Branding Blog

Does buying all marketing feel like your being sold a bill of goods?

Written by Dale Berkebile | Sat, Nov 17, 2012

How can the billions of dollars being spent on marketing be so ineffective?

I've been in the marketing industry for nearly 20 years. One thing I can say for sure is that 99% of marketers and marketing are total crap. Is this the pot calling the kettle black? Well, I don't think so. Honestly I'm an ad guy that hates advertising. Why is this? Because it interrupts my TV programming, my radio listening, my magazine reading and clutters up my inbox and my mailbox. The point here is this… most advertising and marketing is done blindly in hopes to find one person who will buy a product… all the while frustrating the other 10,000 people that have to put up with it. Highly targeted advertising catering to my wants and needs is great, but so rare.

I gave up listening to the radio partly because the ads suck, but also because commercial radio plays music that sucks. They carter to what they think everyone wants to hear and will play the same thing over and over and over whether you like it or not, just like advertisers do. This is where Pandora came in, it gave me an alternative focused on what I wanted… good music. I hated their ads so much I bought Pandora One (the paid version with no ads). If I use a free app on my smartphone and like it, I buy the paid version because I HATE the crappy and untargeted ads.

So why am I telling you this? Is this hindering you from hiring me to do marketing for you? Maybe. Or maybe I am saying something other marketers do not want you to know. Hell most marketers don't want to know it themselves… Most marketing DOES NOT WORK.

When we say it doesn't work, what do we mean. My idea is that in order for marketing to work it has to actually be tied to sales. It has to REALLY be connected to the bottom line. It needs to double, triple or quadruple the expense that is paid to do it. It should be used to build brand awareness, but only after making money. Marketing that does not make money is only useful for brand awareness. If people know about your company but never buy anything how effective is brand awareness? And more importantly how long will you be in business?

Often times marketers are lazy, business owners and CEOs are lazy and even sales people are lazy. I was talking to a company the other day that has reached a certain level of success and over all they are doing pretty well. They're pulling in a few million per year. Not bad right? They've been paying good money for marketing and worked with the same marketer for over 8 years. Sadly though they are not hitting the sales numbers they want to hit, not even with some REALLY GREAT LOOKING and regularly done marketing campaigns.

So what is the real problem here and the problem with so many other campaigns, marketers and companies in general? They do not understand sales. They settle for mediocrity and the praise of others that do not know a damn thing about sales (or marketing for that matter). Most marketing is really just an EGO STROKER and not a sales tool. But how can a million dollar business not understand sales? Well they understand some basics, but their sales team and marketing team do not have a clue about REAL SALES, REAL SALES STRATEGIES, REAL SALES PROCESSES, REAL SALES TRAINinG, REAL SALES EVALUATIONS. And because of this they just do ok and never reach greatness or the true goals they are trying to hit. You can only take your "OK" sales skills so far and then you will plateau even with good marketing.

So have you ever bought marketing that didn't deliver what you were hoping for? I'd bet you're shacking your head up and down right now. Are you tired of missing your sales goals? Are you tired of betting the farm on marketing? Would you like to just once have something you do, give you the kind of growth you are looking for? If you're tried of throwing money down the drain? If so, we may want to have a sales conversation, not a marketing conversation.

Photo by Images_of_Money