Don’t try to raise your profile. Here’s why ‘raising your profile’ is a waste of time
For goodness sake don’t let me hear you talk about ‘profile raising’, because in my view this means scattering around information, willy-nilly, in a clueless way. It also indicates to me that you don’t have a marketing strategy. It tells me that you haven’t got a clue about your competitive advantage, and it says you don’t know who your most suitable customers are. That’s why you just do some general advertising, get some free pens made with your company’s name on it, or write your business name on the side of your car in the hope that somebody somewhere will see it and magically become a customer. It’s aimless and hopeless. It ain’t big and it ain’t clever! Rant over.
Instead, be focused.
George was an architect who needed more clients. He spent a lot of money promoting his business in a general way, ie not focused on any particular customer. For example he bought promotional pens and gave them out at random, he commissioned umbrellas emblazoned with his company logo and he had the name of his company written on the side of his car. His neighbours noticed but no new clients did. I asked him if he would pay a commission to an agent to win him a lucrative contract with an ideal customer. He agreed that he certainly would. So I suggested that instead of spending money on promotional gimmicks he invested the cash in a targeted approach to this ideal customer. He took my advice and won a contract.
Not all customers are good customers. Identify your ideal customers and use your limited resources making quality approaches to fewer targets. Focus. Don’t overlook your existing and past customers in the excitement of the chase. And how do you know who your ideal customers are? Well, to be clear about that, you need to do some thinking. Think about your position in the marketplace, your competitors, how you can outmanoeuvre your rivals using your competitive advantage. Find customers who want what you can uniquely offer. In other words, you need to focus on strategic marketing. So stop being busy, stop trying to please everybody. Sit down and start thinking.
– Profile raising is a euphemism for unfocused, general marketing communications, undertaken because the business hasn’t identified precise markets to target more effectively.
What to do next
– If you find yourself or a colleague suggesting activities to ‘raise your profile’, ask the question: With which precise customers does our marketing strategy tell us it would be profitable to have a higher profile? If there is no answer to this question it’s probably because you don’t have a marketing strategy. So devise one.
– Promise yourself to always communicate with specific target customers, not the general market.
This is an extract from David’s marketing book ‘Chase One Rabbit: Strategic Marketing for Business Success. 63 Tips, Techniques and Tales for Creative Entrepreneurs’.
Read this and 62 more inspiring and practical marketing techniques on your smartphone by downloading this strategic marketing book as an eBook. It is also available as a paperback and as an Audiobook. This highly-acclaimed marketing book is also available in Spanish and French.