Cake. Who doesn’t love a perfect cake? (If you happen to be one of the few people who actually don’t like cake, please keep reading, this is just an analogy.) But, would you love a cake made without sugar? How about without eggs, or flour, or baking powder? No, you wouldn’t. A deliciously scrumptious cake isn’t so because of the bowls it’s mixed in or the oven it’s baked in, rather what makes a successful confection is the ingredients that go into it.
Just as there is no single way to bake a delicious vanilla cake, there is no single correct way to approach marketing your business. There are most certainly a lot of wrong ways, but no one right way. Like with the cake, if you leave out the eggs, your dessert will be awful. No one will eat it and they’ll never trust you to bake a cake again. But, you never know, maybe adding an extra teaspoon of vanilla or half a cup of powdered sugar may take an otherwise ordinary cake and make it outstanding.
Marketing and advertising experts are only experts in the same way an experienced baker has mastered their craft. They may know how to expertly mix a cake batter so that it’s perfect combination of sweetness and decadence, but that doesn’t mean they only ever bake cake one way. No, they experiment constantly with their ingredients to create new and enticing flavor combinations that take an already great recipe and move it forward.
A marketing strategy is, in essence, a recipe mixing all the bits and pieces. It’s finding the right measurements to create the ideal solution that keeps people coming back for more. What those bits and pieces are will depend greatly on the desired outcome of the advertiser. Getting those correct measurements? Creating that right mixture? That comes with trial and error. Test this out here, try that out there, and see what the results are. Keep working at it until you get that perfect combination.
We utilize paid search [to market our business], but what about the potential clients who already have vendors they use? That’s when you take another approach like PR and start to reach those people who may not have ever found you but ended up reading an article about something unique you did. Social media is another way to reach the clients who need your services and also those who may not be looking.
Jon Ruhff, Push Button Productions
So then, why do you hire a marketing company? If they’re advertising experts then why don’t they know when you walk in the door what you need? Well, they do. Just as a baker might begin with the recipe out of the book and then make modifications with each time they bake the same recipe, we begin with our tried and true formulas and make the tweaks as we go along to get to perfection.
One thing that hasn’t changed about advertising is the famous quote by the department store merchant John Wanamaker, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” In our digital age with the ability to track clicks and IP addresses, we’re much better able to discern exactly which half is wasted. However, the wasted half is still a part of the mixture that gets an advertiser to the positive return.
I’m a new business owner, but I’ve been in my industry for a while. The philosophy I’ve adopted from experience is to take your budget, work with it, and find out what gets the most out of it.
Blake Lavender, Owner, Body Coach Personal Training
The baker might lose some money when they occasionally scrap the less than perfect finished cake, and advertisers won’t always see a positive return on investment. When one effort doesn’t prove successful, the answer is not to walk away and never invest in advertising. The answer is to learn from that un-success and apply the lessons to the next effort to make that a success.
Here are a few of our blog posts featuring marketing ingredients we commonly use: