Operational Marketing

As a young entrepreneur, I have seen first hand the benefits of networking and therefore I seek out any successful business person and try to grab a quick lunch or have a conversation with them, telling them about my current venture and seek any advice or experience possible. I once tracked down the CEO of Cafe Rio, got his cell phone number, and then continued to call and text him nonstop for a month before he eventually came down to my soda shop to see what I had been working on. A lot of good advice was given during this meeting, but the number one thing I took away and have continued to apply ever since was what he said about marketing. As I was asking about the most cheap, aggressive and useful marketing tactics for startups, he shut all of my ideas down. He said that the number one form of marketing comes from operations. Because the strongest form of marketing is word of mouth, you have the give the mouth a word to spread. Providing an exceptional experience for customers is the number one form of marketing because that customer then becomes a loyal, returning customer that will tell their friends, who will tell their friends, and so on. This piece of advice made me take a step back and really think about my approach to small business marketing. Before you go and design the most elaborate campaign in the world, be sure that your operations are flawless and you are marketing yourself simply through the experience you provide!

-Eth

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