Great Product vs Great Marketing

picsmcSo you have the best product or service at a great price, the few customers you have just love your business and what you do but you can’t understand why it’s so hard to get new clients when your competitors with inferior products and services with higher prices are getting new clients and making more money than you? What’s the answer? Marketing!

I get asked all the time why a business is under performing compared to the competition and it’s almost always the same answer; the competition is spending more on more effective marketing. This is often backed up with a more effective sales strategy that is closing more deals because they know that “telling is not selling”.

I am sorry if this sounds rude but the general public are lazy, they want easy, convenient, simple, uncomplicated and often whatever is in front of them now because that’s the easiest option. Even more discerning clients will often opt for what they know because further research is too time consuming and they need something fulfilled now.

If you are not easy to find or (put basically) in their face, you will struggle to get sales and new clients.

What are your successful competitors doing that you are not? Firstly they are probably delegating their marketing to an expert. Every business owner knows that you can end up wearing all the hats in a business; the bookkeeper, the sales person, web designer, marketing manager etc. This is OK but only up to a certain point, it is very difficult to be a master at all of these things and despite what you might think, you may just not ever be cut out to be great at some of these things. Stick to what you are good at and delegate the rest where possible.

I know many very profitable businesses that make awful products, with terrible customer service and bad websites, yet they still get new customers and plenty of repeat business because their marketing and sales are the largest and most important sections of their business. But I don’t know many successful businesses that have an amazing product but limited marketing and sales capacity. Many businesses have been built on sales and marketing strategies alone, very few businesses with only a great product but no sales or marketing survive for very long.

I am not saying that is how it should be and it’s quite sad, but that is just the way it is. Your potential clients’ human nature dictates that.

What marketing should you be doing? This depends on your business and who you are selling to. All marketing is a punt in the beginning but you can make some educated choices. This is where many go wrong. For example it’s easy to phone a local newspaper and pay a large amount of money for an ad or start a pay-per-click Adwords campaign and spend hundreds in a week or two, get no new clients and give it up as a bad idea. Who designed your ad? You? Did you write it based on how it works rather than the benefits? Did you offer something free or cheap and then got surprised the people you attracted didn’t want to spend money? Did you target a demographic that don’t read newspapers or click on Google ads? This is why it’s often best to spend more on the sales and marketing people than on the ads themselves.

Let me give you a personal example from my own experience. When I launched my first book back in 2011 I had no idea how to promote myself or a book. The businesses I had been involved with required business to business sales which I was good at, but I had limited experience at that time of promoting myself and a book. In the first month of that book release it sold about 30 copies. How much did I spend on advertising and marketing in that month; about $1500. So my return on investment was zero, in fact about minus $1350. It has done very well since then but the first month was very poor because I wasn’t experienced enough in the areas of marketing and PR for selling books at that time. After working with (and paying for) advice and training from some of the top people in book PR and social media marketing my next book sold 600 copies in the first week and was a bestseller in 3 categories on Amazon. what was the cost of using specialists and the marketing budget for the new book; about $750 (half of the previous budget for first book launch). ROI? Hard to calculate because there were discounts and promotions but also because the book sales generated consultancy work that I would have to calculate that in too. Put it this way; I made more than my investment back in the first week and it has continued making me money since.

Regardless of the exact figures, it’s plain and simple to see the difference between the two book launches and the returns.

There has been a seismic shift in marketing in the last few years away from old print advertising and old online ads to new media and new online marketing techniques and it has taken me 3 years working with some of the top people in the business to learn what works so don’t be surprised you or “experts” that haven’t kept up are struggling. It’s not an easy thing to get right.

If you would like some help with marketing your business or just to share your experiences I would really like to hear from you. Get in touch via the form below and I will email you back.

2 thoughts on “Great Product vs Great Marketing”

  1. I really despise advertising, Matt, so I’m thrilled to see the seismic shift in marketing.
    “I know many very profitable businesses that make awful products, with terrible customer service and bad websites, yet they still get new customers and plenty of repeat business” Care to give us an example or two? Thanks!

    1. Thanks for the comment but I think I would be opening myself up to a lot of trouble if I start naming too many names but unfortunately there are an awful lot of businesses interested in making money only. The best companies are those that manage both a good marketing and sales process together with great products and service.

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