How to Build Your Marketing Muscle

Exercise Your Marketing Muscle with Engagement single silver free weightI exercise almost every day. Please don’t hate me.

People often wonder how I pull that off. Here’s how I make it work:

  • My repertoire is simple. My go-to exercise routine includes elliptical trainer rides, power walks and hot yoga classes. Occasionally I spice things up with a vigorous hike or bike ride, but 98 percent of the time my workout is one of my triumvirate.
  • I do what I like. Yes, I know I would benefit from more cross training. But I love the mindfulness of hot yoga, I enjoy being outside for power walks and I get to watch TV while on the elliptical trainer. M*A*S*H* reruns never get old for me.
  • Systems make it easy. I can sign up online for hot yoga up to a half an hour before class. I keep my iPod charged and ready to go for power walks. And the elliptical trainer is IN MY BASEMENT. No commute.
  • I show up. I mark yoga classes on my calendar and go as I would keep any appointment. Walks and elliptical trainer workouts go on my to-do list at the beginning of the day.

When I wake up in the morning, it’s not a question of IF I will exercise. It’s which exercise I will choose. I don’t rethink my decision.

Over time I’ve gotten stronger, increased my flexibility, built my stamina and improved my balance.

Like the benefits of exercise, your marketing strength and effectiveness come not from one-time mega efforts but from small daily activities that accumulate brand awareness and trust over time.

Set Yourself Up for Marketing Success

When you think of marketing, the strong temptation is to go for big hits like advertising or some other blanket-the-audience measure. It’s easy to feel like quantity reach is the goal.

But quality counts too. Keeping your brand top-of-mind and relevant happens in one-on-one interactions more often than you think.

The same four guidelines that support exercise routine success lay the groundwork for good marketing practices.

Choose a simple repertoire of marketing that works for your brand by defining your audience well and then selecting the media and tactics that reach them.

Filter the list of marketing tactics that reach your audience to play to your strengths. Catalog your preferred modes of interaction and social media habits, and those of your employees. If you enjoy one-on-one interactions more than working a tradeshow floor, include more of the former. If you are already on Facebook and much of your audience is there, choose Facebook as one of your social media.

Set up systems to make your marketing easy.  Scheduling appointments on your calendar, setting reminder tasks, creating templates and bookmarking webpages smooth the way for you to market your brand regularly.

Show up every day and engage your audience in some manner.

I cannot emphasize this enough: show up and engage your audience every day.

Your Marketing Muscle Comes from Your Relationships

In the end what builds brands and grows revenue is relationships. People don’t buy from brands, they buy from people.

Understanding your audience and connecting with them regularly is the most important thing you can do to bolster your marketing. Here are 10 things to choose from for your daily marketing efforts:

  1. Meet a customer or prospect or vendor or new connection for coffee.
  2. Listen to or take a shift on your customer service line.
  3. Handwrite a thank you note to a customer or vendor or someone who helped you.
  4. Call a customer or connection just to check in. Email is good too, but phone calls stand out more in today’s screen-driven world.
  5. Visit a retailer to see your how your product is displayed and to observe shoppers as they consider it.
  6. Ask your retail partners their observations of how your product is selling and what you could do to improve it.
  7. Respond to an online review.
  8. Engage on social media by commenting on a post or an update or by posting something yourself.
  9. Send a birthday card to a business connection.
  10. Congratulate someone in your audience on an accomplishment. Checking social media and/or setting up Google alerts on key contacts can highlight these occasions for you.

Every one of these 10 marketing efforts costs little, delivers a personal experience, and builds your brand in the mind of the person you engage. Many of them help you learn more about your audience and how they perceive your brand.

Marketing Muscles Strengthen Via Frequent Use

Though you may only engage one person at a time in these interactions, like a slow but continuous drip to a bucket, your efforts will accumulate. They will ultimately result in significant brand building and marketing impact.

And like exercising regularly, you’ll begin to see your marketing muscle emerge after a few weeks of daily use.

Over time, you’ll likely see tangible evidence of business that came from your efforts. The customer who received your birthday card and decided that day to reorder. The gratitude from your congratulations call that turns into a “hey, while I have you on the phone…”.

Like exercise or any habit, marketing daily gets easier once you get used to it. To set yourself up for success plan your marketing activities in advance so that all you have to do on any given day is show up.

Speaking of showing up, I have a date with my elliptical trainer now.

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4 Responses to How to Build Your Marketing Muscle

  1. Kris says:

    What a great article. So much of what you list above it all in the vein of relationship building – which I believe is at the heart of marketing. You need to connect, and build that emotional relationship with customers, or at least those customers you want to keep and create a loyal following with. (Sure you’ll have the one-off purchases, the customers you keep are those you’ve exceeded expectations with, provide solutions beyond just what one specific product’s benefits, and with whom you’ve expressed an authentic interest in knowing better.

    Another great post Evelyn. And you know you got me at my heart with the thank you note! 😉

    • Evelyn Starr says:

      So glad you enjoyed the post Kris! Yes, relationship building is indeed the heart of marketing. And I’m a huge fan of (and sender of) thank you notes too.

  2. Jill Ebstein says:

    Awesome post. Simple but true. Fancy not required. Steady relationship building wins the day. Thanks!

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