Marketing is not A thing you do in business. Marketing is not a job for the wacky, zany people in marketing who spell their name with a double i. Most companies think that marketing is their advertising, Web site, and, with a bit of a stretch, maybe their logo.

The reality is that it is so much more than that. Every little thing you do in business is marketing: the way you wear your uniform (you do, of course, have a uniform—if you don’t, that is a wasted marketing opportunity), the way you do up your tie, the car you drive, the way you answer the phone, the way you speak, the look of your invoices, your display stock, and the grammar and spelling in all of your documents. Absolutely every little thing you do in business should be designed to attract and retain clients.

I dislike seeing a POS ticket with a spelling mistake. I am incredibly annoying and ask for those mistakes to be rectified. My staff will often question this pedantic behaviour. Surely a client is not going to decline to purchase because of a spelling mistake? I agree. It is unlikely that a client will spot a spelling error and then storm out in disgust.

What the client will see, though, is an organisation that missed a chance to get a little thing right. If we make a separate mistake, we are up to strike two. Our actions are now seen as indicative of general sloppy behaviour rather than a one-off. If you are making mistakes with your own goods on display, are you going to make mistakes with client work?

Your premises is one of your greatest marketing tools. Once a month I like to take our entire staff outside, and we close our eyes. We then open our eyes and walk in and around the business noting our first impressions. We are asking ourselves some questions. “If I walked into this business for the first time, what would be my impression of the business?” “Would you like to do business with yourself?” (Sounds a bit kinky!) “Am I inspired by everything I see?” So forget about marketing = advertising. Reduce your advertising spending, and market your business with everything you do.

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