Have you ever been doing your monthly books and noticed, or had your bookkeeper/accountant come up and tell you that, things are not looking good?
Business is down and bills are up. What do you do? A lot of times this is when companies turn to marketing. They start going out looking for opportunities for new business and eventually a tart will pass by and it just looks too good not to jump on.
There are many dating analogies being used to marketing these days and so I wanted to discuss the problems of the proverbial marketing one-night-stand. In the situation above companies are in crisis mode. They are looking for a quick-fix. They are not thinking long-term relationships or getting married to a marketing/branding firm. Depending upon your age this might strike a cord with you. The young group reading this might remember or still looking for one-night-stands and think they are fun. The more mature audience is probably thinking boy I'm happy those days are gone.
This is the case too with companies and marketing maturity levels. In the early days of your company finding a new marketing project with no commitments or long-term relationships is fun, exciting and really gets you going. The problem with what I call the "one-off-projects" (equivalent to one-night-stand) is that although this may be fun at the time, there is often negative results or resentment for months or years to come. This usually happens due to there is no gameplan, no real strategy, no way to measure the success of this one-off-project.
A one-off-projects could come in the form of and advertising rep calling and stopping by your office and filling your head with the number of people who get their yellowbook, newspaper, or magazine. They may also have a great day that will not be available tomorrow adding to the sense of urgency or importance to act today. It also could be a trade show your chamber is having that is happening in 2 weeks (which I will tell you is really not even close to enough time to plan an effective trade show campaign). Or it could be a printer who offers postcard printing and heck they'll throw in free design, a list of people to send them to and even do the mailing for you, so all you have to do is go home with them and leave the money on the nightstand.
As with any one-night-stand this can be dangerous to your health (personally and your business). Typically a one-off-project does not meet the needs you are looking for which usually is more business quickly. If you are doing a one-off marketing project just to have a little fun and get your name out there, but do not care about the results than a one-off-project is perfect and a lot of fun for a short amount of time. If however you are looking for bigger results and a lot of new business or better business/clients, the one-off-project will never work.
Flaws of the marketing one-night-stand:
- You don't even know the person's name - in marketing you do not even have a strategy or goal in mind or at least not one written down, when it is over, will you remember what you were trying to accomplish?
- Being unsafe could cause long term damage - if money is already low and you are struggling, paying for a quick-fix marketing solution will create another hit to your revenues. Worse most often the one-off will not work effectively which puts many business owners and CEOs in a new mindset of… "well that didn't work so I'm not going to do that again". This usually puts the breaks on future marketing which not only hurts business now, but could also hinder business development for years to come.
- Fun today doesn't always lead to a future happiness - real and effective marketing is similar to courtship. You are really looking to create a great and highly profitable business this is like the trusted spouse, kids (family), house, white picked-fence, etc. What are the chances a one-night-stand turns into a permanent long-term solution that brings you a life of happiness? It is rare. The same is true is quick unthought out or unstrategic marketing solutions.
One trade show, ad, direct mailer is never going to make you rich and successful. The odds of this should be crystal clear, but many business owners do not see this. Could it be they got the "beer-goggles" of the marketing world? You know that too good to be true opportunity that keeps looking better and better the more you drink their kool-aid.
Don't let this happen to you. Check back for tomorrow's article on how to get over the marketing one-night-stand.
Or try these Sales Tips for LinkedIn.