This 'old' posting, Marketing,Leads, Sales and Recession, about how to allocate your time and resources on sales, lead geneation and brand development is worth rereading, esepcially if you are tempted to spend significant dollars on any marketing solution.
If you are like most people, you want a simple, fast, inexpensive (free is best) and absolutely effective solution to your marketing challenges. So, one day, you search the web and maybe land here. This blog may be the closest thing to your dream come true -- no one here is pushing a product or service, the advice is free, and you can find loads of useful links and connections for further answers.
But this blog won't solve your marketing challenges -- nor will the other, fancier sites, which invite you to submit your name and then spend some money for their answers. Nor will the advertising sales representative, or leads service telemarketer, or marketing consultant pitching seemingly foolproof wares. In fact, the easier the answer seems in the marketing materials, the less likely the you'll gain any value from the process.
Marketers, sales reps, and (gulp) con artists know how to play to your emotions, your dreams, you hopes for fast and simple answers, and they'll make things look downright easy and incredibly simple. Usually there is a catch. Sometimes you have luck, and sometimes, through your network and word of mouth recommendations (the best approach) or solid searching and research (it can work, but is harder), you find consultants and services that really help your business, at reasonable cost.
Search through contractortalk.com, for example, and you'll find several positive references to Footbridge Media for design and marketing support. This blog promotes our Ottawa consultants, Caswell Corporate Coaching Company. Google Adwords is truly a great advertising medium. Wow, I just gave three free plugs. You can also email me or phone, and receive some worthwhile ideas, hopefully, without a sales pitch. (If your business is in Ontario or North Carolina or you would like to start a regional construction publication elsewhere, you might want to do business with us, nevertheless.)
But none of these services, and nothing this blog tells you to do, will set your course straight for an immediate change and sudden improvement in your circumstances. You've got to do that yourself -- and if your situation is like most, the repair and revitalization exercise will take months, perhaps a year or two, before you see the corner turns and things really start to improve.
This can be frustrating, scary, and downright agonizing, especially if your motivation to change your marketing practices is a business crisis. You need cash now, you need results, fast, and you want to try something -- anything -- to make things right. Watch out! If you are not careful, if your wishful thinking and hopes override your common sense and caution, and a little bit of prudence, you'll be conned. You'll pay far too much for services that don't work as promised, or you'll be sent materials and information which, while valid, don't provide the quick fix you so badly need.
You can find emergency solutions; usually involving contacting previous clients, and most honorable consultants will give you some insights right away without worrying about money. But be wary if anyone makes things seem too simple, too easy, and too effective. You can move quickly with a flash of insight and understanding, but real change takes work and effort, and while you'll know pretty quickly if you are on the right track, you will still need several months to see your way to the end of the tunnel. You'll get there, though, if you persevere and change what you need to change.