Every business owner and entrepreneur is set an unenviable task: to figure out a way to succeed. From the products you sell, how you sell them, where you sell them, the packaging, the aftercare, the logo, even the name, everything makes a difference. But as I learned from the late, great Gary Halbert, the single greatest advantage a business can have is a starving crowd.
You want, no wait, need people to be interested in your products. Well, it’s actually more than that, you want people to WANT your products. Now if you’re a company like Apple, you’re set. Each product they put out has their loyal fans drooling. But in Apple’s case maybe “fans” is not the right word, after all, Apple has what some people like to call a “cult like” following. So maybe “followers” or “believers” is a more apt description.
Unfortunately, most companies aren’t that lucky. So what can you do if you’re one of the many or a company just starting out? Well, the first thing you should do is find a starving crowd. And you do that by tapping into people’s frustrations, anger and desires. Once you have that you need to set about to solve them with your product or service. Once you have that, you have to put the final step into action, the one step that will put your business on the map: marketing.
How important is marketing to a business? To put it simply, marketing is like air for a business. Without it, it dies. Marketing, not the product, not the location, not even the people, is the single most powerful part of a business. Good marketing trumps everything else.
Done right, marketing gives a business a constant flow of customers coming in the door, ready to buy what it is you have to offer. However, it is important to remember that marketing alone will not ensure success. A product that stinks will ruin any excitement built up from your marketing efforts. Poor customer service could lead to a viral hailstorm from which you might not be able to recover.
Marketing, service, product, team, vision – they’re all part of the same machine: the business. If one part of the machine is poorly constructed, it will be a bumpy ride. However, every business should learn a powerful lesson from Microsoft and that it’s not necessary to have a product that works flawlessly. In today’s digital world, you can always fix any mistakes later. Instead, focus on getting it out there, and then marketing the heck out of it.
To truly understand just how important is marketing to a business, let’s take a look at two good examples. Probably one of the best marketing jobs ever perpetrated on the American people has to be the Malbro Man. A symbol of what it meant to be a real man, I can still see the cowboy riding his horse set in somewhere that looked to be like Montana, enjoying a cigarette after a hard day’s work. The ads were pulled from TV long ago, but the image remains with me some thirty years after I saw them. That’s the power of marketing. Marketing done right sticks. It embeds itself in our psyche.
How important is marketing to a business?
Take Apple and their hugely successful iPod commercials. Who can forget those bright colors with silhouette dancers holding their beloved music player? The music was hip. It was fresh. And it went after the age group that loves to talk: youngsters. Ingenious.
How important is marketing to a business? Marketing often determines whether your business will be around in a year. You may have a great product, you may have great aftercare, you may have incredible service, but if no one knows you exist, you’re relying on people finding you. That’s not always an easy task, especially in our world of unlimited choice. When it comes to products and services, the winner isn’t always the best, but rather the one that people are familiar with. That’s what marketing does for your business: it gets your message out there. And in doing so, it predisposes people to buy what it is you have to sell.
Marketing comes in many different forms; from old fashioned flyers, pamphlets and billboards to modern day social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Each has their pros and cons, but that’s for another day. Simply accepting that marketing is important and must be made a priority in your business is already a step in the right direction.
Every business should include a marketing budget, but more than that, they should invest the time to learn the secrets of marketing. It’s one of the best investments a business can make.
When businesses are struggling to make money, often the two things to go are training and marketing. They cut back on the two things that pay off the most.
Don’t make the same mistake. Make marketing a priority and watch the money roll in.