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Part 2: To Do or Not To Do: The Marketing Dilemma among Entrepreneurs

Special thanks to MAD Incubator’s business coach and fellow entrepreneur, Jeanisha Wan, as this post follows up with the discussion about the Do and Don’t Do for marketing and promotional practices used by fellow entrepreneurs.

Marketing is About Following the Latest, Hottest Thing or Not!

Next, the business owner also shared with me that he had eagerly jumped onto the latest bandwagon of social media. He thought that if there were so many people doing so, then it must be right and he should follow suit. However, many months later and regardless of what he posted on his company’s Facebook page, there was no increase in sales or ‘likes’ for that matter. He wondered why.

While social media does have its strengths, it also has its setbacks. A Facebook page constantly needed to be updated with the latest posts as it would be very obvious when the last update was done. A Facebook page that was updated a year ago would probably tell us that there is something not ‘so happening’ with the company and turn people away. But constantly updating the Facebook page would require dedicated attention. Is that something small businesses with so few resources could or should do?

I have also seen many small businesses that have a Facebook page but not a corporate website! Well, maybe they do not need one if they are selling food and clothing in a night market. But not if they are selling a RM50,000 software.  I explained to the business owner that social media is precisely what it is – a social networking tool. A Facebook page that has just 18 ‘likes’ and is passively waiting for more, is definitely not going to automatically help increase sales.

So is there a right way to marketing? Should small business do marketing or can they afford to do marketing at all? The answer is yes. Unbeknownst to many, marketing is not that complex after all. Here are 3 simple steps:

  1. Come up with a marketing plan. A marketing plan is not merely a list of to-do marketing activities for the year. It should be a strategic plan that ties back marketing activities to the corporate goals. Corporate goals should be more than just a sales target and it has to be realistic! Remember, fail to plan equals plan to fail.
  2. Getting into the customers’ head and environment. Marketing is not marketing if we are not seeing things from the customers’ point of view or understanding their buying behaviour, pains and challenges. Are we offering them something they really need? And if yes, are we making it easy for them to buy? Forget the 4 Ps, embrace the 4Cs (if you want to know more about the 4Cs, drop me a note).
  3. Focus on the strategy and execution of the plan equals success. I have seen many (particularly SME) companies start well in their marketing strategy, and then go off course to follow the latest shiny thing. Or some who had a great plan but no execution. Of course, the strategy can be fine-tuned as we go along but without focus, we will be shooting everywhere and missing the target. Without execution, nothing happens.

 ###Special Thanks to MAD Incubator and Jeanisha Wan from J1 Consulting for sharing this article with the readers on ###

Business coach, Jeanish Wan is one of the featured speakers and coaches for MAD Incubator’s flagship event Bizstart in its nationwide roadshows. Jeanisha Wan is the Managing Director of J1 Consulting, a Marketing Consultancy company. She loves coming up with unconventional marketing ideas and her favourite questions are always “Why?” and “Why not?” You can email her at [email protected] or check out MAD Incubators’ Bizstart event below;