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Why do so many business ventures fail while others make it to the end zone, and keep winning year after year?
According to research by Entrepreneur, lack of marketing knowledge and ‘poor marketing’ is one of the top reasons that startups fail. At least 3 out of 5 of the reasons Forbes gives for 80% of businesses failing can all be tied back to their marketing. Capital One data shows 76% of small business owners reporting that they face marketing challenges.
There are plenty of great small business success stories. In fact, it has never been easier to launch a startup, get funded, and scale to levels never possible before.
Award-winning marketing firm THINKZILLA has plenty of these success stories to report. THINKZILLA has worked with B.E.T., the University of Phoenix, the Checkered Flag Run Foundation, Bishop T.D. Jakes Destiny Empowerment Book Tour, and J.I.V.E. Juice Company, as well as the launch of the Super Bowl 51 Comedy Bowl Explosion and BLINK FILM in 2018.
What can these successes and those like these, as well as their contrasts with those that didn’t make it teach us about marketing that enables businesses to get off the ground, survive and thrive?
The Importance of a Marketing Plan
THINKZILLA founder and CEO Velma Trayham reveals that the firm began the work for the 2019 Super Bowl 52 Super Bowl Festival at least a year in advance. Having a plan empowers organizations and entrepreneurs to get the budget right, maximize exposure and make the details great. That pays far bigger returns than trying to wing something at the last minute. Every solo entrepreneur, startup venture and large corporation should know what they are doing for marketing for the next 12 months and have a good idea of what they are going to do to build on that and add to the mix over the next 1 to 3 years.
One of the real business killers is failing to market consistently. That can apply to going all in with a big launch, and failing to follow up. As well as just randomly working in spurts because entrepreneurs just allow themselves to be caught up in and bogged down in unnecessary busy work. Others just let their marketing become bland and watered down to ‘protect’ what they’ve built, but forget that being fresh and on the edge is what resulted in their success in the first place. You cannot deflate your marketing and branding game just because you think you’ve ‘made it’. If that was true we’d never see any ads from Nike, Microsoft or McDonalds. Craig Murphy, consultant and former Commercial Director of one of the largest homebuilders in the UK, says that when things get tough, the last thing you can afford is to stop marketing either. In fact, it is in those moments that you will either be growing and soaking up market share, or being eaten up, be losing even more ground and get run right back into your own locker room. Marketing and branding is something which should be happening every single day, no matter what your revenues or the market looks like. If you aren’t marketing, you aren’t in business. At least not for long.
Don’t Just Sell, Add Value
You do have to make sales and should make calls to action. However, focusing on giving value and solving problems for others, instead of for yourself or your bank account can make all the difference. Just don’t completely put the financial blinders on, or you can go bankrupt fast.
Where this really shows up is when focusing on the success of each client. Versus just trying to go big and broad and then running out of money. Most ventures don’t have Uber or Zillow size funds which they can throw away on burned clients or marketing losses every month.
Velma Trayham says “We are blessed to have very high level connections and press outlets for our clients, but as a young business or entrepreneur you will best succeed by focusing on the quality of each client experience versus volume of prospects and short-term sales. Then by leveraging each of those successes and new ambassadors for your brand, the volume will take care of itself.”
For example; isn’t it better to get 100 new people into your church and blow them away with an amazing experience this weekend, so they each bring 2 more people next week, and those guests bring 2 within the next month, than to draw 1,000 who aren’t a good fit and the experience is a bust, no one comes back, and they discourage others from checking you out for the next 5 years?
That doesn’t mean limiting yourself to 100 customers this week. The concept still works at 10,000 initial customers. As the Harvard Business Review puts it – the number one flaw in many enterprises is that they just can’t support fast growth. Know your capacity, and take on as much as you can, without jeopardizing the client experience.
It’s amazing what you can achieve when you shoot for it. Woman entrepreneur Velma Trayham certainly exemplifies this in many ways. Though you are unlikely to get super-sized results unless you actually go for them. You are probably aren’t going to get picked up for a reality TV show unless you apply, or get yourself listed in the Inc. 5000 unless you stand up and submit an application. Don’t expect to get national press or have a household brand name, or even a brand well known in your city, unless you go out to create it. Consider that the vast majority of professional athletes aren’t just discovered in some far out there little town. Nor are musicians. They go where the recruiters and scouts are, they compete, and they play like they are going for gold every day.
Think, Connect and Live in Abundance
THINKZILLA has had its clients featured on CNN, Bloomberg Business, the Wall Street Journal, Oprah’s Life You Want Tour, and itself has been nominated for several notable awards. Yet, Velma remains a humble and accessible helping hand and guide to those looking to change their lives, communities, launch new brands and take their businesses to the next level. In Atlanta Velma runs a monthly Women’s Mastermind group that is building new female leaders, helping new women entrepreneurs create successful brands, and create jobs while doing it the Kingdom way.
Find out how to join the Atlanta Business Women’s Mastermind via Meetup, and connect with Velma on Instagram to find out more about the big super bowl event, and how you can attend or have your brand participate. Or contact ITSTHINKZILLA.com.