Let’s Demystify Marketing

by | Jan 27, 2016

by | Jan 27, 2016 | Marketing

On Advertising, a seminal book by advertising legend David Ogilvy, was published in 1985. Cable television was quickly joining broadcast TV, newspapers, magazines, and radio as mandatory mediums essential for reaching potential customers.

It was a simpler time.

The complexity of today’s marketing landscape is so frustrating that some business leaders refuse to do any marketing at all, offering three main excuses.

Excuse #1: I Can’t Afford It

True, it requires a massive budget to win the volume game in marketing.

Of course, it works if you’re Coca Cola. Coke’s marketing plan has blanket advertising, public relations, and a massive promotional effort that spans six continents. And, the only reason I don’t say seven continents is because I haven’t been to Antarctica. There may be a red igloo there with the famous script Coca Cola on the side (if you see that, send me a picture!).

Here’s the simple truth – Coke is a bad marketing example to follow. Coke’s resources don’t compare to ours. For us, the smart move is to invest in a few marketing efforts we know work. Which brings me to number two…

Excuse #2: I Don’t Know If It Works

John Wanamaker, famed business owner from the 19th Century, said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

It’s a funny thought, but I counter it with slightly updated thinking: “In business, if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.”

The temptation is to measure in anecdotes – if a customer comes into your store saying they saw your ad, then the ad worked. This is great if you have a customer-base made up of talkative extroverts who offer this information up.

But, an anecdote is not a measurement. And, while digital marketing is ideal for measurement, all marketing is measurable. Just not in the same way.

Excuse #3: I Don’t Understand It

Marketing in today’s modern age is intimidating. Every week there’s a new tool, app, or publication launching. It’s a lot to keep up with (even for those of us who try).

But, not understanding what’s possible when it comes to building your business cannot be an excuse.

My goal with this column is to share my experience, hear your experience (please email me!), and attempt to demystify a complex subject.

While I’m no Ogilvy (that much is self-evident at this point), I do suspect the timing is right for a weekly conversation on modern marketing.

I look forward to guiding it.

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