“Running a business without advertising and marketing is like winking in the dark; you know what you’re doing, but nobody else can see you.”
Small Business Advertising and Marketing
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, then you already know; there’s only 3 main ways you’re going to “stay in business”…
1) Increase your number of customers.
2) Increase the size (or dollar amount) of each sale.
3) Increase the frequency of repeat customers.
It’s not rocket science… it’s simple math!
– When you do 1 of these, your sales will go up.
– When you do 2 of these, your sales will multiply even more.
– When you do all 3, your sales, and profits, will expand geometrically.
Of course, there’s other ways to increase your bottom line, like cutting waste and streamlining efficiency.
But without customers, you don’t have a business; and nothing else is going to make a difference.
This is where advertising and marketing comes in
Unfortunately, here’s where most business owners go wrong…
The problem? You try to create all your own advertising and marketing, yourself. Or with a few of your key employees as your brain trust.
Hey look, I get it! You know your business better than anyone. You’ve poured your life into your company, and you know it from the inside – out.
But unfortunately, that’s part of the problem. You’re too close to your own business to create effective advertising. Most of the things inside your company that you’re so proud of, are not what your customers care about.
Oh sure, they might be curious about the internal workings of your business. And your business philosophy might help them feel more comfortable with you. But their main concern is, and always will be, what your product or service can do for them.
“You know your business from the inside-out,
your customers are seeing it from the outside-in”
That’s why a set of outside eyes can help you with your advertising and marketing.
But not just any outsider will do. You don’t want some schmuck off the street. And you can’t afford to waste money on a sketchy advertising agency that only wants to separate you from your money, without producing results.
And your well meaning friends or relatives who like to give you free advice? Well, you already know their free advice usually isn’t worth the asking price.
No, you need someone who understands that highly effective advertising and marketing is 80% science, and 20% art.
You need someone who’s passionate about studying the psychology, and the numbers from effective marketing campaigns…
Someone who’s spent years in the trenches, testing different marketing strategies, and learning how effective advertising and marketing actually works.
Of course, you can do all your marketing “in house,” instead of paying an expert to work with you. But you can also waste an awful lot of time, and money, making mistakes that could’ve easily been avoided. So it usually pays to at least consult with an expert.
But anyway you look at it, you need to have the mindset that advertising and marketing is an investment (not an expense) and it needs to part of your permanent budget.
And that’s where a lot of small business owners run into a roadblock. Some of the more popular excuses I hear are…
1) Some business owners tell me they cannot afford to advertise;
That is a huge mistake! The truth is, if you own a business you cannot afford not to advertise.
Here’s one thing you can count on; if you’re selling a useful product or service, and your customers aren’t buying from you, then they’re buying from someone else!
It’s your responsibility to make sure your customers think of you first, when they are in the market for what you’re selling.
And besides, the truth is that marketing is only expensive if it doesn’t work.
Think about it… If you spend $1,000 on advertising, and it results in $10,000 worth of sales, then it’s not an expense… it’s an investment!
2) Many business owners tell me they’ve tried advertising, and it didn’t work.
This is only when advertising is done scattershot, and without understanding the science, and psychology behind effective advertising and marketing.
There are scientific principles for effectively advertising and marketing any business.
Principles that have been tested, measured, and documented by some of the greatest marketing minds from the last 100 years. If you ignore them, you do so at your own expense; and peril.
Of course, society evolves and technology is increasing faster than ever. And the Internet has brought us a whole new world of communication media. But the psychology of consumer behavior hasn’t changed for thousands of years. People still buy things for very specific reasons.
3) Another argument I sometimes hear (when it comes to hiring an outside expert) is, “no outside person can help me because my business is different, and my customers are different.”
This is total “BS” and an excuse for failure. Do you honestly believe your customers never shop anywhere else… ever?
The same customer who buys an automobile also spends money at the gas station. They also shop at grocery stores, clothing stores, occasionally hire someone to fix things around the house, and the list goes on and on…
So, your business may be different; but your customers are still the same people who spend their money elsewhere, for very specific reasons.
Look! I could go on all day telling you how much you need to include marketing into your expense budget. But the bottom line is this…
Advertising and marketing is something that needs to be a budget line item if you want your business to survive. And you’re going to have to pay for it with either your time, or your money.
Until next time, keep on marketing.
To your success,
All the best,