- THE MAGAZINE
When most cleaners think about marketing and especially “innovation,” they’re focused on the next “strategy” or tool rather than taking an overall look at their marketing approach. Here’s an easy way to organize your marketing thoughts that will result in better results. I’ve gone over the five “M’s” in the past, but they are certainly worth revisiting again. These five M’s are:
- Money: What is your sales goal and how much are you going to invest in marketing?
- Mission: What is the experience you’re delivering?
- Market: Who wants that experience?
- Message: What’s the message that resonates with them?
- Methods: What systems and strategies will you implement to accomplish the goal?
The First M: Money
The first thing you want to have in your plan is a goal. For now, we will focus only on the sales and profit goals. Determine what your sales goal is for the next 12 months. If you have history, go back to see how much you did last year. Are you on a growth path? Are sales declining? What significant changes are taking place that can change those numbers?
Once you have your annual sales goal, break it down by the month, by the week, by the day and by the hour. My brother owns a McDonald’s and his profit is determined by how the staff cost is managed by the hour. If you don’t have daily or hourly transactions, then break your sales goal down by the smallest measurable increment possible. If you do a few large projects per year, then determine how many projects you are going to do and what the average project amount will be. If you sell products, how many products will be sold, and at what average price point?
You will also want to break down your sales goal by profit center (or service category) and even by how much you will do in repeat business, referral business and direct sales and advertising.
To get to your sales goal, you will need to know what your profit goal is. It all starts with your net profit because that is what funds your life goal. Remember the one and only reason your business exists is to be a vehicle to help you achieve your life goals. If the financial spoke on the “Wheel of Life” is suffering, then everything else in your life will suffer. A business without a profit is just a hobby!
I don’t know about you, but being broke and in debt isn’t any fun. To top it off, working 24/7 to be broke and in debt is even worse! If you’re going to be broke, you might as well stay home. At least you could enjoy yourself while you are going broke!
The wonderful thing about being a business owner is that you can plan what you want your profit to be. None of us know what challenges life can bring us, but we would also be fools to build something without a plan. So, we plan and we work the plan the best that we possibly can. The amazing thing is that when you plan and stay focused, many times it works!
So, determine what you want your profit to be. Then you will have to determine your cost of doing business. Also determine how much you are willing to invest in marketing. This should be in your 12-month cash flow budget. Decide in advance what you are going to invest. This will keep you from becoming a victim of the advertising wolves in sheep’s clothing. They have an irresistible offer that you are absolutely convinced will work (although it hasn’t been proven).
A marketing investment amount that includes exactly how much you will invest in each system, strategy and ad will keep you focused rather than reacting to circumstances. Far too often marketing is done in purely an opportunistic manner rather than a focused plan.
Another thing I have learned from the countless surveys we have taken from small business owners we coach is that there isn’t nearly enough invested in marketing. When you see the puny line item called marketing on an income statement, there’s no wonder there isn’t any business!
How much do you invest in marketing? Whatever it’s going to take to get the profit number you need. You may need to do some research on this, but once you line out the things you are going to implement, figure out how much those items will cost. To get this exactly right, you will have to go back and forth on your 12-month cash flow budget.
The Second M: Mission
In previous articles, I shared the importance of your mission. When it comes to marketing, you want to keep in mind what you are actually delivering. If you have not determined what your mission is, you should come to terms with that before planning your marketing. The reason is that it will determine who your target market is and what your marketing messages will look like.
And keep in mind that if you aren’t passionate about the mission you are on, you won’t promote it well and you won’t lead others to carry it out either.
The Third M: Market
Have you determined who your prime target niche market is? Everyone is not your customer. If you try to be everything to everyone, you won’t be anything to anyone. You must understand your target market. The more you know about them, the more successful you can be in marketing to them.
Who can benefit from the mission you are delivering? For example, my target market is small business owners who are doing over $100K and less than $5 million per year. They have been in business for over three years and they feel like a slave to their business. They are ready for a solution and probably seeking that solution. They are people who are interested in growing or getting unstuck, and they are teachable.
Of course many other people can benefit from my work. My inspirational teachings have impacted the youth of some of my clients which thrills me, and some new businesses have enough foresight to realize they need to build it right now instead of later. Network marketers who understand that they have a real business can also benefit. Large corporations can totally utilize our marketing, sales and leadership systems and have a huge impact, but we don’t intentionally target these groups because our focus would be diluted.
So, you want to start by going deep in a niche. You want to become a big fish in a small pond rather than a minnow in a huge ocean. When you are the bomb to that niche, you can have all the business you want and you can literally have people standing in line to pay you the highest prices for what you do. I know because I’ve done it more than once.
So, who is the niche market that desperately needs what you have?
The 4th M: Message
Once you determine how much money your business needs to produce, what your mission is, and who your target market is, you now want to craft a message that resonates with them.
The Fifth M: Methods
The final “M” in your plan is your phenomenal methods. What methods of marketing will you use to reach your phenomenal target market? You can have plenty of money to invest, a powerful, passionate meaningful mission, a clearly defined target market and a compelling message that sells like crazy, but if your perfect prospect never sees it, what’s it worth?
What methods will best deliver the message they need? In order to determine this, we must ask ourselves a few questions. How does your prime target market buy services? Online? Offline? Through ads, direct mail, radio, TV or the newspaper? Do they read trade magazines? Are there online forums where they hang out? Do they primarily buy through referrals? If so, who do they trust? Who has a relationship with them?
I have seen too many small business owners that have a great product or service, but they struggle because they are using the wrong media. So, understanding how your perfect target market buys is vital to choosing the right method to reach them.