They say the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing continuously, and expecting a different result."
In marketing, I say "marketing your business the same way everybody else does is insane!"
One thing that seems to be evident to most marketing experts is that the majority of new businesses seem to be marketing ineffectively.
More specifically, they're not getting the most "bang" for their marketing dollars. They're seem oblivious to thinking that it might be possible to get a better result for the same time, money and effort they're already spending.
And, what's worse is that many don't care. They actually think their business is about their trade. I, and many other experts, suggest it's about marketing - about getting and keeping customers for life.
Although their philosophy about doing business seems insane (and it is!), I believe the insanity lies in those who emulate everyone else. Most people entering into business for the first time never really plan to stay in business. (I bet you're wondering what I mean by that, right?)
I'm sure you've heard varying statistics that say something like "one in three businesses will be out of business in a year" or "three out of five businesses will be out of business in five years."
While those may be true, let me tell you the real reason for this: they don't know how to market themselves effectively. They think that people will flock to them because they offer something. But the truth is, if no one knows you exist, no one will come do business with you.
Because you are good at what you do is no indication that people will do business with you.
Let me put it this way:
If you threw a diamond ring worth $2 million dollars in the desert for someone to find, and you told no one, does that mean people will go flocking to find it because it's valuable?
Absolutely not. THAT'S INSANE!
Marketing is about communicating with prospective and current clients about the value, benefits, and distinct advantages you offer. Without communicating to these people, they know nothing about you. They do not know you exist. So, their only choice is to go to someone who does communicate with them.
While understanding that you must communicate with your prospective and current clients is very important, how you communicate to them is even more important.
What I want you to understand right now is that you should not base your marketing plan on what everyone else is doing, necessarily.
- You should not copy what your competitor is doing just because they're doing it.
- You should not do what your previous boss did.
- You should do what works to market yourself.
That's how you stop the madness - the marketing insanity.
Marketing insanity comes when you emulate someone else's marketing strategy just because you think, "if they're doing it, that must be what I should do."
You should do what works for your business. You should never guess. You should TEST!
Testing what works and what doesn't is the most powerful marketing strategy you can employ. It allows results to be the final determination of what works and what doesn't.
Testing your marketing strategies is what separates the "men from the boys." You will stay in business longer because you're not insane enough to keep doing what doesn't work.
What do you test? For starters, you can test:
- One ad against another
- One headline against another
- One sales approach against another
- One offer against another
- One event date against another
- One publication versus another, etc.
Always test. Never assume what works. Always "put it to a vote" as one of my teachers says.
You will only know what works for your business by doing it yourself, testing it, and by making small improvements to it until it works consistently for you.
If it doesn't work, you don't use it anymore.
Now one thing I do want to make clear. If someone else does have a successful marketing strategy or program that works for them, test to see if it works for you.
I am a big advocate of testing strategies from outside my industry. However, don't just adopt everything they do, but see what works and what doesn't in your business.
Because you may deal with a slightly or altogether different clientele, the results may be very different. So, you have to be careful. But, again, test carefully and see what the results are.
I want to leave you with this important message: "STOP THE MADNESS, NOW!"
Remember, marketing insanity is what happens when you assume that because someone else is doing something, you should.
Dare to be different by doing what most businesses are not doing, by testing everything you do before "buying into it." You and your clients will be the beneficiaries of your wise decision.
Test to be the best!
Copyright 2001-2006 By Craig Valine
Craig Valine is a Marketing Performance Coach Who Helps Independent Consultants, Coaches, and Service Professionals Get More Clients, Make More Money, and Have More Fun In Their Business. To subscribe to his "Marketing YOUniquely" eNewsletter, Go To www.craigvaline.com/subscribe.html