We’re dominated by marketing messages every day. From the coupons we receive in the mail to Powerball on billboards. Television commercials of a little lizard and lady in all white encouraging us to buy car insurance. Radio ads promoting the next local concert. If we started to count the number of ways we’re being marketed to, we’d probably be overwhelmed.
Good thing we’ve learned to ignore it. It’s so commonplace everywhere we look, our radars are numb to it. No big deal, right?
No, if you’re a consumer. This is how we learn how and what to buy. Yes, if you’re a producer.
When I teach this in my Business 101 class during Week 7, students perk up a bit. They begin to learn the evolution of how era’s of marketing evolved. We breakdown the definition of marketing using McGraw Hill’s Understanding Business.
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerins that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
I like to focus on the “activities” for the next couple of weeks explaining the difference of how each company has different strategies using the previous guest speakers’ presentations, but the lightbulb doesn’t always click. From the beginning of class, I tell them what I’ve learned from Grant Cardone, “You’re either selling or being sold.”
Unfortunately, I still receive blank stares which is ok too. I wasn’t the brightest crayon out the box when it came to these concepts either.
I too had to learn and stop being “consumer-minded.” Their branding was so entrenched in my DNA, I had to detox my consumer habits for my business acumen to comprehend how companies turned a profit with their marketing campaigns.
Although I may disagree with Cardone’s delivery method, I do agree with the content of his book, Sell or be Sold. He keeps it real simple. It’s an easy read, but also exciting for those ready to go to the next level in their business.
In other words, the next level = more profits.
Promotion of Brand
The goal of every company should be to make a profit. That was my goal along with having more personal freedom, following my passion for helping others with their ambitions, funding my social good activities and being happy. I’m sure we all have our own reasons. There’s no right or wrong answer.
I find beauty in hearing each person’s fight on the entrepreneurial journey because this path has countless unchartered and unmarked trails. Getting to the state of “normalcy” isn’t easy. Ultimately, this is when you begin to hone your skills.
In my journey, I had to fight to survive. The fight is real. At times, the words cannot describe the rollercoaster ride of taking an idea to the free marketplace and watch it incrementally grow or fail, where your “grind” is born.
Don’t be a Jack of all Trades, be the Master of your Craft.
The grind of putting your idea (aka, good or service) to motivate people to buy is hard work. Hence, why you need to promote your brand in creative ways to capture their attention. Easy, right?!
My McGraw Hill gives promotion its own chapter. Breaking down this complex topic isn’t a one-size-fits-all. You have to understand the early 20th century (approximately 100 years ago), we didn’t have all the choices we do now. Everyone produced a good or service for the entire community to enjoy. Nowadays, the masses work for those producers who create the choices for the consumers of both goods and services. Therefore, it’s a necessity to let people know there are different ways going about showing off your company, product, and brand.
I had to use AMA’s (aka, American Marketing Association) definition of promotion, but notice in the screenshot image of its definition that it isn’t standalone.
The media and nonmedia marketing pressure applied for a predetermined, limited period of time at the level of consumer, retailer, or wholesaler in order to stimulate trial, increase consumer demand, or improve product availability.
Even in the “see also” column to the right, promotion can come in all different types. I love the word “pressure” in the definition because some of those ads make you feel like you have to buy it. If you don’t buy what they’re selling than you’re going to hell in a handbasket.
So, of course, I bought it. They won the tug-of-war once my attention was captured. Hopefully, the price was marked correctly to where they had a great profit off of me and I didn’t have buyer’s remorse.
Hence, why I repeatedly tell my students the 4 P’s of Marketing each week. By the end of 10 weeks, the concept should move from short-term to long-term memory. That’s my hope.
For business owners, this is a non-negotiable. You absolutely need to understand or you won’t be in business very long.
Branding isn’t Selling
Just to be clear, I want you to understand selling your brand isn’t creating the sale. You have to create the opportunity for the sale with a different strategy. The promotion of your brand is to capture their attention. Depending on the location they see it and what other messages are being said, those next steps are part of your sales strategy.
In my experience, this can be really difficult to help others understand. I believe the difficulty comes from having a consumer lens. I like to think of it as an autopilot function in our brain that enjoys looking at coupons, sales, discounts and clearances. When we see the word “SALE,” doesn’t matter where we see it, the adrenaline kicks in and is awarded a combat medal for not having to pay full price.
Your promotion is a tactic for your potential customers to act on whatever information they have. In some cases, the customer can be overwhelmed and no one has received the correct customer service to make a purchase. Every successful promotion has a message to act, buy, and share in some way. For example, fast food companies create a marketing campaign packaged in partnership with a major event (Taco Bell & NBA) to offer a BOGO (aka, buy one get one).
Typically, these campaigns have a lot of forethought, money, and strategy invested. Also, a lot of people executing and monitoring all channels. Therefore, don’t compare yourself to big industry companies, but you can learn from them.
Keep it simple and affordable.
Here are some questions to help you create a solid foundation for creating a DIY Promotion:
– Is it valuable to fulfill your ideal client’s need?
– Have you sat down and explained how your services/products work?
– When’s the last time you did a demo for them?
– If its food, do you offer samples?
– Where can they purchase it at a later time?
– Does the graphics invoke action?
Please understand the goal of “marketing” is to not spend it on what everyone else spends it on. There has to be an ROI, (aka, return on investment). If only 10% of people act on this campaign, will you make a profit?
Promoting your brand is more than an ad. It’s more than making money. Your brand should resemble the embodiment of your passion converted to customer’s happiness.
Start with Relationships
Your brand has to be more than you. In order to be profitable, other people have to be involved in different ways than just buying your products/services. Once your organization is established and ready to receive orders, the word needs to go out you’re open for business.
Hence, it’s time to promote your brand.
In the video with Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More, we’re having fun but we’re still working on our passion of helping others. I needed some swag in a hurry, and Sanford Booth (the owner) said he could deliver within 24 hours.
We met at a networking event. A few weeks later, I shared meeting him with my buddy that owns his own business. He told me he runs a great organization and is super nice; so I took his word and did business with him. And as you can see, the rest is history. Without the insight of my friend, I probably wouldn’t have done business with him.
Now, I have another referral to add to my Rolodex for my clients, associates, and friends that ask me about getting great quality t-shirts and hoodies. Sanford and his team were awesome to work with. Go check him out if you need some help with your brand swag!
I’m a happy client.
I write this because my business is personal because this service is for the advancement of all humanity. My failures and successes are for your gain. No strings attached.
Nathan A. Webster, MBA
Mr. Social Entrepreneur
Consulting | Marketing | Websites