Marketing Should Be A Priority, Not An Afterthought
Something I’ve never understood, is the apparent aversion to marketing by some companies and people.
They invest substantial money and time into making sure they run a smooth operation – Services are the best they can be. Goods are ordered on time and kept in stock. Employees are paid on time. All very important aspects of a successful business and vital for longevity and growth,
But marketing? Actually letting the public know who they are and what they can do for them?
Nah, we don’t need to spend money on that…
It’s a disturbing trend that I’ve noticed throughout my career in marketing. For whatever reason, many people simply do not see the importance in it.
Could it be lack of awareness? No education on the matter? I’m not sure, but the concept seems very straightforward to me: Company X exists to make money, so Company X needs customers to sell its goods/services to. Company X therefore uses marketing to attract customers. Customers spend money at Company X. Company X makes money.
“It’s all about building a brand and identity.”
There’s no magic formula here. All marketing is, is putting your name out there. Posters, flyers, mass emails, newspapers, a website, social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), TV or radio advertisements. They all help in their own way. Here are some ‘reasons’ why businesses don’t use marketing that I’ve heard.
1. We’re already known
Good for you. You still need marketing.
This is, and always will be, a very poorly thought out argument. Just because you may be an established brand, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to work hard to maintain that status. There will always be competitors and alternatives for consumers.
In this case, it’s not so much about selling your services. It’s about mindshare. Making sure that when someone thinks about a product or service, they will think about your business first.
Coca-Cola is the biggest name in the soft drink industry. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of Coke. Yet, each year, they spend well over $3 billion dollars in advertising. This marketing spend dwarfs that of their competition, but Coca-Cola knows that in order to be the first name in any industry, you have to make sure your brand is the one that sticks in the mind.
2. Marketing Is Too Expensive!
It doesn’t have to be! Be creative! Get innovative!
Nobody is saying you have to splurge thousands of dollars on television ads (with the reduction in television viewership these days due to the internet, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this medium anyway), but there are various other means to let your voice be heard.
Social media is everywhere nowadays and is free (for the most part). Consider a potent blend of social media, YouTube, and a website. If you lack the knowledge or expertise, you can hire someone to manage these for you. You’ll be surprised how far a little viral marketing can go.
3. We Tried Already and It Didn’t Work
Hmm. Are you sure it didn’t? By what metric?
Sometimes, you won’t see an immediate benefit from your marketing. Unless your specific goal is time-sensitive, this is perfectly fine. You may not see a sudden upsurge in sales or orders but that comes in time. For many small businesses in particular, marketing is all about building a brand and an identity. It’s about getting your foot in the door within the mind of the consumer. Giving yourself a chance to be a part of the conversation and making yourself available as an alternative.
But, for arguments sake, let’s say you really aren’t satisfied with your returns on your marketing. Then, perhaps the problem isn’t in marketing itself, but the kind of marketing that your business did? It could be a number of things. Wrong medium or maybe incorrect target audience. Data should be analysed and a new approach taken. Correct your course, don’t abandon ship.
Ultimately, marketing is essential to any business, both big and small. Whether it’s capturing new customers, retaining current customers, or promoting a new product, marketing needs to be a priority.