working in the business vs working on the business”. Deadlines, orders, staff issues, unexpected problems, bills, time – they all contribute to the difficulty of analyzing the business from a holistic perspective. So, then, when someone tells them the website is messed up or they’re not coming up in Google results—that becomes the problem that needs to be solved. The conversation with our team is then focused on that, and that alone.

We are always happy to discuss the problems our clients are facing and how we can help solve them, whatever that looks like. However, we also are quick to take a step back and ask big picture questions. We do this for two reasons:

1. We want to see what the overall goals of the company are.
2. We want to ensure that the work we do for them is aligned with that.

Often, we find that the problem the client is trying to solve is a symptom of a larger issue. Pinpointing this larger issue fuels better results and a bigger impact for our clients. By figuring out the entirety of what the company is facing and what they are trying to accomplish, we can work with them to achieve strategic goals. This is the crux of why 4C exists—to help companies grow and succeed.

Here’s a recent example. A great company here in Waco, who is doing amazing things, was referred to us by one of our clients. When they called, the discussion was about redesigning their website. After speaking on the phone for a few minutes and asking a couple of questions it became clear the real discussion needed to be about what they wanted their future to look like and how they could build their brand in order to grow.

We met with them this past week for about an hour and a half which resulted in great progress and increased clarity for them in how they want to move forward with their business. We never even discussed their website. But, they have consensus on what they want the future to look like and that will help guide their marketing, which is exactly how it should be.

So, start at the beginning. Look at the big picture. Don’t be afraid to get out of the day-to-day of your business and have a real discussion about where your company is and where you want to go. Establish clear goals for your company and develop a plan for how you will get there. This will produce better results from your marketing efforts.

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