One very important aspect of marketing most often neglected or even ignored by businesses is what makes them stand out from the competition.
Businesses rarely stop and think on this most important aspect of conducting their marketing efforts. Why is this?
The most obvious reason is they are too busy working in their operation to sit up and take note of what is going on around them. They are making money, they are making sales and looking after their customers, but they sometimes don’t have a clue about how they are able to be in business over the fact that customers are buying things off them.
You can learn a lot from history. You can learn even more from military history. This is especially true when you consider the parallels with business.
Darius the Persian king was beaten by Alexander not by brute force. Indeed reports are that he faced an army six time bigger than his own. So how did he do it? Obviously history going back over a thousand years will be ‘woolly’ to say the least, however one theory for his success on the day was that he focused his formation of infantry to his front to chant “Kill Darius” over and over, before battle commenced.
He rode past the formation himself to give the direct order to keep shouting out this key objective. The roar was so loud that the Persians heard it. No doubt word reached Darius himself as the battle started and these troops, full of fervour, and more important with a specific definite mission to accomplish, moved forward against the opposing force.
It’s funny isn’t it but the difference between success and failure is a very thin line? Sometimes it is incredibly thin indeed. In business this can be of immensely important. It can be the difference between being in and continuing to trade, or being wiped out and closed down.
The most important thing in business is most often misunderstood completely. Many say it is the customer. Others will say the staff are the most important. For others it is the quality of the product. The fact is all these things a ‘given’. They are assumed to be in place even before the doors of business open.
I’ve studied this hard over a long time. It occurs to me and is now obvious business only grows by a process. Profound, I know!
But the real issue is most businesses don’t have a process for their marketing. This is the difference. They will have detailed processes for practically everything else. The one thing they don’t have in place is one for just how the new business is going to come through their door.
This was brought home to me just the other night. On the news they had a clip about a manufacturing company in the midlands I think it was. This company had been around a long time. It had just had to close a pretty big manufacturing or engineering plant. The owner was shown standing in this vast but empty building. It was stripped of all its machinery and equipment and was eerily silent. They then interviewed the laid off long serving staff. It really was a very sad sight.