Part of the guerrilla marketing mindset suggests that you should be thinking about marketing all the time. Not just quarterly, not just monthly, not just weekly, but every single day. Really, it's not as hard as it sounds--there are quite a few ways you can incorporate marketing into your daily activities.
It's often said that doing anything for 21 days in a row will eventually turn into a habit for you. And a marketing habit is a great thing for any business to have. So what I'm going to suggest is that you choose three to five things every day that are related to marketing for your business and do them at the beginning of the day before you start fighting the daily fires--and forget all about your planned tasks.
If you work on this developing a marketing habit--and the proper marketing mindset--every day, you'll soon find that you're going above and beyond your "three to five things" limit. You'll find yourself talking and thinking in terms of headlines or talking, listening and thinking in terms of your customers and prospects' benefits. And the more you think marketing, the greater the chance you'll accomplish your marketing and overall business goals.
When talking to many business owners, professionals and organizations, I find that in the beginning, they're sometimes challenged when it comes to finding three to five marketing tasks to do every, single day. Just remember, these activities don't have to be elaborate, they don't have to be long and drawn out, and they don't have to take up much time.
To get your habit started and to help with your marketing mindset, here are the types of activities you can employ each and every day before your non-marketing, daily work activities begin:
- Hand write a thank-you note to a prospect or customer
- Enter customer or prospect names into a database
- Brainstorm tagline ideas
- Visit a competitor's website
- Write an article to pitch to your local business organization
- Make a list of press release ideas
- Write a press release
- Call a newspaper and ask who the feature editor is for your area of expertise
- Compose an e-mail sales letter
- Call a few prospects or customers to get their e-mail contact information
- Develop a series of survey questions
- Brainstorm advertising concepts
- Write a pitch letter to a radio or TV station
- Get contact information from media outlets
- Plan a renaming of your products
- Work on new product development and introduction ideas
- Invite a customer or prospect to your office for coffee or to discuss new ideas
- Recognize a special prospect or customer
- Discuss a fusion marketing idea with a strategic business partner
- Visit a few marketing-related websites
- Post new information on your website
- Plan your networking calendar for the week
- Call to follow up with networking contacts
- Get price estimates for the printing and mailing of your direct-mail campaign
- Mail samples of your product to top prospects
- Brainstorm ideas for an "enter to win" contest
- Develop a coupon for your product or service
- Rewrite your phone's on-hold message script
- Write an article or other text for your newsletter
- Brainstorm new product or service ideas
- Plan a new customer service activity that will truly delight your customers
- Develop your benefit list and compare to it to your competitions'
- Develop a checklist, top-ten list or other information as a response to a marketing hook
If you're still challenged with finding the right activities for your daily, three to five tasks, break your marketing down into these general categories: Direct Mail, Networking, Publicity, Advertising, Fusion, Planning, New Products and Services, Marketing Communication Materials, and so on. Then concentrate on thinking up activities for one area at a time. No one is really counting your "three to five" things. The point is to do something related to marketing every day to help you think about marketing all the time.
Obviously some of this activities will take a longer than just a few minutes--it's OK if they consume your whole day. Although your goal to accomplish three to five things related to marketing every day, on some days, you may only get to one or two; on others days, you may get on a roll and do five to seven things. Don't get married to the numbers.
The purpose of all of this activity is to help you develop a marketing habit and to move your marketing efforts to the next step in your plan fulfillment. And even if you planned out your activities for the day, don't be surprised if at times your progress, responses and results dictate the direction of your activity--and get you moving in a different direction than what you'd planned. Generally, this is a very positive thing, and you should let the activity guide you and keep the habit going.
No matter how much or how little you accomplish, the point is to get started. Because three weeks full of nonmarketing activities quickly becomes a nonmarketing habit, and that is a sure recipe for business failure.
Al Lautenslager is an award-winning marketing and PR consultant and direct-mail promotion specialist. He's also the principle of Market For Profits, a Chicago-based marketing consulting firm. His two latest books, Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days and The Ultimate Guide to Direct Marketing are available at www.entrepreneurpress.com.