Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Yesterday I met with the owner of the Sonoma Coast Villa and Spa (a wonderful resort near Bodega Bay), and over the course of our discussion J. told me seven or eight of the marketing "opportunities" he's been thinking about doing to help grow the Villa. I hear this often from business owners: lots and lots of ideas and opportunities. Two questions immediately come to mind about this:

1. Which opportunities do you focus on (or, more likely, in what order)?

2. How do you implement each?

Let's focus on the first question. Prioritizing your marketing outreach is one of the most important components of successful marketing. It's also where many business owners mis-step. My suggestion is this: create a meeting solely to list all opportunities (brainstorming) and then pick three to focus on in the coming year. Of the three, one should be something you can implement within 30 days, one within a quarter, and one within the year. In other words, think "quick", "quarterly", and "long-term". Then schedule and hold a separate meeting (as soon as possible thereafter) to begin building the plans to implement each of the three.

Yes, this is a little like Las Vegas, in that you're "gambling" that the time, effort, and money you devote to implementing an idea will pay off. How do you pick the three ideas to focus on? Well, either bring in a marketing expert for assistance or do what I tend to do more often than not: listen to my gut.

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