Ask an entrepreneur the following question: “What is the biggest hurdle you’re facing in your business?”
I can almost guarantee you the answer. Consistently, entrepreneurs feel that marketing is the key to their success. After meeting hundreds of entrepreneurs, the question we are most commonly asked is, “How do I get the word out?” Everybody wants to know the secret to marketing.
So here’s the bad news: There is no secret. There is no foolproof recipe for marketing. Success in marketing your business comes from trying new things, measuring results, tweaking existing ideas, asking questions, networking, and forging relationships.
Here’s the good news: You can do it. Working with the assumption that you’ve got a solid business idea, anyone can successfully market their own business. Basically, you’ve just got to keep throwing the spaghetti against the wall until something sticks. Then, keep doing that until it doesn’t work anymore.
Let me give you an example with Admiral Road. We’ve been in business for 11 years now and we have tried many, MANY ways to market the business. For us, PR has been very successful, and historically, getting one of our products into print has been a driver of sales. So, for a long time, getting into magazines was our marketing focus. However, in recent years, online publications have diluted the power of print. So what to do? We could cry into our blankies about bygone days, or we could change.
Last Spring we decided to send blankets to some of our favourite TV babies. They’re fictional, but they get national exposure, just like the print magazines we used to pursue. This season, Nora Braverman of the smash NBC series Parenthood can be seen enjoying her personalized Admiral Road blanket on a regular basis. We got product exposure to millions of viewers and it didn’t cost us a thing! As we discussed in our post about ambush marketing
, sometimes you just need to get a little bit creative. When you step outside your box, there is no limit to what you can dream up.