Whoa, did I just write that? Apparently so. I mean, you just read it, right?
How can I, a marketing consultant, say that my craft is a waste of money? It’s not exactly the best way for me to get new clients now, is it?
Of course, I don’t mean that marketing as a concept is a waste of money for your business. In temporary slumps, marketing is the pick-me-up your business needs to get an injection of cashflow to keep it breathing.
What I do mean is that marketing CAN be a waste of money for a few different reasons:
1. What people THINK marketing is
A lot of my unenlightened friends think that marketing is synonymous with sales. And I’m talking about traditional sales, not Ari Galper-type, integrity-based sales. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners also think the same thing.
They think the only option is to go and buy expensive brand advertising “solutions” (just what problem are they solving exactly?), when ironically, this creates a bigger problem in the form of debt or at best, significantly reduced cash flow.
2. Lead Generation
Yep. The lead generation industry is another farce that tends to exploit people who think that they just need more people coming through their door to make more money.
The problem with lead generation is that it often doesn’t address or delve deeply enough into why your customers are buying from you in the first place. Lead generation treats customers as numbers, not the physical and emotional beings that they are.
Everyone purchases with emotion and justifies with logic. That’s a fact. There is not enough focus on the emotional reasons people buy something.
Don’t get me wrong. Lead generation does work, but the cost to acquire a new customer is a lot higher than simply picking up the phone or tapping out a message through email to a current customer and asking them what you can do for them.
3. No positive ROI
This last reason is a big reason why marketing is also often frowned upon as a dodgy industry. Some consultants charge an exorbitant amount of fees simply for some “advice”. On top of that, by the end of the month or the year, the results of their efforts are usually dismal or even non-existent.
In this case, the money that you paid the consultant wasn’t returned in multiples. They either didn’t promise you a certain ROI or they were never capable of doing it in the first place, meaning that they deliberately avoided accountability in that area.
True marketing is systematic and predictable. The value of each customer should be calculable within the dollar. The cost to acquire customers should be calculable within the dollar. Most importantly, the amount you expect to receive back from the marketing consultant should be positive as well.
Business owners who work with marketing consultants shouldn’t have to worry about when he/she’s going to start seeing the money roll in. He/she should be dealing with the business while the marketer does his/her job.