I know that on many levels, it is really sad if you can’t dream – hell, I do! That said, I also know how dangerous it can become if your dreams are out of the ball park. Think about it for a minute – most evenings, sitting watching some of the ads that they present on TV, I actually have to ‘suspend belief’ in order for me to even try and understand the message that they are trying to get across. As an Internal Auditor, that for me is incredibly difficult – remember I live, deal and work in an environment that is based, strictly on fact!
Take for example the host of motor vehicle ads that are doing the rounds at the moment. Cars that morph into spiders, and snakes and the like, in order for them to travel where no other car goes. Firstly the idea of me actually believing that a car could change shape like that is an insult to my ‘logical’ brain and intelligence and secondly, I have no doubt that there are other brands of vehicles that can not only do the same kind of terrain, but probably a whole lot more than just that, seems to me to be a whole lot more reasonable.
Or how about the one where the driver, tired of listening to his girlfriend yapping away, opens the cubbyhole (or glove compartment – for the foreigners amongst us), and she gets ‘sucked’ into the compartment, never to be heard of again – well not until the next time that the ad is aired, you understand. Now I understand that they are trying to ‘sell’ the concept of ‘more space’ or spaciousness, but the idea of getting a whole body into that space for me is just ludicrous!
To be sure, that could be very well what they are trying to do to get me to remember the ad and therefore that will become my car of choice – but quite honestly, I don’t remember the make of the car or anything other than what a ridiculous ad that is!
Now if the car manufacturers have to go to these lengths to try and increase the level of sales, on branded products – why is it that so many of the small business owners or SMME’s as they are called, seem to think that because they have produced an ‘incredible’ product or service, that said product or service will automatically sell itself!
That for me is also where I have to ‘suspend belief’. Why would brands such as ‘Coca-Cola’ who are internationally branded and are known by just about every person on the planet, believe they need to advertise and yet someone who knows exactly 100 people on the planet, feel that they don’t need to advertise because the product will sell itself?
Clearly you need to market yourself. I, as an Internal Auditor – really do not know much about advertising and marketing – it’s not what I do. What I do know however, is that if people don’t know about you or your product, you are not going to sell any of your product and that is the bottom line.
Marketing can be as expensive or as inexpensive as the amount of money that you have to spend, and for me it’s got to be believable too.
When I started, I certainly did not have a huge budget (and to be quite honest – I still don’t), but I did know that I had to get myself out there. I had to tell people about who I am and what it is that I do and believe me, telling them once just doesn’t cut it! You have to go back and tell them time and time again, at some point a light bulb will go off in their heads and they will understand that they need either your service or your product, but until that time – you have to keep telling them.
As an Internal Auditor, I always tell people, that it is not about making money – that’s easy! It’s about making a profit! To make a profit, you have to sell and in order to sell, you have to market yourself and your product.
It does not matter how incredible your product or service is, people still have to know about it in order for it to ‘sell itself’, so the job of marketing must still be done.
To make your marketing easier, you need to ascertain who your customers would be and those are the clients that you need to be make aware of what you have to offer. I am sure you’ve heard the saying ‘as difficult as selling ice to an Eskimo in the middle of winter’? Well that’s exactly what it is. Selling to the right target market at the right time.
So remember, tell people who you are and what it is that you do and don’t forget to tell them why your product is different to all the others out there, or why your services are different.
Marketing, in its most basic form is about making people aware of what you have. Good marketing is making the right people aware of what you have, at the right time, and making them understand that your product or service is the best value for money.