Sharpening Your Marketing Axe

It is no wonder that marketing can make or break a business. What often puzzles me is how many businesses don’t do it on a daily basis or they don’t try new approaches and take risks with their marketing to move a product or brand forward into the masses.

You can have the best idea or product on the planet, but without continual and savvy marketing, no one will ever know about it.† On the flip side, you could have the dumbest idea in the world and if marketed well, you could reach millions–and make millions.

One of the most fascinating “dumb idea” products that made it big time is the Antenna Ball, brought to fruition by Jason Wall. These nifty little balls with no other purpose than to sit on the antenna of a car are now carried in convenience stores and big-box markets around the globe. Wall is a millionaire. And not only was he very consistent when marketing, but he also tried different techniques and approaches until he made it. He continually does what I like to call sharpening his marketing axe.

There is a great illustration that explains this concept:

Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job with a timber merchant, and he got it. The pay was really good, and so were the work conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought in 18 trees, and of course his boss congratulated him. Motivated by his boss’ words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring in 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring in 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing in fewer and fewer trees.

The woodcutter thought he was losing his strength, and he went to the boss and apologized, saying that he couldn’t understand what was going on. His boss then asked, “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” Appalled by the question, the woodcutter harshly replied, “Sharpen my axe? I have no time to do that. I’ve been busy cutting trees.”

So I pose this question to you: Are you too busy chopping trees on the front line and not allocating the time needed to sharpen your marketing skills? What is that costing you and your business? Furthermore, how much time would it really take to keep your marketing axe sharp?

Here are a few tips and resources to help you sharpen your marketing axe in 15 minutes a day or less:

  1. Go to sites such as Technorati or the Tweetdeck Directory to find blogs and content links that will take you directly to marketing conversations and resources. Technorati is the hub for top blogs around the globe; you can find any blog topic you want. Tweetdeck, organized by industry or topic, has an excellent directory filled with people posting (aka tweeting) resources and how-to information.
  2. Read 15 minutes per day minimum or a set number of chapters from a marketing book. Or get out of the office and take a walk to the local bookstore, and sit on the floor in the marketing aisle browsing through books. You’ll be amazed at the marketing concepts you’ll come across in the aisle of a Barnes & Noble.
  3. Search for webinars or teleseminars online from marketing-focused sites and personalities. There are thousands of great webinars and quick-tip videos from marketing gurus, and most of them are free.

By Starr Hall

Source: Open Forum

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