“Most marketing mistakes stem from the assumption that you’re fighting a product battle rooted in reality.” ― Al Ries, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
A simple rule in this life that has made people millions of dollars is, simply put, teach people how to use common sense. Well, this very same rule applies to building your business, and for reference, in this post will refer to such industry as the "brand." Now let me add one more subtle cognitive rule to this equation so when we dig into this idea of not needing to spend money on advertising and why a massive amount of people do the opposite.
Perspective is a funny thing. If you hear about a new car model, especially in a conversation that managed to outbid the other things fighting for your attention. My bet is, you will start seeing that model all over the stinking place. Right?
Glad you agree because it's the truth. Well, when you spend countless days, analyzing, budgeting, creating and monitoring the return of various growth inspired investments by a wide variety of professional offerings.
You start to pay attention to who does, in fact, spend money on advertising, and who doesn't. Then all of a sudden these common sense things that guru's like Al Ries have yelled from the marketing pulpit for years start to make sense! Doh!
Think about these fundamental principles of being an impressive offering for a minute;
- Being the best at anything speaks volumes.
- Use the principle able and being unique carves out a privately owned space in the consumer's mind.
- Catering to a specific group of people, the people who love your offering.
- The best advertising is third-party referential testimony and credibility.
- Creating and providing a top-notch experience that directly impacts the consumer's frontal cortex.
- Purposely positioning yourself as a leader in your chosen field and then backing it up with the principles above.
- Focusing on a narrow offering that fills a specific void with premium solutions that are deep.
The list goes on - Buy some Al and Laura Ries Books -
I guarantee there is a restaurant in your area that serves the best food, locally owned, has excellent service and offer a specific fair. In my neck of the woods, it's places like The Vig, The Culinary Drop Out, and Amuse Bouche Bistro.
Do you want to know how I heard about the above? From trusted friends and colleagues.
Do you want to know how they told me about said venues? Passionately
When I tried them personally, how was my experience? Phenomenal, I too was converted into a disciple who will now run around and when asked where I would recommend a friend eat. I will confidently refer them to one of the places I listed for you.
I have yet to see an advertisement for any of the above.
On the contrast, I did work for a local expert who spends on average 40% of his monthly sales on advertising. Do the math, if you touch that many souls and your damn good, do you think that you would have to keep on spending that much on getting new ones?
So how does advertising defend my position?
First and foremost you should have a position, not only in your branding but your customer's mind. Who are you and what do you stand for, how do you want to be identified! These are all massively important.
When you have the competition going after you in that same space, smash em. Advertising is to defend your brand not build it. The average return rate on mass advertising is so stinking small that you are better off hiring a better chef and making sure you have a clean restaurant than spending money on a billboard.
There are caveats to any rule and with today's mediums like facebook and google; you can spend a few cautious bucks on talking directly to those who you know have a higher rate of potential engagement. Strictly based off on the fact they made an effort to like you or specific targeting to someone who could use your services with technical google placement and a limited budget.
Once you're doing well, you will have others trying to steal your seat if they can figure out how. That is when you invest a fair amount in putting the gloves on. I would focus on creating the best foundation and using your marketing bucks to secure your space in the right people's mind before I spent a ton of anything else.
Side note- Groupon does have a place in a new business launch but my opinion, it has very little value in other areas.
Ha, you never know I may learn something new if so I will keep you posted.
Now go build your brand! For Real!!