Marketing: it’s a powerful word. It’s one that we all recognize, it is central to all business, and with the arrival of the hit TV show Mad Men, it has even become associated with entertainment. However, it’s a concept that only a very small percentage of people really understand. Unfortunately, this confusion can be detrimental or even catastrophic to businesses, especially the small businesses upon which our economy – both its recovery and its growth – so desperately depends. We’d like to take just a few minutes to dispel some of the most pervasive and dangerous of these marketing myths. Keep an open mind, and you might just be surprised what you learn.
1. “My business is too small for a marketing plan.”
As mentioned above, small businesses are often the most likely to be hurt by misconceptions about marketing. Small business owners tend to have a view of what their business might become “some day,” or maybe they are just focused on keeping the doors open for right now. Either way, they don’t see it as realistically necessary to develop a plan for their marketing. “Marketing is something that big companies do.” Well, the truth is, it’s never too early and you’re never too small to be able to benefit from a well-thought-out marketing plan.
2. “Marketing is really just a sham anyway.” “We don’t need to brainwash people or be pushy to get them to buy from us; either they want our product or they don’t.”
While it’s true that there are unscrupulous, deceptive marketing practices out there, they’ve twisted some people’s perceptions of what marketing actually is. It isn’t about tricking people into buying something that they don’t really want, a la stereotypical used car salesman. Really, when it comes right down to it, the job of a marketer is much like that of a librarian: to connect with people to help them weed through all of the irrelevant information around them, so that they can find what fits their needs. Even when your business is a perfect fit for your potential clients’ needs, today’s society has inundated them with meaningless marketing, leaving them overwhelmed and desensitized; they will require all the more help to find you.
3. “I don’t have enough money to market.”
Most people are surprised to find out just what can be accomplished by an experienced and creative marketer. It may require a little bit of thinking outside the box, but there really are plenty of ways to get serious brand traction on literally any budget. Of course, this is also a very important point at which to touch on the common resistance to spending money, which brings us to…
4. “In a pinch, marketing is a good area to cut costs.”
This mindset is one that we saw a lot of when the economy took a nosedive. “We’re short on funds, so we’ll just hunker down and make do with the clients that we already have.” Unfortunately, if you’re feeling the pinch, your current clients probably are, too. That means that they’ll be spending less, and you’ll need more customers in order to bring in the same amount of revenue. The last thing you want to be rid of when you’re short on money is something that will bring you more money. You might roll your eyes and tell me that I’m oversimplifying it, but when it comes right down to it, it really is that simple. It’s tough to make sacrifices, but an effective business owner has to know how to make wise – sometimes difficult – investments for future returns, or the business will die.
5. “I have too much to do already to deal with marketing.”
Hey, we get it. Like most small businesses, yours has not yet grown to the point where there is a person to handle HR, a person to handle the books, etc. etc. etc.…meaning that you, the owner, have to be all of those people. You’re already running around like a chicken with its head cut off, just to keep the doors open; there’s certainly no room in the schedule to take on yet another task, like marketing. This is a very good time to turn to experts, like those at Cyberlicious®. Not only can they get the job done in your stead, but they can save you a lot of money in the process; their expertise will greatly reduce the time investment necessary, while greatly increasing the return on your investment. It’s an expenditure that is very well worth it…plus, once expert marketing has grown your business, you’ll be able to hire more workers and reduce your own load!
6. “Marketing is just hiring a couple of cold callers; I really don’t want that.”
A lot of people consider the term “Sales” to be interchangeable with the term “Marketing,” but the words are not synonyms. While sales is one small part of marketing, there is ultimately a lot more to getting out a company’s message than just knocking on doors and asking for the lady of the house. More importantly, a marketing approach – such as cold calling – that is appropriate for one product/clientele combination will not necessarily be appropriate for another, and a good marketing advisor will recognize that. With that observation, we come to…
7. “You talked me into it. I’ll just use a marketing package that I saw advertised online / I’ll just do what I saw the guy down the street do for his business.”
Every business is different. There are many different variations of product or service, and even if two businesses offer the exact same thing, client bases vary. Since marketing is all about conveying a business’s offerings to the clients that need them, the marketing must necessarily be just as varied as those offerings and clients are; no “one size fits all” here. Be sure to find a consultant who can analyze your exact situation and custom design a plan that fits your needs.
Marketing is a Must!
Hopefully, with a clearer understanding of marketing, and with the right experts on your side, you can feel much more comfortable putting it to work bringing your business the growth you seek. Call us now at 727.820.1988 to get started.