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Marketing : Introduction

14 September 2010
Alan Gayle is a sales and marketing consultant specialising in the construction industry.

Alan Gayle is a sales and marketing consultant specialising in the construction industry. In this column he offers advice on how to make an impact in the market you want to reach. He begins with this introduction.

Marketing. What’s it all about?

Let’s be honest right from the start… there’s a lot of crap out there!

It seems like every other week some new marketing guru has the answer to all our problems.

“Learn how to use Twitter to double your profits in six weeks,” says one. Or “We’ll get you on the first page of Google within 10 days or your money back”.

Perhaps I’m exaggerating a little but I’m sure you get the idea.

Forget that I’m a marketing man for just a moment because in this column, I’m a going to try to bring you something a little bit different and hopefully even useful.

I realise that for some the words ‘useful’ and ‘marketing’ are a contradiction in terms, but bear with me, you just might find something worthwhile.

To stay up with what’s happening in the industry, I read a lot of articles and subscribe to a lot of blogs about the latest marketing innovations and business growth ideas.

And although there are a lot of top-notch marketing people out there, many of whom know far more than I do about the subject, the difficulty for many companies in the stone industry is that most of the advice is more relevant to big businesses with huge budgets for what the marketing gurus call ‘global branding strategies.’

Not particularly helpful for most stone contractors or their suppliers.

I’ve found that even the advice from specialist SME (small and medium sized enterprise) coaches and marketers often misses the mark because their knowledge is more applicable to a local restaurant or a high street shoe shop than the stone industry.

I’ve worked in the brick, concrete, insulation and roof tile sectors and, while there are similarities, I’m only too aware that the stone sector is unique in many ways.

The focus of this column is simple: practical ideas that you can actually use in your business.

Please feel free to give me your feedback (either good or bad) and let me know if you want me to cover something specific.

To start at the beginning, next month I’m going cover the basics of marketing followed by the bare essentials of a marketing plan.


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