To maximize value, you need a method of ...
Your marketing decisions—from formulating a plan to choosing who will help you to put the plan into action—should be based on value. Value is measured by the results: how effectively your goals are met in exchange for your investment.
Results from marketing efforts can be relatively easy to gauge, for an overall marketing program and from individual marketing actions. A breeding farm client has made 85% of its horse sales directly from its website. In most cases, the website pre-sold the horse to the buyer before they even talked with the owner! Results like those are indisputable proof of effective marketing.
Another client's website brought her a free horse: a valuable, young, imported mare to add to her breeding operation. The owner did not have time to market the mare and contacted my client out of the blue to offer the mare for free. My delighted client asked why he chose to make the offer to her out of all of the other breeders, and the owner said "Your website." Because her website portrayed her as a knowledgable, deserving breeder that would provide his horse with the right opportunities.
There is yet another measurement: recognition as a leader within your field. Someone just paid a fantastic compliment to one of my clients and I am genuinely delighted for her. It also provides a great example of gauging the value of your marketing by how effective it is in helping to achieve multiple objectives.
Heather Buttrum owns Sovereign Farm in Arizona, where she breeds horses and stands a stallion. She is my favorite kind of client because she always wants to learn more, and puts what she learns into practice. I have been working with Heather on her marketing for a couple of years now. I have helped her with her stallion video, her website, print ads, and other materials. We consult regularly, and I really enjoy talking with her about how to develop her business.
Heather has a lot of goals for her marketing. Of course she wants to sell horses and book breedings to her stallion, typical objectives of farm marketing. She also wants to promote Trakehners, the European breed of horse that she raises. Like many breeders, Heather has another—non-financial—stake in her farm. Her horses and her program are points of pride. She strives to produce the best horses of their breed and type.
Heather receives a lot of great feedback from clients and prospective clients, confirming for her that she is doing all the right things in her marketing to achieve her objectives.
But this compliment that I am referring to, posted on an internet forum, is of a different sort. It was given by one of her peers and competitors, a long-established Trakehner breeder with a considerable reputation in that field. There is no greater validation of your business' position within its industry than the acknowledgement of competitors and other experts:
You are very quickly earning the reputation of being one of the best breeders of Trakehner horses in North America.
I'll pause here for a moment to say Congratulations, Heather, on your accomplishment! I am proud to have you as a client and thank you for your trust in helping Sovereign Farm reach the top of its field.
When you are deciding who will help market your business, learn as much as you can about each of your options. Compare them side by side, not only by price but by the value each firm offers.
To make your decision, consider all of YOUR goals and choose ...