This week’s post addresses marketing, an often misunderstood aspect of starting and running a business. Marketing is not a euphemism for sales. Marketing’s primary role is to engage in activities that make sales more efficient and shorten the sales cycle. In reality, building a business is like waging a war, in that “you either make bullets or you shoot them.” Every other activity plays a supporting role to these functions, without exception. In business, building a product or service is the equivalent of making bullets in war. Selling is the equivalent of shooting bullets in war.
Every other task in business supports either building the product or service or selling it. If sales uses the “rifle approach,” marketing adopts the shotgun. Marketing should generate the leads that are put in front of the sales force. In the best bootstrapped companies, marketing always supports sales, not the other way around.
Once again, as with all bootstrapping activities, your goal is to execute the marketing plan for as little outlay as possible. When comparing the various marketing options open to you, the first question should be: What is the cost of generating each qualified lead? The second question should be: How can I source 100 to 200 superior leads with the marketing options available to me?
How have sales and marketing activities in your business helped to shape your company’s success?