Q&A with John Jantsch

John Jantsch | BCBusiness

The Art of Marketing conference, which comes to the Centre in Vancouver on March 19, features six high-profile speakers talking about some of today’s most critical marketing issues. As a preview of the event, BCBusiness caught up with one of those speakers, John Jantsch, to talk marketing for small business

How do you maintain—or establish—your brand’s authenticity? And how do you know where you’re losing it? 
First you have to get very, very clear about the values you want your brand to stand for and then you have to do everything in your power to protect them. That means you must use those values as a filter for every internal and external decision you make. Your people, your message, your community involvement all play a role in communicating what you “really” stand for—so the question is are you staying true?
When a business is trying to tell—or craft—its story, what’s the worst mistake they can make? 
To create a story that sounds good or, perhaps worse, says nothing at all. The best stories are real, sometimes gritty and far more personal than you often hear.
We went from the age of SEO to the age of social in the blink of an eye; how can businesses keep their marketing strategies up-to-date while keeping to a budget?
The best way to keep your marketing strategies up to date is to continually analyze every potential new tool or trend through the eyes of your customer—constantly look at every way you can better serve your customers using new tools and you’ll always make the right call. 
How can a business leverage its employees to promote its brand?
The best way is to first make sure they are connected in some way to a story they want to share. Share everything you can about why you do what you do and where you are going and how they can play a key role in getting you there and then help them tell that story. 
How should a small-business owner know when to bring in a marketing professional? 
I often tell business owners that the time to bring in a marketing professional is when you’ve figured a market out, discovered what your customer want, are building a profitable but have hit a plateau. It’s difficult to get the most from a marketing professional until you experience some level of success and are now ready to go to the next level
What is the best free way to market your business?
I think the best free way, although it’s actually earned, is to build a network of like minded strategic partners anxious to promote your business.

The Art of Marketing will be held March 19 and the Vancouver Convention Centre. BCBusiness is offering its readers a discount on tickets here.