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Scared Wet About Marketing
When people lack confidence in proper marketing, they lose! They lose time, they lose opportunities, and they lose money … lots of it! I don’t even feel a need to prove this, because for people who don’t get it, we have a phrase for that. The phrase is “survival of the fittest”, and if you have some guts, you are far more fit than a lot of your competition.
Believe me when I say that most of your competitors are total wimps! If we took them back to elementary school, you could see most of your competition walking to the office to call Mommy and ask her to bring a dry pair of pants to school. They are scared, and to say they are “pants-wetting scared” is not such a big stretch.
I mean, look at yourself … aren’t you just a tiny bit creeped out? Doesn’t it give you the willies just a little to do what it really takes to grow your company?
Seriously, if you never knew this, you deserve to know. Most people making decisions about marketing for their company are scared to death of marketing. I am going to share a real-life story with you in a moment to emphasize the point, but for a moment, just take it on faith.
This common fear of marketing is especially the case with the good kind of marketing that comes with proper research, solid strategy, efficient forecasting, and net profit … yes, positive return on investment. The reason the good profit-generating marketing is scariest of all is because it is the kind that requires decisive action … and money!
Drat! It’s another one of those long reads. Don’t worry, though, because I recorded it for you. Just click play and listen if you like. It is sure to give you some food for thought and a laugh … I’m sure of it!
The Way Many Companies View Marketing
A lot of companies seek the lowest possible effort and the highest possible return. That is smart business, but they often focus more on that low effort and completely lose sight of the highest return.
You see, now that every reception desk has a computer, marketing is pretty much free. Just look around and you may discover that this is how your competition sees it. Anybody can prepare and execute a brilliant marketing campaign. All they have to do is sign up for one of those Facebook thingies, Twitterize 25-26 hours per day, and put some smiley-happy employees and customers on YouTube.
Voila! The marketing is fixed, and the money train will be chugging down the tracks in no time!
It may sound crazy to you, and I hope it does, but this is really how a lot of companies approach their online marketing. It is so simple that all it will take is a tweet or a Facebook mention. They see companies like the ones mentioned in an article I read in Telegraph.uk. Here is a quote:
Ticketmaster estimates that every time one of their customers posts on Facebook that they’ve bought a ticket, their friends spend an additional $5.30 with the site. When last year’s Google conference was taking place, they tweeted the morning of the conference: “100 tickets left, 550 bucks a piece, use this promotion code”. 11 minutes later they tweeted, “Sold them, thank you.” That’s $55,000 in sales with one tweet in 11 minutes.
Rub a lamp and wish for a genie! You don’t have Ticketmaster demand or Google reach. Something is stopping you, though, and it is not the tools … it is the planning and strategy. If you keep doing what you are doing, you will likely keep getting what you get. If it is time to step it up, then step it up and do something brilliant. Do something with a strategy! On the other hand, if it is time to lie down and die … do that, and go peacefully. Just don’t keep waiting for that magic genie to arrive. He’s not coming!
Break for a Wise Marketing Tip:
Some people actually screw this all up and think that what they are paying for with proper marketing is just a task. Any moron can do a task, so it should be cheap, right? I provided some examples of this train wreck mentality in the articles as follows:
Social Media Marketing Pricing Like Cab Rides by the Pothole“
… and the profoundly absurd
“Hourly Rate for Setting Up Social Media Profiles?!“
Damn the luck, it seems that somebody tried to shove the whole population of marketing professionals into the same cage as if we are all the same critter. The good and bad are all mixed into one, and along with my high-end marketing buddies, I guess people surely think that we get paid for what we do.
The larger truth is that we get paid for what we know, how we know how to know what we know, how we think and analyze, who we know, and the other really unimaginable stuff that comes with experience, marketing talent, and brute creativity.
Pete and The Amazing Pee-Pants Pizza Parlor
I have a story about a guy named Pete. Seriously, this is a true story. Pete is very excited about selling his wildly amazing and awesomely marketable pizza franchise across the USA. He will possibly succeed, once he gets out of his own way, but he is still walking around in wet pants and trying to keep from vomiting at the thought of finally bringing it to market.
Sure, Pete logically knows that marketing is his most important asset. He realizes that Starbucks was a little coffee company and Subway was a little sandwich shop, and still would be without great marketing.
Actually, his name is not Pete, and his business is not pizza, but I’ll use that. His name is close enough to Pete, and his retail food franchise business is close enough to pizza to make the same point. The story is about a series of calamities that just drive me nuts. Nuts enough to share my opinion, and to welcome yours.
Here is the “hot sheet” version of how things have gone so far. Pete contacted me a year ago about his business. He was referred to me by a friend whom he trusts. Our mutual friend told Pete that the project was way out of her league. She explained that based on his hopes for massive adoption of his new franchise opportunity, he needs Murnahan (that’s me). Not a guy like me … me!
When Pete first contacted me, he was in an urgent rush to get his marketing in order. He was very concerned that he had already waited too long. He was afraid that based on his time frame for other business plans, he needed me on the project “yesterday”.
Pete was more than just a little blown away by things I shared with him about the possibilities for his business. I guess it was stupid of me to start dolling out free brain-juice, but heck, he was a referral, after all. Based on his own wildly flattering statements toward me, I was assured that he wanted to be my client, so I let fly with a few pan drippings from my brain in the roasting pan.
Dumb dumb Murnahan … I knew better, because giving too much freebie talk is a big open door to truckloads of non-paying brain work. I do it though, and it almost always bites me in the ass, because people really hate that transition to actually paying for the knowledge they need.
Skipping forward a damn long year and a whole bunch of phone calls that he has never paid for, Pete is calling me with wet pants again. He needs some serious help, and he talks like he is actually ready now.
The huge pause in his business was a funding snafu. Wouldn’t you know it that somehow those banking folks actually like qualified market projections in the business plan before they fund a deal. It is too bad Pete never thought of getting some better facts to work with. Maybe a year wouldn’t have spun by so rough for him.
Well, I guess we’ll kill the hooker tonight and worry about it tomorrow. Now we can just wing it on a half-assed budget and hope to make the bank happy. Yep, that’s how we roll, right Pete and Pete-like thinkers?
By the way, when I tease Pete about his wet pants or describe him as a shaky handed sweaty little fella who pulls the blankets over his head so the monsters don’t get him, I want to note that I like Pete. I like him plenty fine, even if he is a crybaby sissy bed-wetter and horrific planner.
Pete is a fine fella, and he will likely do very well in his business. His first and scariest step will be to listen to the consultant / strategist as much as he talks. Actually, before he can meet that scary challenge, he will have to get up off his steamy little pee-soaked wallet and pay for the scary monster he needs advice from.
The craziest thing I ever heard was when he finally rubbed his wet panties into my telephone ear yesterday and started asking for references. What the hell? We covered that last year! He has been putting his short-n-chubby in my ear all this time, reading my blog, sending me Facebook messages, email, and asking me for more brain-drippings, and now he’s asking if I’m qualified?! This is the same guy who has referred others to me when they needed serious help!
His biggest expressed concern is that I am a few hour flight away from his cozy little blankie. He wants to be able to manage my work close-up. Well if that isn’t silly … all it takes is money. If he is doing it right … I mean, right enough to sell 150 pizza franchises in the next two years, the least of his worry should be the cost of an airline ticket!
Somebody just effin’ give me a tequila, a hooker, and quarter to call home and I’ll sell more damn pizza stores than this guy can handle.
Pete has hopes, but they are only hopes so far. They are not goals, because he doesn’t have the market data to set goals yet. He is pretty reluctant to gather it, too.
Why do people try to kill me like this? Is it because they don’t have confidence in their market offering? Is it because they are so scared they would rather go broke than invest wisely in their own futures? Is it because they have no balls? What the hell?
I swear, if I put Pete in a room with the guy I recently wrote about hoping to put “100 percent” into his health and beauty industry marketing, but yet keep the budget under $10,000, I could slow down time enough that my trip to the looney bin will feel like a whole lifetime! Maybe my conniption will be worth it.
OK … that got a little teensy bit rant-ish, but sure was fun! Go ahead and level me out. Be my friend and help me to calm down and breath slower.
I sincerely believe that marketing in itself is the hardest field of all to market to clients. It is because in damn near every other product or service I have ever marketed, there is always some sense that the potential customer has two brain cells to rub together. This is often simply not the case when people are in the market for marketing services. Not since the invention of the Internet money-train.
One more thing … Can somebody tell me who I need to whack over the head to get a decent client with dry pants?
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