We recently had a client tell us they were going out of business.
Of course, they had just posted on social media that they were picked up by Walmart 2 days ago.
What was also interesting is they had told us they loved our work just last week.
What could possibly be the problem? If I had to guess, it was that we hadn’t made their brand a superstar in the 6 weeks we had worked with them.
Had we promised that? Not at all.
We had told them, just like we tell everyone, that it takes time to build a brand. 3-6 months is really the minimum to start seeing results.
Did they say they understood? Yes.
But did they really? I’m going to say a big fat resounding no.
What was the Problem?
They thought it was the marketing.
Here was the next interesting part: I looked at our ads, and we were at or above industry standards for conversion rates. So do you know what the problem was?
Their AMAZON page. Yes, I said it. But it’s not Amazon’s fault.
The problem was that our client had a new brand, no awareness and no credibility. People didn’t know enough about the brand and product to feel comfortable making a purchase off an ad and a product page with about 20 words on it.
It was a good idea, decent packaging, and not nearly enough marketing.
The REAL Problem
Was their Mindset. It’s one of the most important assets you have in business. And probably the core reason why most small businesses fail in marketing.
A couple things to consider:
- You did not go into business for yourself because you were good in marketing. You went into business because you like making pies, engineering products, providing services, etc. Running the business and all the marketing, bookkeeping, etc. are generally seen as headaches and necessary evils of having a business.
- Because you are not schooled or experienced in marketing, most business owners stay as far away from it as possible, like a pair of stinky socks.
- Because you don’t know what you’re doing, silver bullet strategies, quick fixes and other “magical” solutions seem like an answer to a prayer. So you buy them, get frustrated when they don’t work and then believe that marketing doesn’t work for you. Until the next amazing marketing “thing” shows up.
The Reality of Marketing
Every once in a while, you see a business go viral with tons of referrals, repeat business within days or weeks. But even these businesses still work their tails off and capitalize on the traffic they get to build their business.
The other 99.999% of us need to understand that leveraging your competitive advantages into a marketing strategy that floods you with customers in a couple days is not realistic or sustainable.
Why? A couple of reality checks:
Google has TRILLIONS of websites. Why should they pay attention to yours because you put a site up last Wednesday?
Facebook has 1.8 BILLION users. Why would they all stop and look at your post that 2 of your friends shared last Thursday at 11pm? What reason have you given them to look at you besides the message:
“Look at me! I do X, just like 3000 other people out there. But you should look at me because I want you to!”
If your business relies on something breaking for you to come fix it, what about the people that love your business, but everything is working right now and they don’t NEED you?
I’m not trying to be too harsh (well, a little harsh, but in your best interest, I promise you. Like eating your carrots.) .
The Power of Impact
My point is that 1 thing done at 1 point in time has very little impact. Even 1 big thing done at 1 point in time has little sustained impact.
Imagine: In a week of eating pizza, you ate 1 salad. And then got frustrated because you haven’t lost 50 pounds.
Marketing is the same thing.
Did you Know:
It Takes 20 to 50 touches (contacts) to take a cold prospect to a customer. 50. FIVE-ZERO. I can’t capitalize that enough. But you get my point.
It takes 9 touches for someone to REMEMBER you, let alone do business with you.
So why would a shiny object work?
Because deep down, you’re hoping it will. Hoping you’ve found something that will allow you to ignore marketing and sales for the rest of your life and focus on your business.
We call it the hope and pray strategy.
Here’s a better idea:
Why don’t you hire someone who likes working on marketing as much as you like baking pies?
Now here’s where I should normally jump in with a pitch about our business. But I’m not going to do that. I want you to stay focused on my point.
Letting Go of the Shiny Object Syndrome
I’m not going to say that you have to do these couple things and they are the only way to succeed in marketing. Some of you would love to find an exception and tell me I’m wrong.
Here’s what I will say: For the vast majority of businesses, what has been proven to work time and again, in businesses large and small, is sustained, consistent activity.
That means you get in front of your audience, and stay in front of your audience, whether they are ready to buy from you this instant or not.
You educate them about why you are different, how to make a good buying decision, and how to make the most of their purchase.
Example: Do you think that Go Daddy spends $1Billion on a Superbowl ad because they think they will see $1billion dollars’ worth of email or hosting off that one ad?
Of course not. But they know their audience is listening, and they want to stay in front of them consistently, so when they are READY to buy, Go Daddy is the place they think of.
I know what you’re thinking. I’m not a huge business. I’m small. I don’t have that kind of money.
The good news is that you don’t need their kind of money to be successful in marketing your business.
You take the strategies and fit them to your business and industry. Not only is it possible, but it works.
Here’s the best advice I can give you:
Let go of the idea that one shiny object is going to help you ignore marketing. And commit to marketing to your customers consistently. Weekly, monthly, whatever. Why?
It changes your business.
It puts you in more control of your sales.
It gets rid of those sleepless nights.
And it helps get you out of the roller coaster of revenue.
It’s not perfect. But it works. Whether you do it or hire someone to do it, the goal is to get it done.
The question is:
Are you ready to change your mind? It’s the first and most important step.