You know what probably the biggest mistake a business can make is?
It’s viewing marketing as an expense.
As a cost.
Something which a business must endure, like paying rates, wages, bribing Fianna Fáil county councilors and so forth.
But it’s a point of view I totally empathize with.
You see, when it comes to how most businesses view advertising and marketing, they’ve just not been taught any better. It’s not really their fault.
They’ve been fed a line of crap by those companies who supposedly are there to help them.
Unfortunately, they simply aren’t.
Let’s take the most obvious one. That yellow book that most businesses would traditionally advertise in.
I’m not too au fait with how much it costs for an ad in that same yellow book but I’m reliably informed it can be as high as €10k per year. Which actually could turn out to be reasonable value for money IF it produces at least that amount in business.
But here’s the rub: most, if not all companies will have no idea if it is producing any sort of a return or not. They will have no clue whether particular advertising is producing any business, or if the ad itself has been optimized to produce its best possible response.
The ad copy wont have been split tested. Neither will the offer, nor the headline.
In short, it’ll be sheer dumb luck whether it produces a response or not.
In light of this approach, is it any wonder that your typical business views marketing as an expense?
Why wouldn’t they when it’s just something which works “sometimes?”
But there is a better way…
It starts with understanding the fundamentals of marketing.
How to split test offers, how to understand what makes your prospect buy and how to track your marketing efforts.
Its information that’s found in a book that all successful marketers come back to time and time again when they need a refresher of the fundamentals, a tome written some 90 years ago.
It’s a book called “Scientific Advertising” written by arguably the godfather of modern marketing, Claude Hopkins.
But old as it is, no less relevant, it ain’t.
You can grab it here..
It’s a brief read and while it shouldn’t take you more than a couple of hours, I highly recommend you read it a few times at least, to let its timeless principles tattoo themselves into your consciousness.
Your business’s bottom line will thank you.
Keith “Scientific” Commins
PS: Marketing is quite a simple discipline really, but it’s been needlessly complicated by “creative” types and others who insist on being clever, witty, funny, outlandish or amusing in their ads (like most of the nonsense you see on TV or print advertising)
Whether you’re marketing on the web or offline, the principles of great marketing are the same. They’re based around what I refer to as the three “M’s”, namely your “Message”, “Market” and your “Medium”. All you have to do is get all three right.
How might you do that, you ask? Well stay tuned, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings..