Marketing: Why It’s More Important Than You Think (and how to do it right)

Dan 8The good news is that more companies then ever in our industry are finally figuring out that they need some marketing. I have seen this trend rise in the past few years, where once it was a rare EMS or PCB company that did marketing, to now where we are seeing more companies than ever getting involved.

Some companies are going to advertising route, while others are using social media, and others are writing white papers and hosting lunch and learns and some, the more inspired ones, understand that marketing is a mosaic and doing all the above.

And so, I applaud those companies who have seen the light and are now jumping in and investing time and money into publicizing their companies. But, there are a few things, secrets, as my favorite business writer likes to call them, that you should know as you enter the marketing arena.

Let me stop here for a brief minute, and talk about this man Seth Godin. He is literally the best marketing guru out there today. I have read, and re-read all of Mr. Godin’s books numerous times and even then, I find myself constantly going back to his books to get some ideas, and yes, to get inspired by his work to help the companies I work with. I would urge all of you to go to Amazon right now and pick up every book this man has written. Sounds crazy, but I mean it. Reading and studying his work will make you a better marketing manager putting out better marketing media.

That being said, here from Seth’s book Watcha Gonna Do with That DuckAnd Other Provocations, here are the Top 10 Secrets of the Marketing Process:

  1. Don’t run out of money. It always takes longer, and costs more than you expect to spread your idea. You can budget for it or you can fail.
  2. You won’t get it right the first time. Your campaign will need to be reinvented, adjusted, or scrapped. Count on it.
  3. Convenient choices are not the best choices. Just because an agency, an asset, or a biz deal is easy to do, doesn’t mean that it is your best choice.
  4. Irrational, strongly held beliefs of close advisors should be ignored. It doesn’t matter if they like or don’t like your logo.
  5. If it makes you nervous, it’s probably a good idea. If you’re sure you’re right, you probably aren’t.
  6. Focusing obsessively on one niche. Or one feature, and one market is almost always a better idea than trying to satisfy everyone.
  7. At one point, you’re going to have to stick to your convictions or do what the market tells you. It’s hard to do both.
  8. Compromise in marketing is almost always a bad idea. Extreme A could work. Extreme B could work. The average of A and B will almost never work.
  9. Test, measure, and optimize. Figure out what’s working, and do it more.
  10. Read and learn. There are a million clues, case studies, books, and proven tactics out there. You can’t profitably ignore them until you know them, and you don’t have the time or the money to make the same mistake someone else made last week. It’s cheaper and faster to read about it that it is to do it.

And now a few of my own: Here are ten stupid things you should never say about your marketing program:

  1. If we place this ad and it works, we might not have enough time to build all the orders that are going to come in.
  2. We can’t start the advertising campaign yet; the product will not be ready for 30 days.
  3. Okay, we will try one ad and see what happens
  4. My wife does not like this ad, we had better change it.
  5. What if everyone wants this and we can’t keep up…they could sue us.
  6. Let’s see if we can get some business coming in and then we’ll have the funds to advertise.
  7. I hate getting those email newsletters, so I’m not going to be sending any.
  8. We sent this newsletter to 17,000 people. 3 people did not like it, so we won’t do that again! And of yes, only 10% of those 17,000-people responded to the newsletter.
  9. We’ve never used marketing before, why should we start now?
  10. I’m not placing this ad until I know that everything in the company is operating perfectly.

And one more as always to under promise and over-deliver and my all-time personal favorite. We don’t want to advertise because the competition will know what we’re doing!

Look, it all boils down to this. It is a big world out there, it is a big market and people have a lot of choices. so you have to use marketing to get your name out there in front of that market, in front of people who need your products. But you have to do it because without marketing, no one will even know your name, no one will even know you exist. And how are they going to buy from you if they don’t even know who you are or what you do? Get with it, get going on your marketing, get out there and shout to the rafters about who you are, what you do and why you are better then everyone else. It’s only common sense.

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