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Micro-Marketing for PS Firms

April 22, 2009

I have spent a lot of time talking to my clients recently about a concept called “micro-marketing”… a made up term with zero traction…  Give it some time!

What is micro-marketing? Highly targeted, quick-fix projects that are intended to make incremental gains at a reasonable price. Don’t get me wrong, full-service marketing firms offering large-scale rebranding campaigns and multi-disciplinary marketing programs have their place… but for entrepreneurs with limited marketing budgets, these end-to-end solutions are not always the right fit. I think sometimes micro-marketing–or marketing karate–has a better chance of delivering value at a good price. Examples of small-scale, high-impact marketing activities would include:

Implementing a 3rd party survey to swoop in after an engagement and diagnose what went right and what went wrong. This is a simple and relatively inexpensive activity–and one that few b:b firms engage in. Instead, I hear people saying things like, “My clients love my work… and if they didn’t they would tell me.” I’m suspect of someone who does not believe they can improve their service delivery. Short post-mortems will help you refine your value prop and your pitch.

Prioritize your pitches and invest accordingly. Too often I see entrepreneurs using the same pitch for every one of their prospects, when a high-value prospect deserves something more tailored. If you are pitching a professional service, your product is your intellectual capital. Show it off with some customized research targeted to that prospect’s pain points.

Send a gift. No, not a gift that you go out and buy… a gift of your smartsHave you been trying to woo a prospect for some time and feel that you are always “on the verge” without actually converting them? Why not send evidence of your style and competency. For example, if you are selling management consulting, deliver a short report or presentation to them that summarizes what’s going on in their industry and where you think their biggest challenges lie. Don’t oversell yourself when you put this piece together… just let your insights speak for themselves. Sometimes the best sales call is the one in which you deliver a gift without the strong-arm pitch.

Engage an independent SEO expert to conduct an audit. For entrepreneurs, any conversation about marketing analytics, web site conversion rates and SEO causes their eyes to glaze over… in part because they just don’t understand all the acronyms and concepts. It pays to hire a 3rd party to give you a primer and review current activities with your web marketing vendors. Tell this 3rd party advisor that you will hire them to conduct this audit on a cyclical basis, but will not hire them for any additional services (to ensure they are not critical of your current program only to win your business). Web design and optimization is a big chunk of many entrepreneurs’ budgets… it pays to ensure your vendors are not exploiting your lack of knowledge.


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