So You Don’t Think You Need To Market Your Small Business?
So, You Don’t Think You Need To Market You Small Business...
Do you think you’re the oddball, just because you think you really don’t need to market your business or non-profit?
I guarantee you’re not alone. Sometimes these folks are correct; more often not, I’m afraid. At Write Like A Madman University Online, we are constantly bringing you case studies relevant to your entrepreneurial, small business experience. WLAM U offers you 8 courses and tutorials plus 7 loaded toolboxes or "how to" and "why to" marketing and copywriting information. We’ll go into a couple of quick case studies to illustrate my belief that most companies absolutely, positively need to communicate with their prospects and customers regularly, to grow and maintain a personal business, an ongoing company, or a non-profit. In other words, to market.
Let’s listen to Lee Iacocca, the man behind the Ford Mustang, and CEO of Chrysler.
Case Study: A Tale Of Two Businesses – Part 1
This story is about a man and wife we'll call “Bob and Rae”.
Bob was brought up in a family business started by his grandfather, Bob, was passed on to Bob’s father, Rob, and finally sold to Bob the younger around 1980. The Firm, Bob, Rob, Bob & Sons was in the business of buying hides from beef processors and selling and shipping those hides to tanners overseas. Tanners prepared the hides to be turned into leather for items like coats, furniture, briefcases, wallets, etc. The Bobs’ activity flow looked like this:
- Call the Meat Packers and place order to buy hides.
- Call Tanners and arrange to sell and ship the hides to them.
They knew all their vendors and customers personally, so there was never a need to communicate through media, letters, advertising, etc. It was virtually the simplest business model you can think of.
They didn’t need to advertise or market, and they knew it.
Case Study: A Tale Of Two Businesses – Part 2
Let’s follow Bob the younger to the year 2000.
Bob, Rob, Bob & Sons was doing well enough that Bob moved his family to Arizona from the Midwest.
Mrs. Bob was antsy; she needed something to do. Her friend owned a café, so Mrs. Bob volunteered to help out. A few years later, Mrs. Bob’s friend got sick, and Mr. Bob bought the café for his wife. The beginning went great, but four years later the café needed to move to a new building a mile or two away. Bob bought the building and retrofitted it as a restaurant.
Their opening was a smash – and, because Bob didn’t believe in advertising, the only thing they did was put a sign on the old café’s door telling the faithful where they moved. And it worked.
And Now, The Rest of the Story
Over the next three years, the traffic at the café started to taper off – soon they were serving fewer meals per day – but in a bigger, newer, more expensive building.
Profits turned to losses, and they fretted over how to bring back the patrons. I was called in to evaluate the business. My recommendations were – since they moved into an area with new housing communities, they should do two things.
- Institute a postcard/coupon campaign to all the new move-ins.
- Collect the emails of every diner (in exchange for a chance to win a home-baked pie in a weekly drawing). By getting their customers’ names, emails, and birthday information, they could set up an automated email marketing campaign.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the push-back.
And The Rest of the Rest of the Story
Bob said he didn’t believe in advertising, as didn’t his father or grandfather (I cringed) then, Mrs. Bob told me the previous owner had collected 5,000 customer emails (I rejoiced) …but she couldn’t find them (I cringed again).
- Bob came from a business that didn’t need to market or advertise because their vendor list numbered twelve, and their customer list contained only 17 names. He was right.
- Bob was shortsighted because now they had to service hundreds, if not thousands of customers…and they only “personally knew about 5%” of them. The two businesses were worlds apart, but Bob and Mrs. Bob didn’t seem to get that.
- They tried one postcard mailing to 2,000 homes, called it a failure and let it feed their bias against marketing. Truth is, you need to touch a prospect about 7 times before he’s ready to listen, and act.
So, without a good email list and without external marketing, the café limped through the next 18 months (pre-covid), the losses piled up and they had to shut the doors.
What You Can Learn About The Need To Market Your Business?
Famed business author, Peter Drucker said…
If you have a business that is both innovative AND has a very limited vendor and clientele list, you probably don’t need to do traditional marketing. Now I ask, how many businesses do you know that fit this description?
For most of us, knowing how to write copy, websites, advertising, email campaigns, and content are essential to our success.
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Want To Learn More About How To Market Your Business?
Here's a FREE Infographic that will help. Refer to it whenever you're doing marketing. Click Here To Download "The Seven Deadly Sins of Marketing".
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