I’m not sure “hope and a handshake” is an effective marketing strategy.
Marketing placed on the back burner. Huh?
I was at a seminar that focused on entrepreneurship and the moderator had assembled an esteemed panel of four entrepreneurs/business owners: an entrepreneur that thrived on transforming bankrupt companies into revenue generating goldmines, one owned a company that distributes sealants for the aerospace industry, a potato distributor (to clarify: a millionaire potato distributor), and the president of a firm that develops technology for the government.
They were all brilliant, successful businessmen.
The audience was comprised of small business owners like me and the questions posed to the panel included borrowing funds, hiring staff, and finally, marketing. When the question was asked what marketing efforts have been successful for them, you could hear a soft collective moan. It was a “guilt moan.” They all looked down after the question was posed to them. Their answers were similar: marketing was undertaken by default.
Sales + Marketing = Revenue
It knocks me for a loop every time that the old adage, even today, still rings true: they believed that if you build it, or grow it, they will come. Marketing was completely foreign to them. After attempting various sales strategies like knocking on all right doors and meeting all the right people, and watching all the right numbers, they couldn’t figure out why that didn’t generate the stream of income they had envisioned.
One owner said the staff pulled an intervention, by committee, to convince him he needed a website. I can’t fathom this. His explanation was that he simply didn’t see the need. He wasn’t kidding either. Ouch. Another owner said that he now sees the rewards of co-marketing efforts, where alignment with a much larger firm with bigger marketing bucks has increased awareness—something they could never have afforded on their own. Co-marketing is a beautiful thing if you’re co-mingling with the right product.
One man said that he now gets the importance of having something written about the firm, as in a brochure, so someone can have a clearer grasp on what they do. Bite me. I must be dreaming. A well-written marketing piece always serves a firm more effectively than a sales pitch when communicating a complex product or service.
Why did their marketing efforts happen by default?
Maybe marketing isn’t concrete enough to someone outside of our field. Maybe it isn’t as “safe” as sales. Often it isn’t trusted because there are too many bad imitations of it. Who knows? But they got it.
Good marketing works. It helps companies grow. If you relate to these gentlemen, you may want to talk to us.
I’m not sure more feet on the pavement or tighter process controls hurt, but I’m also not sure “hope and a handshake” is an effective marketing strategy.
Cindy Stephens, principal of A Good Writer, LLC has over 15 years of experience creating marketing communication strategies, domestically and globally. She gets the true value of marketing and has applied her expertise to client’s marketing materials in over 40 industries. They get it. She can’t think of a reason why you should wait to hear more about why they do.