By September 22, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Steve’s Marketing Rule

Steve's Law of MarketingAs our business grew, we made a real effort to measure each marketing program to find out how much of a return it provided. We carefully monitored our online campaigns, and used incentives like coupons to test the effectiveness of print ads.

Because we measured the return on every dollar spent on marketing, we learned a simple rule that’s proven true virtually 100% of the time.

Steve’s Marketing Rule:

Never trust anyone who tries to sell you anything marketing related.

In other words, never trust someone who is making the slightest effort to sell you online ads; print advertising in magazines, newspaper or flyers; search engine optimization (SEO) services; TV or radio ads; customer email lists; or any other marketing-related service you can imagine. This also holds true as your company grows and providers that you have used successfully in the past approach you to sell add-on offerings.

Here’s Why

The truth is that the better the marketing-related service, the less it needs telephone salespeople, email Spam, and other kinds of outbound promotion.

Any advertising or marketing-related service that can show a positive return is quickly adopted by companies who are hungry for better sales, and a little positive word-of-mouth spreads rapidly among prospective clients. So if a marketing service or advertising media is any good they’ll almost never make any real effort to approach a small company like yours first.

Choose Your Marketing Programs Carefully

Our QuickBooks reports show that advertising and promotion are always a very big part of our expenses, and choosing the right marketing programs was critical to our success. I’ve found that the most reliable way to create productive new marketing campaigns is to:

  1. Figure out what media your prospective customers are most likely see; this could include online searches, targeted magazines or newspapers, YouTube videos, and so on.
  2. In each case, look for how other companies who appeal to your same target audience are using the media, and consider starting out by matching their style of ad.
  3. Measure the effectiveness of every campaign, and keep working to improve your results over time.

It can also be a big help to share your advertising experiences – good and bad – with people at non-competing online stores.

Steve’s Marketing Rule is really just a corollary of Steve’s First Rule of Money, discussed in the next article.

Next: Steve’s First Rule of Money

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