Small business managers would all like to know one good reason they should spend money on marketing in a down economy. Let me tell you a few reasons why you shouldn’t (but don’t think for a minute that this is all I will say on the topic).
- It costs money and you haven’t budgeted any,
- It requires a creative skillset that doesn’t exist in your firm,
- You are not sure what good marketing looks like,
- There doesn’t seem to be a direct correlation with new business and any marketing effort you’ve done in the past,
- You hire great salespeople instead.
And with all these universally valid reasons, the rest of the world – including your competitors – continue to just throw their money away on marketing and advertising. What are they thinking? Well, they are thinking about why they choose one supplier over another and assume that many of their prospects think the same way. Your potential customers are just like you. When faced with your company as a choice, they might have a little dialogue like this:
“Hmm, I’ve heard of them. They seem to have a good reputation.” or this:
“Why do these folks keep bugging me? Don’t they know I only hire top tier companies?”
The big difference between these dialogues is perception. And perception counts when you are trying to get noticed. This may not be enough to win the client, project, or opportunity – but it might be enough to not be eliminated from contention. Remember, just because you won a chance to bid on some work doesn’t mean you are a contender. But that’s another blog.
So, here’s why you shouldn’t market your company:
- Everyone has heard of you,
- You have a great reputation.
If you do not have these two things, then you are sending your sales team out into the world at a distinct disadvantage. And hiring better sales people will NOT make up the difference. (In fact what great sales people are forced to do to get in the door is make sure the customer has heard of them and that their reputation is good.)
To conclude, marketing doesn’t necessarily mean advertising, but it might. Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be. Don’t market if you do not need to, but make sure you have met the criteria. If you have a lousy reputation, the best you can hope for is that no one has heard of you.