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Marketing is a Long-Term Relationship

Many small businesses fail to realize that marketing takes time. Essentially, marketing is like building a long-term relationship—rather than a one-night stand!

If you market your products or services to prospective clients one time and then quit, you’re not building relationships, you’re not thinking long-term. By sending your marketing message out once and expecting results, you’re marketing yourself via one-night stands.

Building a relationship with prospects is like building a relationship with someone you want to date (and possibly marry). You must get to know them and they must get to know you. It takes time, it takes repetition.

It's not showing up one time and saying, “You don’t know me, I don’t know you, but let’s get married.” You would fail miserably if you did that, yet that's what too many freelance designers do with prospects and clients.

When you send out one marketing piece, one time, you say to prospects, “You don’t know me, I don’t know you, but give me your business.”

No wonder it fails.

Repetition Is Key

One of the fundamental ingredients of successful marketing is repetition. Repetition will enable you to build long-term relationships with prospects. Marketing over and over, again and again is also how successful businesses maintain long-term relationships with their clients. And it's how small companies build the income and business of their dreams.

To market your business for the long haul, think in terms of frequency. How many times will a prospect need to see your message before deciding to buy? How much repetition is enough?

According to research, prospects need to see your message at least nine times before deciding to use your services. It might take eleven, it might take thirteen, it may even take thirty times. But the point is, it takes more than one or even a couple of exposures to your message for prospects to take action.

Most business owners grossly underestimate the number of times they need to send out direct mail, sales letters, or flyers. A lot of them send their mailing out once and expect results, and if they don’t get them, they throw their hands up and think, “Marketing doesn’t work.”

Well, they’re half-right: Marketing one time or just a few times doesn’t work. Marketing over the long term does.

Your prospective clients are way too busy and way too distracted to remember much of anything after seeing it just once. This is true for me and you, too!

No matter how memorable or sensational you think your message is, no matter how kick butt your product or services are, no matter how many awards you have won, you should still plan to market as frequently as you can.

Start by planning your marketing activities for at least six months, bare minimum. Twelve months would be even better. This means planning ahead to send your message out to the same list of prospects at least once a month for a minimum of six months.

But if you’re marketing to prospects that have never heard of you or your business, you’ll need six to twelve months to build a relationship with them -- possibly even longer. We need to banish the one-night stands!

You may be able to market to your house list (current and past clients who know you) slightly less frequently, but repetition is the only way to maintain the relationships you’ve worked hard to establish.

Imagine if the only times you talked to your friends or loved ones was when you needed to borrow money. That’s how a lot of businesses treat their clients and prospects, and it is no way to build and establish a relationship.

Marketing designed to build relationships isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t come for free, either. You must stay committed if you want to succeed, and the commitment involves investing both time and money. There is no other way to successfully market your business than by building and maintaining relationships through repetition.

If you want your business to succeed, you must find a way to afford it, and you must make the effort to plan ahead and commit to the long haul. It’s just like building a relationship with a significant other: Commitment and building the relationship over time yields fruitful results and success.

Give us a call (513) 251-2911 and ask how we can help you get started on a marketing plan that will get you results.

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Contact Info

Kahny Inc.
4766 River Road
Cincinnati, OH 45233

Phone: (513) 251-2911
Fax: (513) 251-7004
Hours: Monday thru Friday 8am to 5pm.
Evening and weekend hours by appointment.