It is interesting that entrepreneurs can be both very busy, stressed and hardworking on the one hand, and on the other be relaxed in how they manage customer relationships. They are essentially operationally driven, but customer casual. They don’t know what their customers think. They don’t know where else their customers shop. They don’t know if their customers are really happy or not. In fact many don’t even know who their customers really are! They just know that a sale has happened.

It is this internal obsession, and external casualness that stops businesses from reaching their full potential and it is for this very reason – this commercial reason – that marketing as a business function exists.

Marketing aims to bring the outside in, and by doing so, allow your business to offer a better product and communicate it in more compelling ways. The result should be business growth that you would not achieve if you were merely internally focused.

It is surprising just how casual many business owners are about their marketing. They are quick to review the income statement but have no idea how many people have visited their websites over the last month. It is one of the most profound shifts in entrepreneurship over the last decade, that marketing has become more measurable and more accessible to smaller companies, yet few use this to their advantage.

In the same way that a good entrepreneur knows the finances of his business and keeps a close eye on them,  a good entrepreneur should know his marketing numbers and review them carefully.

So how does one move from casual to being serious about marketing? It boils down to being able to answer four simple questions: What marketing are you doing? Why are you doing it? How are you measuring it? And once you have feedback from those measurements, how are you adapting your marketing strategy to drive growth?

If you do not have answers to these questions, your business is almost certainly not growing like it should. Don’t be casual about your marketing!