Most small business owners realize that some marketing is essential to drive business. This is especially true in the business to business world, since you generally don't have a consumer looking for the product you are selling due to a manufacturer creating demand. If you sell business services, technology, or business consumables, you have competitors - sometimes many of them - who all offer something similar to what you have.
The mistake that many owners make is believing they can effectively impact results when they write a check for a marketing program. "Okay," they think, "we got our name out there." Not all marketing programs are created equal, however - direct mail, email, or other advertising campaigns aren't nearly as effective as the time intensive principle/owner/executive (POE) time. The networking you do at the rotary club, the influencers you meet with. The clients you take to lunch. These things are time intensive, but they're impact events that will drive business for you - business that you will likely have little price competition for.
It isn't just about how much money you're spending on marketing, it's about how much POE time you are spending on marketing. Remember the difference the next time you sit down to do a quarterly review or annual plan.
Leave me a comment - tell me your experiences or, if you disagree, tell me why!