Focus on Core Activities, Outsource the Rest
I agree with the conventional wisdom that people working in small businesses need to focus on core activities that bring in customers, generate revenue, and improve both your products and your operational effectiveness.
Where I disagree with some is in my belief that Marketing, and specifically Inbound Marketing IS a core competency best done in house.
Inbound Marketing IS Core
Having a great product or great services is not enough. The world must know about you. The activities whereby business achieve this are called marketing. While certain aspects of marketing can and should be outsourced, and external advisers can provide valuable perspectives, overall marketing is key and the responsibility for marketing must stay with a member of the team.
As Inbound Marketing is the single most effective form of marketing ever developed, it is by default a core competency your business needs to embrace.
Inbound Marketing is best done in house.
Writing can be outsourced, but not responsibilities for finding the companies voice, tone, and messages.
We’re Too Busy With Product Development
This is one of those “If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard…..” statements. It occurred most recently about an hour ago. During a talk on the phone with a Public Relations consultant, I was told that most of the startups she works with are too busy to get serious about marketing. They’re still working on product development.
I understand the importance of having a product or service that is compelling, but the best product doesn’t sell when very few know it exists.
Rather than think “We’re too busy to take on Inbound Marketing”, rephrase it to “We’re too busy to be working to attract high quality prospects and customers”.
Gives it an entirely different flavor, does it not?
Can any business truly be too busy to work on attracting high quality prospects and customers?
If you believe the answer is no, you owe it to yourself to take a long hard look at what Inbound Marketing can do you for you and your business.
If You Might Pivot Anyway, Sooner is Better
In Silicon Valley we have the greatest way of saying “Oops. We’re off target. Let’s adjust.”. The word is “pivot”. A pivot is when a business changes their focus in response to having learned new things.
Pivoting is common. Some very large established companies have pivoted several times during the life of the company. Did you know Nokia started by making paper? This was in 1865. They entered telecommunications in 1960.
When you come to realize your business must adjust to take advantage of what I’ll call “The Realities of the Market”, you do it.
Inbound Marketing will help you.
As you promote your product through Inbound Marketing, you’ll interact with prospects and customers, both on your website and elsewhere. Through these interactions you’ll learn things. You’ll also learn things by going through your website Analytics. You’ll be able to easily determine what stories are articles resonate with your website visitors the strongest, and what parts of the country and world have the greatest interest in your products and services.
Inbound Marketing helps you know when to pivot and what to pivot to.
Learn More About Inbound Marketing…SEO Needs Link Building