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ast month’s article was on

the most foundational part of

your marketing, your brand. Your

brand is everything, and without

it, there is no reason to market

your business. Marketing without

purposely creating a brand is a

waste of time, money and effort.

Your brand is that important.

Promotional products are

a huge part of the marketing

conversation. Promotional

items build brands. They

inspire brands. They make

brands memorable. Yet, so

many promotional products

distributors and suppliers don’t

think of their business as their

brand. And, as a result, industry

businesses get lost in the shuffle.

Your brand is your reason to

market. It is the essence of your

business. It’s who you are, what

you do and how you serve. It sets

you apart in your competitive

marketplace. Whether you

manufacture, decorate or sell

some of the 700,000 promotional

items available in our industry, a

strong brand will make or break

your business.

If you didn’t read the article

on branding in the December

issue, I encourage you to go back

and look it over. Good branding

is the first step to developing

results-oriented marketing. And,

every business needs marketing.

Why? What makes marketing so

important? Marketing starts the

conversation! It moves people

through their own decision-

making process to get to “yes!”

It builds visibility, authority and

trust. You need marketing to

create a thriving business.

If you don’t want to feel

like you’re always selling and

pushing your product, marketing

helps bring people to you—

qualified people, people who

are ready to say “yes” before you

even make the offer.

More importantly, if you

don’t want to feel like an order

taker or that you are always

competing on price, you need

to make marketing a priority

because the right positioning

(developed during the branding

process) makes you a unique and

different solution to your ideal

client’s business challenge. They

need you!

Build a brand and you will

build a business. It’s that simple.

But without marketing, no one

will know who you are.

First Steps First

Where do you start? You start

with a marketing plan. Benjamin

Franklin said, “If you fail to plan,

you are planning to fail.” And,

he was right. Planning organizes

your thinking so you can focus,

structure and prioritize. Planning

gets you one step closer to action

because it helps you see what is

possible, and create a series of

steps to make something happen.

What are the critical elements

of an effective marketing plan?

What will help you create a

roadmap you can use? Make sure

your plan includes the following:

A measurable goal

. What do

you want to achieve with your

business? How are you going to

measure your results? Where is

your business now? Answering

these questions is the first step.

Marketing is a people mover. You

want to move people through

their own decision-making

process to choose you. So, why

are they choosing you? Where

do you want them to go? Where

are they now? Knowing these

Smart Marketing

Why Do

Businesses Need

Marketing? It Starts

The Conversation

With Clients.


Abigail Tiefenthaler

Third in a

five-part series