Do Entrepreneurs Need a Degree in Marketing to Succeed?
In today's business world, lack of marketing knowledge can seriously impact business. Marketing is a fluid subject today; it is evolving and innovating at every turn. Staying ahead of the marketing game seems like the last thing many entrepreneurs get around to doing, but it is vital if one plans to expand past the make break point.
How does the CEO of a company who's still trapped in the endless cycle of looking for the next sale take time out to market? Many business owners feel the pressure to make sure their business turns a profit, their customers are well serviced and their employees productive and happy – which begs the question, “Who has the time to learn about direct mail marketing, email marketing, Search Engine Optimization, advertising and publicity campaigns? Let alone how to use them effectively?”
Joy Gendusa, CEO of direct mail postcard marketing firm PostcardMania, gives tips for unburdening the entrepreneur in his/her quest for marketing lore.
- Get educated but on the proper level. Go to Barnes and Noble or Borders and peruse the marketing section. Buy a few books on marketing subjects and segments where you are unfamiliar, but make sure it's not geared toward an experienced marketer or you will only decide that it's all too complex. â€¢ Another is to attend marketing seminars
- Look at the marketing tactics of one's competition – subscribe to their online newsletter, get on their mailing/email list. Often times, great marketing innovations can come from improving what your competitor is already doing.
An interesting statistic that came from a survey of entrepreneurs from various industries nationwide was that nearly 94% did not have a marketing plan and did not feel it was important. (Ironically, they were surveyed at a marketing conference!) Consequently, 99% of the attendees surveyed after the conference realized the importance of having a marketing plan and incorporating not just one, but several different avenues of promotion for their businesses. Education being the only change.
Gendusa believes there are certain marketing fundamentals that once grappled with, will enable one to make an informed decision based of the needs for one's particular business/industry – no matter the new-fangled marketing approach. In fact, even though Gendusa is the Founder of a direct mail postcard marketing firm, she claims that in today's market, only one form of promotion can be deadly. One source of leads can severely hurt income when that source is not performing well; it's better to be supplemented by other channels of promotion.
She was recently quoted in Broker magazine expounding on this very principle alleging that direct mail should be an integral part of every internet marketing campaign. Gendusa also suggested other forms of marketing, not just direct mail, as being essential in disseminating one's website, such as news releases; business cards and letterhead; TV advertising and even telemarketing scripts.
“There's no one silver-marketing bullet,” stated Gendusa. “I don't only use postcards to market. Sure, postcards were my number one staple for my first three years in business but I heavily use the internet, publicity, and email now, as well.”
Entrepreneur Mike Burton of Slade Mortgage, Cape Cod, Massachusetts agrees. He claims that keeping up with marketing trends is ongoing. “Do it [marketing] in good times and bad,” said Burton, “don't stop when business is bad, kick it up more.” Mike has been utilizing direct mail marketing for four years and says that by mailing 6000 direct mail postcards out consistently every month, he has seen tangible returns income-wise. Branding-wise, in his local community, people comment all the time about receiving his mail. His other sources of advertising are: local radio advertising, internet advertising and the yellow pages. He believes that each form of marketing buoys the other one and helps to create creditability.
In her quest to help entrepreneurs, Gendusa teamed with her good friend Marsha Friedman, to launch marketing boot camps to enlighten business owners on the constant advancement in the marketing industry and assist them to learn, apply and use it to their advantage. Friedman is the CEO of the national Publicity and Advertising agency, Event Management Services, Inc.
Large corporations to small, new to ancient, one-man-band to one-thousand staff – marketing paves the way to greater economic expansion. It pays to know. The pay-off is growth.