How do you get ten, or a hundred, or a thousand relevant people to hear about your product or service, this week? That’s the question, isn’t it? In fact, that’s the question every week.

There are obvious ways. An advert over the radio during drive time will quickly achieve it. But that’s too expensive. So the real question is actually a little more nuanced: how to achieve your target at the lowest possible cost?

But achieving the lowest cost may require you or your staff to manually call people one by one, write emails, or drive around town from one networking event to the next. But is this the best use of resources?

So it becomes a question of creating awareness at the right cost, and for the least amount of effort to you. It is a fine balance, and the smaller your business, the more delicate the situation.

As a small business myself I am increasingly aware that the biggest challenge I have is not to make a sale, but to create awareness and to do it super efficiently.

This is why marketing is an analytical exercise, before it is a creative one. It is a numbers game first and foremost. Do you know your numbers? How many people must hear of you this week, and at what cost to you? How many of them will convert to a sale, over what period of time?

Marketing as a business tool is essentially an exercise in efficiencies. You can make 10 sales calls, or place one ad. The more potent your marketing message, the more efficient your sales efforts. Marketing is not a first degree business tool, like Accounting or Operations, or even a second degree one, like Sales and HR, but a third degree one. It is a distant thought aimed at streamlining your business and gearing it for refined performance. It is the turbocharger in your engine – but it is certainly not the engine!

So how do you get from A to B in your business? Do you even know how far you should travel, this week, to get to your destination? Maybe you need to add a turbo to your engine to speed things up!

PS: I’m doing some market research into the return on investment (ROI) that SMEs get from marketing and would appreciate it if you can quickly complete this 2 minute questionnaire (I’ll send you a copy of the results). B