A Quirky Observation
Having owned a number of small businesses in the past, I always understood the need for marketing. I had even inquired many times into various marketing services. I was frankly told on many occasions that the results I would see would be guaranteed, but without any formal written assurances, however.
So it always seemed obvious, invest $1,000 into [fill in name of company soliciting me] and I would receive 3X to 10X return.
Needless to say, it never happened.
It seemed as soon as paid the salespeople I was forgotten. Upon questioning my lack luster results the excuses were the same: “Your content wasn’t good”, “Think about a bigger ad”, “You’ll need to run it longer; advertising takes time”, etc, etc. Always my fault.
Yet in the back of my mind I know marketing works. Obviously, or large corporations wouldn’t be doing it. Why does Coca-Cola need to keep telling me to drink Coke. I know already.
I even saw it first hand in my own market. I ran a small mortgage company in Sacramento, CA. It opened for business in the mid 90’s. I ran a few ads here and there, newspaper, local magazine, and a radio ad. Nothing really worked. Truth be told, I didn’t have a lot of money for a marketing budget and was entirely focused on immediate returns.
Then in the early 2000’s a new mortgage company to town started running radio ads. Knowing the radio station that they were running their ads on, (an expensive one), I figured it wouldn’t be long before the ads would stop, but they didn’t.
All through the 2000s they ran ads, it wasn’t long before their name was synonymous with mortgages in the greater Sacramento area. They became the dominant player in the market.
Why didn’t someone explain and work with me on marketing. What if someone had.
I remained a small 1 man office and managed to get by with my word of mouth referrals, but I saw first hand “what could have been”.
What bothered me was the lack of empathy, or rather ignorance, from those who marketed me. Even they didn’t have a big picture idea. They simply wanted to sell me a product and collect their commission.
What gnawed at me the most was that my business, providing mortgage loans, was result driven. If I didn’t provide a loan, I didn’t get paid. Best efforts wasn’t rewarded; success was.
And yet in the marketing world they got paid regardless of the results they provided their customers.
The marketing is more important than the product or service, yet without a product or service there is no marketing. Even if you are the best craftsman in your industry, if no one knows about you and your services how are you to make it.
Most people start a business, because they are good at something. But it doesn’t mean they are good at marketing.
Maybe you are a business that has subsisted on word of mouth advertising, or you have a limited referral base. You know in your heart your business could do better, but how to get to that next level. You know you will need to market, but how much does it cost? Can you afford to spend money without a guarantee of results? Consequently, you hesitate and do nothing.
This marketing mentality is reactive, it leaves a business dependent upon the current status quo. And unless something changes, it will continue on this current track.
This conundrum of not growing due to “fear of losing money on advertising” creates a dilemma.
As most businesses know they must advertise in order to have any significant growth. Yet the majority of small businesses have little to no experience with marketing, let alone the time to figure it out.
Combine the lack of marketing “know-how” with the fees associated with advertising and the fact that there are no guarantees on results; it is not surprising most small business just don’t market themselves.
Bringing it together
I created BizSenze for the purpose of bringing marketing to the small business community in a make sense way. It doesn’t mean I am a better marketer, it just means I view your business as my business. It is personal. Your success means my success.
That is why BizSenze is as much a consulting firm as a marketing company. Only by knowing your needs can we together orchestrate a plan to reach your goals. I take a deductive approach to marketing. No matter what the results BizSenze is with you every step of the way.
Unless you are the IRS, they already can reach every one, every business needs some form of marketing.