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The Essential Engine team has been working on the must-have marketing plans of businesses big and small for more than 20 years. We’ve heard about how “referrals create themselves,” about how “I’m my own best marketing” and how “marketing just comes naturally” to so many businesses and business owners. But we’re here to tell you: There ARE marketing must-haves that go beyond your natural charm.

Below, we’ll talk about 5 marketing must-haves that generate new and repeat business for companies. This isn’t a comprehensive guide to marketing. It’s not about tactics. It’s a worldview. We believe there are right ways to do marketing and they start here.

1: Don’t assume.

You eat, sleep and breathe your business. You know what matters and what’s noise. You know what you do better than the competition and what’s happening in the market. Some of these things may seem obvious, but they aren’t. Don’t assume that your prospects know anything. It’s your job to tell people who you are and why you’re better.

2: Have a plan.

A plan is your second marketing must-have. Maybe you feel like it comes naturally. And for you, you probably got to where you are today in part due to natural ability. But to make great gains, talent only goes so far. You need to plan out your month, your year and your next five years. By thinking strategically about where you need to go, you begin to understand the tools you will need to grow your business even bigger. Take a day off a month or a couple days a quarter to work on your 1-year and 5-year plan. It will change the way your day-to-day feels.

3: Discipline matters.

Discipline is your next marketing must-have. Whether the task is being on time for meetups, posting to social media or even just answering emails efficiently, your discipline matters a lot. What we’ve learned: It’s impossible for small business owners to do it all on their own. But you CAN stay disciplined when it comes to your marketing and your client service by choosing services that support you and make you look good.

4: Follow up doggedly.

In marketing, it’s hard enough to generate leads. Once you stir them up, you HAVE to maintain disciplined follow-up. This is your next marketing must-have. This means that you not only follow-up when your prospect expects you to, but that you reinforce your brand and your value each and every time you do so.

5: Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

None of this stuff is easy, but you know what is kind of simple? Repeating a formula that works. Once you get a proven system, don’t chase the next new thing without a really good reason. This is the final marketing must-have. Repeat your formula and build your business’ success.

Need some help getting started with some of your marketing essentials? We’re right here!