A list of things you’ve got wrong
Yes things you’ve got all wrong when it comes to marketing, what it’s about, how it works and what it’s for. You know there are some distinct disadvantages to being in an engineering based business and one of them is that we all know way too little about marketing, and guess what? That might just be the reason that we never have enough sales to work with when we are trying to run our businesses. When is the last time you heard a board shop owner say that his shop was full or that his shop was operating at full capacity? It’s been a while hasn’t it?
This makes for a particularly frustrating dilemma when like me you are in the sales and marketing business and you are trying to get companies to get more involved in marketing. I was talking the other day to a friend of mine who is also a tried and true marketer about the challenges of getting owners in our industry to even take the time, say about five minutes even to think about marketing and what it could do for their business.
I came away from that conversation with this list of five things that most get wrong, I mean really wrong when it comes to marketing. Check them out:
All you need is one ad to win business: Nope they’re not talking about one ad that will run many times, that might even work. No in this case the person was talking about one ad, appearing one time in one trade magazine. No that will not work; well it might if the ad was show during the Super Bowl, but no that would not work either. Advertising is an ongoing thing; you have to work at it consistently, getting the same message out over and over again before anyone will even notice you.
Too many people will call and we’re not ready: Don’t worry about it, unless you’re giving away free Bentley’s it’s going to take quite a while before people call you. Marketing is only the first step of a long and sophisticated process. We’re not selling I-Phones to the public here we’re selling circuit boards.
My wife doesn’t like the ad, I don’t like it, and the guy in plating doesn’t like it: So what how many boards did any of your buy from you company this year. The ad is not designed for you; it’s designed to appeal to your customer and potential customers.
Advertising is too expensive: First of all done right it does not have to be expensive and anyway ten percent of what you spent on that LDI machine will buy you great advertising for at least two years and help you put panels on the new under used LDI machine. Please don’t fall for that old industry adage that goes “what do you do when you don’t have enough business? Buy a new piece of equipment. That’s just plain dumb.
Why get involved with marketing we’re getting the business we need right now: Did you ever hear if attrition? Even if you are the greatest performing board shop in the history of the world you are going to lose twenty to thirty percent of your active business every year by virtue of attrition. You customers will go out of business, be sold, merge, decide to go to CMs, decide to go offshore look stuff happens and you’d better be reaching out to new potential customers every day because if you don’t, if you just stand still you will lose a chunk of your business every year.
And finally, yes there is one more I know I said five but here is sixth one. Remember under promise and over deliver:
All I have to do on my ads is let people know how good we are: No, everybody says that and of course most of them are lying. So your advertising message has to say a lot more than your good and you deliver good stuff on time. No you have to prove it. Get some testimonials and success stories from your customers; get them to speak for you. If you’re as good as you say you are they’ll be happy to endorse you.
I’ll leave you with this because it is worth repeating, if you don’t focus on some marketing, if you’re not out there selling your company, making sure that everyone possible knows who you are and what you do… you will lose about twenty to thirty percent of your business each year due to attrition. So make sure that you put aside a few bucks for some marketing this year….it’s only common sense.