Why Imitating Big Companies Is Dumb For Small Businesses

If you’re in business and want to grow quickly, there are 397 ingenious marketing strategies in just 12 areas of business to get your there. Most of these strategies your competitors have never even considered using. Why? Because they make the mistake of relying on commissioned sales reps for marketing advice. That’s dumb. As psychologist Abraham Maslow is famous for saying: “to the person who only has a hammer all problems look like a nail.” The same is true of ad agents. Since the only thing ad agents sell are ads, they never advise on other ways to grow a business. They instead preach “branding” and “top of mind awareness”. That’s the wrong focus for small to medium sized businesses. I know that may sound offensive. Many business owners have yelled at me, cursed me, even scornfully ridiculed me before walking away without testing a single strategy. Why? Because their egos were bruised when I pointed out imitating big business image advertising is a mistake for a business of their size. Instead of imagining even for a moment there might be a better way to grow a company than throwing away money on ads that don’t work, they chose to act like the naked emperor who refused to admit his nakedness. Whether you realize it or not, the real purpose in marketing an independent businesses is totally different than the reasons large corporations advertise. Large corporations advertise first and foremost to avoid being forgotten. Second, they advertise to appear proactive to investors, retailers, and wholesalers. By running big expensive ads, the corporations appear to support retailers and investors with big ad budgets. They are NOT advertising to generate leads or to increase sales. They are simply trying to give the image of spending money to help drive sales. Nothing could be further from the truth. Few investors, wholesalers, or retailers have spent decades studying marketing. Most have no clue what a good ad is or what a bad is. All they know is whether or not an ad made them laugh, and whether or not a company is advertising at all. I’ve heard investor say things like, ‘any ad is better than no ad.‘ Not for small business it isn’t. Ads that don’t generate sales actually hurt your bottom line. You are losing money instead of making money. When an independent business tries to grow by imitating the ads big businesses create, they are flushing cash down the toilet. That’s because those “entertaining” image ads were never designed to generate a sale in the first place. And that’s the way ad agents like it. Ad agents don’t want companies running ads that are supposed to generate verifiable sales. Ad agents make their money in volume of ads sold, not on sales results. Besides, IT’S NOT THE AD AGENT’S JOB TO MAKE YOUR AD PROFITABLE. It’s your job! Ad agents provide you a medium to communicate with your market. Getting your market to respond is your job. If you really want to grow your company, focus on marketing methods designed to generate sales. Why run ads that never were designed to make your phone ring, make someone visit your web site, send you cash, or step through your doors? Isn’t getting a predictable action from your market really what you want? I’ve seen as much as a 6,000% return on smart marketing dollars. Increasing your sales is possible. But not through image advertising. For every dollar you invest in smart marketing you MUST get back $10, or $100, or more in new sales. It isn’t uncommon for smart marketers to generate $15,000 in sales from a $100 marketing investment. All without advertising. As I said in the beginning, there are 397 ingenious marketing strategies in just 12 areas of business that can help just about any company double or triple sales in a short amount of time. But the bottom line is, I can’t make you believe this is true. And I can’t make you agree with me. In the end, it’s your company and your decision. Just ask yourself, do you want marketing that generates more sales and more leads, or do you just want to make people laugh at you? You decide. — You may publish this article in your newsletter, on your website, or other publication as long as the article content is not altered and the resource box MUST include an active link. Notification of article use is appreciated, but not required. Andre can be reached at http://www.andrebell.com/askandre/