I am amazed by the number of business owners I meet who treat marketing as a DIY hobby within their business. This point was brought home to me recently by one business owner who said “I tried radio and TV and it doesn’t work”.
When I got home, I researched his advertising. What I found were poorly crafted and confusing ads with no clear customer proposition. These were obviously created by him, a Marketing DIYer.
What the Marketing DIYer doesn’t realise is that basic mistakes are probably costing the business a lot of money. In this case it was over $100,000 a year.
The reason is quite simple. Bad advertising fails to deliver the key message, is quickly forgotten or is completely ignored. That means the entire annual marketing budget is being wasted. If the business lacks the professional skills to create the right message, told in the right way, then the real cost could be huge.
Marketing is harder than you think and has more science to it than you might realise. An experienced VOLOM marketer first identifies, then finds and finally persuades customers to do business with your company again and again.
Here are some tips on how to do that…
People remember ideas, not facts.
Remembering facts is difficult. Ideas are much easier to remember because they engage the imagination. So, put a great idea at the heart of your business, incorporate it into your marketing strategies, and use it in every relevant piece of marketing you do. Over time this becomes your ‘brand idea’. Now your marketing budget is working hard for your business because every new piece of advertising builds on the brand awareness created by the last one. Think Pak’nSave!
Keep your marketing simple
Many people have heard of the ‘KISS’ principle: Keep it Simple, Stupid! Experienced marketers use it to evaluate every existing or potential piece of marketing for their clients. Your customers have many things on their minds and many demands on their available cash so if your advertising needs deciphering they won’t bother to try. If your website is complicated they will get frustrated and leave. So keep it simple and you will help more customers to buy from you.
Sometimes your customers know you better than you do
Ask your customers what they think of your business. What do they love about dealing with you? What do they hate about it? You may be surprised at what they say. The answers you get could revolutionise your business. It could lead to a real competitive advantage. It could provide you with a great brand idea that will drive growth. So ask questions – there may be gold in the answers.
How many times have you seen a company claim you will ‘be inspired’ by their products or that with their help you will ‘conquer the world’. This is lazy marketing and advertising and it passes customers by. So keep yours real. An experienced marketer will help you look within for the truth about your business and then show you how to market that in a compelling way to your customers.
Don’t preach, persuade!
When inexperienced people create advertising they imagine their ad being seen and heard by the masses. They therefore tend to say way too much, overwhelming their audience, or they create ‘shout’ ads that turn customers off. What they forget is that most ads are consumed by people who are alone or in small groups. A great ad man once said to me “when I write an ad I think of the one person I know who needs this product and I write the ad just for them”. So don’t shout, lecture or patronise. Speak to one person and persuade them. If you can do that well you will sell to the many.
Is your DIY Marketing costing your business more then you realise? To find out ask an experienced marketing professional. Like any good builder they know how to clean up the DIY mistakes and they don’t cost as much as you think!
– Roger Smith
Roger is a brand marketing and advertising professional with global experience. During a 25-year career in New Zealand, Sydney, London and Europe he developed and implemented growth strategies for some of the world’s most famous companies. Some of his major clients have included T-Mobile Europe, Seiko, Audi, Volkswagen, Sony, Duracell, Xerox, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Hyundai Automotive Australia, Bank of New Zealand and Air New Zealand. Since returning to New Zealand Roger has enjoyed engaging with many SME business owners, helping them to grow their businesses.