When most people think about marketing, they equate it to being told the Who, What, When, Where and Why of a product. Who is selling this great thing? What a fantastic product it is and all its selling features, That it's a limited time offer. Where you need to rush to buy it. Why it is just the perfect thing for you to buy. If you go to a traditional marketing school, you will learn how to write ad copy, produce TV or radio commercials, or design all those suggestive magazine ads.
But let's face it. We are bombarded so much with advertising these days, which our eyes and brains tend to glaze over most of it. It takes something pretty clever, cute or out-of-the-ordinary anymore to catch people's attention. There are very few campaigns where people actually will stop fast-forwarding to watch the commercial. Of course, I know a lot of people who like to see what the Geico Gecko or the Apple guy are going to do next. Some people are still asking why Taco Bell got rid of the Chihuahua. But these successes are far and few between.
If you have got a million dollar budget and have time to create an 'image', then you are probably not concerned about learning this, since you can hire someone to do it. For the rest of us, starting a small business means that we have small budgets and not much time to start making a profit. We don't have time to go out and beat people over the head with our product or service.
Now, I'm not suggesting all of the traditional advertising media is bad. I AM saying that a small business person needs to change their thinking on How to use them. I am going to discuss How to design a marketing campaign that will have people calling you and asking to do business with you. I'm going to discuss the principles that you should judge any marketing you are thinking of running against. You will find this recurring theme throughout all of the marketing courses.
What Doesn't Work
If you have read the first three courses in our Foundation series, then you are lot farther ahead than most people that want to go into business for themselves. By now, you know where you are going and you are committed to getting there no matter what. You know that you have everything you need to be successful, if you will just act upon it.
Most people do not fail because of a poor product or service (there are exceptions), but because they do not know how to market. They do not know how to get people's attention through all of the noise of daily life. They do not know how to stand out from their competition. That is because they are using the same tired advertising methods everyone else is using.
What do most brick-and-mortar (off-line) marketers do? They hand out business cards, put flyers on cars, take out ads in community newspapers, ask for referrals, and put door hangers on my screen door. I get so much stuff hung on my door and mail box, I don't even read them anymore. They all say about the same thing. Do business with me, because I'm better!! They go straight into the trash. They never give me a reason to WANT to contact them.
The same is true with network marketers. They go to all the meetings. Make their lists (or buy leads). Shove all the great company produced literature at people about how great their products are compared to the competition. And with network marketing moving to the internet, the problem has gotten even bigger, because now everyone seems to be promoting a super special, secret system that will make you rich overnight!
None of these methods will make you a ton of money for the long term.