I was flipping through a copy of CRN the other day and was, yet again, disappointed by the unbelievably bad marketing and monumental waste of money. I think it is this incredible void of good marketing examples that makes this industry rife with marketing that just plain sucks.
Not one great offer. Not one compelling headline. Not one specific, targeted, or meaningful benefit to buy. No case studies or testimonials. Guarantee? Are you kidding?
What was there? Cute and clever. Ads designed by a graphic artist with absolutely no salesmanship and an agenda that does not include selling something. All that space wasted with meaningless fluff, clever photography, and vague generalities – absolutely NO sales pitch was present.
I’ve often wondered if any of these advertisers will ever wake up and actually hold their marketing dollars accountable for a measurable result instead of pumping millions of dollars into terrible marketing under the umbrella of “brand building” and “awareness.”
Listen – as a small business owner, you can’t afford to make dumb mistakes like this. If you spend $1 today, you need $2 back tomorrow. Your marketing has to be held accountable just as a salesperson would be—if they don’t produce, they get fired. Plain and simple. After all, how long would you keep a salesperson on staff who wasn’t producing sales? Would it be worth their salary and your time and effort to know that they are “at least getting your name out there?” Absolutely not – and your marketing should be held to the same level of accountability.
The great marketing and advertising icon David Ogilvy explained why these big companies continue on their self-destructive, non-accountable marketing path when he said, “There have always been noisy lunatics on the fringes of the advertising business. Their stock-in-trade includes ethnic humor, eccentric art direction, contempt for research, and their own self-proclaimed genius. They are seldom found out because they gravitate to the kind of clients who, bamboozled by their rhetoric, do not hold them responsible for sales results.”
In other words, bad advertising exists because the clients are more impressed with a clever idea and a sizzling graphic than they are with an ad that might not be sexy to look at, but that actually sells something. So they continue to hire big, expensive agencies that come up with these clueless ads and make hefty fees doing it. If their clients actually held them accountable for results, they wouldn’t be able to survive – but since the clients are just as clueless, they continue to exist.
But big companies like Microsoft and Dell can afford big marketing budgets and big mistakes. And, they can afford to conduct multi-million dollar brand campaigns that take years of repetition to take hold. You don’t have that luxury.
When it comes to marketing your services, you need to not only get the attention of your prospect, but also to build trust and confidence and get them to respond so that they are moving in the direction of buying from you. That’s what I teach in the articles I write on this page, in the various programs I sell, and at the live events I conduct around the U.S. Your marketing needs to generate a result, whether that result is a sale, or an appointment that leads to a sale. Awareness and brand-building is a nice by-product of the type of direct response marketing I teach.
Unfortunately, many of the clients who come to me have to unlearn everything they’ve been taught to do by these big companies. They’ve been “sold” that marketing has to be short and punchy or – worse yet – funny to sell something. They think it has to be “professional” (a.k.a. “boring”) or recipients will be put off by their campaign. They see so few examples of great marketing that they don’t know where to start or what to do.
I change all that.
And if you want to unlearn the bad habits you’ve acquired about marketing and selling and learn exactly what you need to do to generate a boost in new clients, sales and profits whenever you want or need it, then get your butt over to my Brand New Managed Services Blueprint right away!