Like it or not, every moment--literally every interaction during every single day is a marketing message you and your employees are putting out to the world. In today's day and age, you will be judged, reviewed, critiqued and even blogged about--so you better make sure those messages are strong!
I have spoken to many business owners recently who feel that marketing is simply some creative pieces out in the world aimed at just driving leads. "Bringing people into the store" I have heard used many times. While yes, direct response or even subliminal brand advertising is aimed at bringing the buyer to the lot, there is so much more involved these days in getting that person to buy.
Playing out the analogy:
> When the shopper walks into your store-How are they greeted? Is it standard, inviting, friendly? Even worse is it not even monitored at all?
> When the shopper reads your website, your PR, your collateral materials that you send out, does it accurately reflect the service promise that you hope for from your company?
> When the shopper engages your salespeople are you certain they are being professional, courteous, responsive, interactive, proactive etc...?
> When a shopper sees your logo, your business card, your web presence, your office space--Does it properly reflect your company's image?
You see there are many things to consider when trying to put an effective marketing plan in place. You cannot just "drive leads" and then not back it up with a very impressive "in store" experience. Provide a better user experience and you will capture more clients, be able to make more per transaction ( Believe it or not, people pay more for perceived value-Think Apple, Starbucks, JetBlue etc...) and will grow your business like never before.
Gone are the days of successful selling in this industry by having only a firm handshake and a winning smile. Your company must sell itself in many ways all day long, otherwise you risk losing the shopper to the store up the street.