Before I will work with a company on their marketing strategy, I need to make sure that they are of the right mindset. Unfortunately too many business owners have taken to believing certain myths about marketing. Sorry, but I’m here to debunk those myths. Here’s the top 3.75.
1. Marketing is all I need to be successful. I once walked into a retail store to meet with a new prospect. I was shocked and appalled by what I walked into. The store was a large showroom located in a very bad part of Phoenix. In front of the store, on the sidewalk, right next to the street, they put two sample products. The products had obviously been out in the hot Phoenix sun for months, if not years. They were faded, warped, dirty, and even broken. They looked like they belonged in the junkyard. The inside of the showroom was no different; however, was filled to the brim with this product. It was obviously hundreds of thousands of dollars of inventory, if not a million. And the products on display were dusty and in disrepair. I could go on and on. But the fact is that the prospect needed more than marketing. They needed to get a clue. If you market crap, it’s still crap. And no one wants to buy your crap.
2. My business is slow, or even failing, I better start marketing. The truth is that marketing takes time to obtain the results that you are looking for. And if you’re looking to marketing as some sort of miracle cure for your failing business, it’s too late. Better get out while you can. The most successful marketing strategies are implemented consistently over time. The marketing you do today may not pay off until tomorrow or even next year. That’s why you should always be marketing.
3. If I market on social media or through free publicity, I’ll get crowds of raving fans instantly. While social media and publicity are much talked about marketing mediums, rarely do they produce instant results. Both of these require consistent exposure over time. While social media does bring in new customers, you have to build a following first and that takes time. And the only exception to the publicity rule is that you could get tons of new customers by being endorsed on a television show like Oprah. But that situation is rare.
.75 If I just hire a marketing or publicity firm, it will help my business increase sales. As a owner of a marketing firm I can guarantee you that the methods we use will get people in the door. But nothing else. Marketing is all about getting the word out about your business, but it isn’t directly correlated to sales. Marketing can get people in the door, or to your website, or even on the phone. But what happens after that is called sales and sales is up to you, your staff, or whoever is interacting with the customer. If you don’t know how to follow up, service customers, give them what they want, close a sale, etc, all the marketing in the world won’t help. You can’t just sit back and think that customers will do all the work themselves. Marketing can get them there for you, what happens after that is up to you.
To be successful, marketing needs to be strategically and consistently implemented over the lifetime of a business. On top of that, marketing can bring in new customers, but what happens after that is up to you. Make sure that you give them reasons to buy, and give them reasons to come back. It’s not just about the product, the price, or the promotion. It’s about the experience, the environment, and the attitude. Pay attention. Everything is marketing.