Martha Spelman Is Your Business Presentable? Time for a Marketing Makeover

As kids, we were always told us to shine our shoes, comb our hair and wash our hands.

“You’ve got to look presentable!”

Repeatedly, we hear about the importance of a first impression. How judgements are rendered in less than seven seconds.

And yet, so many companies are willing to show up with a tired old brochure, a retro-without-meaning-to-be-retro logo, a raggedy business card and an out-of-date website.

What does that say about you…and your business?

If you’re meeting someone in person, are you proud to hand her your business card? If her first introduction to your company will be via the web, are you okay with your online presence? A buttoned-up presentation shows pride of ownership and says to a potential customer, “I’m ready to do an excellent job for you!”

A half-baked presentation says, “I don’t care.” “It’s not that important to me.” “I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.” Hmmm — do you think a prospect will wonder if you’ll take the same approach to his or her potential business?”

In fact, Google is now punishing businesses that haven’t attended to their business housekeeping. If your site is not designed responsively, your online listing will slide further down in search results. Google caters to customers who are researching online — Google wants the best experience for their customer — and a mobile website is key to that. Want to find out if you’re website is mobile-friendly? Take the Google Mobile-friendly test.

Here are marketing must-haves, from minimum to the max:

Bronze level:

  • Professionally-designed identity
  • Business card on quality paper stock
  • Professionally-designed, responsive website
  • Website content that succinctly communicates your branding message
  • LinkedIn personal profile and LinkedIn Company page
  • In-person networking

Silver Level – all of the above plus:

  • Business blog on website, updated consistently
  • Social Media presence, including creating, curating and publishing customer-relevant content which is uploaded to your website blog (new content = better SEO), published on LinkedIn and other platforms like Facebook Company Page, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google +
  • Speaking presentations

Gold Level – all of the above plus:

  • Email marketing: sending relevant custom content to customers and prospects
  • Syndicated content and guest blogging
  • Printed “leave-behind” collateral brochure

Platinum Level – all of the above plus:

  • Sponsored posts, page promotion on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Google Adwords, Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns
  • Event sponsorship
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program
  • Internal marketing

Remember, it’s all about the presentation. Undertaking an identity program redesign and website revamp is not inexpensive but marketing your business — by putting your best face forward — is necessary to your success. Any marketing efforts you undertake in addition to the basics will build upon that success. Makeover your marketing and your business will thank you.