Who Should Do Your Marketing?
Marketing is one of the biggest sources of frustration and disappointment for many business owners. An advertising sales rep knocks on their door, and they put money (perhaps a lot of money) with the rep. To the business owner’s great disappointment, the marketing efforts barely produced any results. What’s even worse – the company is now low on funds.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you’ll never have to deal with marketing again? Wouldn’t you feel so much more relaxed and less stressed if a constant stream of customers were always rushing to your door? The thought of becoming an absentee owner sounds so good to so many people. People think to themselves, “If I can just become an absentee owner, I’ll never have to deal with marketing again.” What a relief of stress!
Then, there are these marketing and web site advertising agencies that seem so appealing. These people are professionals in marketing! They dedicate their careers to online and traditional marketing, and their reputation depends on the success of their marketing efforts. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just hand over all your marketing to them, so you’ll never have to worry about marketing again?
Let me dispel two myths right now that could save you from wasting thousands and thousands of dollars.
The first myth is the idea that you’ll never have to worry about marketing again. You need to spend your time reviewing advertising materials, analyzing the effectiveness of past campaigns, advertising, and making sure that the business and website is perceived the right way by customers.
The second myth is that an advertising agency or web marketing company will be able to solve all your marketing headaches for you. So what’s wrong with hiring an advertising or design agency to handle all your marketing needs? Several things. First, these people called “Account Executives” are just a fancy name for “Sales Rep”. If you ever talk to one of them, one of the first questions they’ll ask you is, “Mr. Owner, how much money do you have in your marketing budget?” Since these sales reps are often paid on a commission, they’ll then “prescribe” the advertising for you based on how much money you have. Are these the best advertisements for you? Not necessarily. They are just the ones you could afford to pay.
Next, these advertising agencies often have relationships with specific companies such as a certain newspaper or radio station. Guess what these ad agencies are likely to prescribe for you? Newspaper and radio ads! Is that the best advertising strategy for your company? What about designing mini websites, landing pages, Pay Per Click campaigns?
The biggest problem we have with ad agencies, however, is not the effectiveness of their suggestions. The biggest problem we have with them is that you don’t learn anything. It’s like taking the quick fix approach. We have heard of business owners who’ve spent $50,000 or even $100,000 to hire an ad agency. In the best case scenario, the advertising campaign worked extremely well. But the owner still has no clue about marketing, and why it had worked so well. What happens if one year down the road, the same advertising doesn’t work any more? Are you going to spend another $50,000 or $100,000 to hire that agency again? What if you can’t afford them? Are you going to go with some cheap marketing consultant who promises to solve all your marketing headaches for $500? Is their advice really trustworthy? We all know what I`m refering to. The "Search Engine Optimization for $99 per month! First Page Results Guaranteed!" nonsense.
If you don’t learn marketing yourself, you will forever be at the mercy of sales reps, consultants, and advertising agencies that want to take your money. All kinds of people want to take advantage of you because they know that marketing is one of the biggest pains for small business owners. You will see some marketing seminar or audio program that promises to give you free web design templates or marketing tips. It’s so easy…All you do is fill-in-the-blank, follow the formula, and send them out! To be frank with you, we’ve tried those, and we either got terrible response rates, or a bunch of angry customers who got offended by the marketing materials.
We are not trying to bash our industry here. After all, we are website consultants, and we teach marketing. The point we are making here is that you will never know whose advice to listen to if you don’t learn marketing yourself. If you don’t understand marketing, and three marketing gurus show you three different ways to market your business, I bet you’ll have trouble choosing which one to go with.
You are the person who should handle the marketing for your business. If your company’s marketing doesn’t work, customers won’t come in. If customers don’t come in, you’ll be out of business in no time. Therefore, it follows that giving away the responsibility of marketing is like giving away the life of your business. You will forever be depending on someone else to make your business work. If that person you’ve put so much trust and faith into (whether it’s an agency, consultant, or employee) – if that person doesn’t bring in the amount of business you had hoped, you’ll be back to where you are with the exception of having less money in your bank account.
I am not saying marketing is easy. If you’ve never been taught in marketing, it can seem like the most daunting subject. It’s so personal and so close to you, because your livelihood, in many ways, depends on the success of your marketing. Most people we meet have a lot of pains related to marketing. For some reason, this just seems to be the one area they cannot figure out. For example, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) seems so mysterious and magical. It had made so much sense before when some sales rep or consultant explained it to you. You tried their methods, and it was nowhere close to your expectations.
So what should you do? First, you need to start by un-learning things you might have heard about marketing before. You heard me right. You must first unlearn what you have in your head before you can absorb our marketing knowledge. You see, everyone seems to have a different opinion about marketing. Every consultant, every guru, every friend, every sales rep, every agency…Everybody will tell you something different about marketing. If you try to absorb everything that everyone says and try to synthesize and come up with a solution yourself, you will be thoroughly confused.
[Via Visual Scope]