“I know I have to get my marketing right, but to be honest, it just feels like throwing the dice”
Fellow business owners, is this your experience of marketing investments in your small business?
There is a huge gulf between the theory we all understand as owners – that customers have to find out about our business and get interested in talking to us somehow. Versus the sense that the money, we spend on marketing actually “works” to that end.
It’s why we fall back on selling. At least a salesperson can report back on having phone calls or meetings, can tell you what prospects said, and of course, we can measure the business won at the year-end.
Yes, we know that marketing should help our sales team work more effectively. It should make our/their task easier. It should provide warm leads. It should create a brand image that plays a role in converting meetings into sales.
But somehow the theory feels like it stays just that – a theory. Fuzzy. Unproven. Risky.
It’s a huge topic. Much was discussed on LinkedIn. So, when I started SenseCheck I thought it would be sensible to focus on just one tangible part of the problem ( a problem I was only too aware of from my own business) and figure out a way to solve that cost-efficiently. To tackle one dimension of the “marketing uncertainty conundrum”. And that is about the confidence that our message is at least to some extent working. That what we are communicating in our marketing does indeed have the potential to persuade its recipient. After all, if we fail at that point, little else of what we hope for can happen.
Indeed one might argue this is a foundational issue. It’s not too hard to get your message “out”, after all. In today’s web-based world there is a myriad of communication opportunities. Expensive and not so expensive. But if your message and marketing idea don’t cut the mustard then the media toolkit is sort of irrelevant.
Furthermore, SenseCheck digs one layer down into the messaging problem. Your options for marketing messages are near infinite, the ideas and options seem endless. So, this picking the right idea isn’t easy. And the reality is that the creator of the message (and owner of the product) is in a really bad place to judge it. The worst place, in fact. Don’t feel I am insulting your judgment. Even Benny Anderson of ABBA, surely one of the world’s greatest songwriters said “I honestly have no idea if the next song is going to be a hit or not, I lie awake worrying”. For business owners and marketers, our problem is a little more prosaic. Because we know in great detail what we are trying to say, ie we know all about how good our service is, then, of course, we ourselves read that clearly in our marketing. What we can’t do is see that marketing idea through the eyes of the outside world seeing it (and us) for the very first time. What does it say to a new prospect who has never come across our business? Frankly, we can’t know. Without help. A second opinion.
So, in SenseCheck, the idea is to tackle one element of the wider marketing worry we in small businesses have, and to create a low-cost way to deal with this one important underlying problem. We get you external, objective, anonymous feedback on your marketing from a panel of vetted fellow business people. They act as a proxy for the fresh eyes of your specific prospects.
And you can then join the panel yourself to benefit from free testing! A virtuous loop of self-help and improvement.
A way to dial down that constant worry about how hard your marketing money is working for you.
CEO of ShopperIntelligence
Founder of SenseCheck