Editor’s Note: Britt Carter is the senior vice president and general manager of Fleishman-Hillard North Carolina. Carter brings 10 years of public relations and brand development experience for clients in the pharmaceutical, consumer package goods, financial services, travel and tourism, and non-profit sectors. Carter has launched new brands, repositioned existing brands and provided a full spectrum of communications counsel to his clients, always with a focus on building brand equity, reaching key constituencies directly and maximizing budgets. This column is the latest in the Entrepreneurial Spirit series done in partnership between the Council for Entrepreneurial Development and WRAL Local Tech Wire.
RALEIGH, N.C. — As you stand on the exhibit floor of the annual (insert awkward acronym of your industry association here) tradeshow and conference, the place is abuzz with flash and fanfare and, frankly, a lot of wasted cash. Many, even most, of those companies are spending their marketing budgets inefficiently. For younger companies, the risk of misspending marketing money is great, and the consequences can be catastrophic.
As you begin building your business, you know that you need certain things to succeed: a solid product offering, effective sales program, dedicated staff, and strong management. You also need a good marketing strategy. Great! What does that mean?
Young companies represent ripe opportunities for those in the “stuff” business: logo-ed stress balls and travel mugs and laptop cases and tailgate items (I did see a branded “ride-on” motorized cooler that’s pretty cool), brochures and direct mail pieces of every ilk, tradeshow booths, web sites, as well as agencies that can do everything.
It’s natural to want everything. This is your company, after all. You’re proud of it. You have formed a team of smart people who are ready to change an industry or create a new one. You have an awesome logo. Before you start swiping the corporate card, however, take a moment to consider the things you really need, rather than what you want.
All companies, regardless of size, need a solid strategy before launching a marketing program. Here are 5 fundamentals of marketing success to consider:
As your company changes and grows, so will your marketing needs. Make sure you’re being as smart about your marketing as you are about your R&D, P&L and business strategy. And when your marketing momentum is where it should be, treat yourself to a ride-on cooler emblazoned with your very cool logo.