The idea of developing a unique approach to each company’s marketing is not new. This is how every large business handles its marketing. After all, if the same approach worked for every business, all of the Fortune 500 companies could simply buy that solution and fire their marketing departments.
A custom marketing plan is meant to help you get the most out of your investment in marketing—whether of time, money, or effort. It is formed based on a business’s specific goals, challenges, and resources available. That plan can then refined using data and results that get collected along the way
When a large company hires a marketing agency, that marketing agency develops a custom approach for the company that is tailored to the specific needs of their client. The problem with trying to use this model for local businesses is that local businesses can’t afford to pay an army of people to do their marketing. This has pushed marketing companies to develop cookie-cutter tools and products that they have been selling to local businesses. The problem is that local business marketing is not a one-size-fits-all approach
There are many benefits to having a custom marketing plan, but the first step toward reaping those benefits is to choose to go with a custom marketing plan in the first place. The alternative to a custom marketing plan is to use a generic “cookie-cutter” model, which is all too often available through many marketing agencies. Here at ThriveHive, we’re allergic to cookie-cutter marketing plans, and here’s why:
While it would be much easier to just treat all businesses the same and sell a product with a single approach, we think the answer is to treat each local business differently. Local businesses are all as unique as their owners and the most effective approach to their marketing is also unique.
The reason why marketing companies that sell cookie-cutter approaches stay in business is because an approach only needs to work on average for a marketing company to succeed. If it works well enough for 5 out of 10 businesses and those customers are enough to cover the costs of the marketing company, then the marketing company has a business. The problem arises for the local business owners who are on the losing side of that equation. For local businesses, relatively small amounts of money can be the difference between staying open or not, and being on the less fortunate side of the average result can be disastrous.
By definition, cookie-cutter approaches to local marketing are not optimized for you. Even within the same industry, what works for your competitor across town may be completely ineffective for you. Cookie-cutter approaches may have you doing something that won’t work, or may be missing something that would be far more effective. Small changes can make huge differences in results, and a custom marketing plan helps to ensure you find those nuances.
Local business marketing used to be relatively straightforward: get a great location, advertise in the Yellow Pages, possibly do some direct mail or local newspaper advertising, and you had all of your bases covered. Today, that isn’t the situation. The number of digital marketing options for local businesses is completely overwhelming and only growing.
A marketing plan won’t exactly tell you which options to choose, but it will keep you on track with trying a channel out correctly and consistently enough to know whether it not it works.
If local business owners had money to spare, excess time, and enough customers, then it would be okay to learn marketing from trial and error. But then again, you wouldn’t need to be experimenting with marketing if you already had those things—because either your marketing would be working or your business was just magically growing itself.
Local business owners don’t have time to research all of the available options before finding the right ones, nor can they afford to spend time and money on an approach that doesn’t work. In order to optimize a local business’ marketing, the approach has to be tailored to the exact business. Use a custom marketing plan to come up with a plan that meets your specific needs.