by Amy Vercruysse | Featured Contributor
Recently I went through the challenge of moving to a new place in my adopted home town of Austin. Everyone can relate to the pain of moving, from shopping for the perfect new place to packing and purging to logistics and scheduling. It will all be worth it if you can just weather the hassle. One sure-fire way to make the transition a smoother one is to hire a moving company with a proven track record who know what they are doing, have the team to get it done in a reasonable time frame, and don’t let you down by up-charging or breaking your valuables.
I made the mistake of hiring novices for my move. I should have known better. Life has taught me more than once that you get what you pay for. But I let my desire to shave a few dollars off my moving costs override that wisdom, and the results speak for themselves. Instead of the estimated eight hours, the move took TWO DAYS, with the first day ending well after midnight. These folks, who normally provide cleaning services, are nice people with the best of intentions. But moving others is not what they specialize in, and that’s what I needed. Specialists.
Have you ever opted to use a novice instead of a professional and then come to regret it?
Has your expertise ever been passed up in favor of a novice with a noticeably negative outcome?
The need to utilize experienced professionals versus novices can be applied to virtually any role in any business. Small business owners wisely employ the services of accountants, sales people, web designers, support staff, and on and on. And a qualified, experienced marketing professional should always be part of your team, for the same reason. S/he will be a specialist who understands not just the principles of marketing, but how to best apply those principles to your specific niche in order to increase your bottom line.
The savviest business leaders know that even in tough times – especially in tough times – effective marketing can be the key to generating more business. And the savvy marketer knows how to stretch dollars, to negotiate added value, to identify budget-friendly solutions, implement them and maintain them.
There can be a disconnect between entrepreneurs and marketers, because it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint a direct correlation between a specific marketing piece or campaign and resultant revenue. This is the elusive holy grail of all marketing, a solution to the ROI (Return On Investment) measurement question. The good news is that a lot of marketing channels and campaigns can be measured and optimized very well.
But it’s critical to understand that marketing is about more than just revenue: it establishes awareness of you and/or your brand (increasingly interchangeable in this hyper-connected day and age), it aligns your brand with a targeted community (demographic), it describes your story and how you solve problems, it gives your brand personality that your customers and potential customers can relate to. Marketing is as much about relationship-building as anything else, and is done in a wide variety of ways, or channels. The right professional for you is the one who ‘gets’ your business and your customers and who knows how to reach them using a variety of channels to create multiple ‘touch points’ for maximum ROI.
This article from Inc. Magazine has additional great advice and tips to help get you started.
Amy Vercruysse is principal at Combo Platter, an Austin, Texas-based expert in B-to-C marketing and advertising specializing in services for entertainment and small businesses. She is a staunch believer in the power of robust, creative marketing to increase business and will coach you on effective strategies for practically any budget. Amy also loves to do other types of marketing including social media, promotions, and event marketing. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering, and has done so for causes such as animal and endangered species conservation, musicians’ health, and the arts. A native Texan, she came up with the name Combo Platter because it reflects her love of all things music, marketing, festivals and Tex-Mex.