What Will Inevitably Happen To Your Business…

This will inevitably happen to your business, start preparing now.

Competition increases.  Growth stops, your business begins to flat line.  The CEO sends the marching orders “we need more sales!  Send out more newsletters, lets get on the Radio, lets have a sale this weekend, lets start advertising in the Sunday post AND Metro.”  To the CEO’s surprise, nothing changes.  No one opens his “more frequent” newsletter.  We tune out his quirky but generic radio spot.  And anyone who’s reading Metro, Fine LifeStyles, Business Magazine, The Sunday post, won’t be next week when the newest magazine or newspaper gets our attention.

For a long time now, people have turned to advertising when they want their business to grow.  But when you’re buying advertising on Radio, Newspapers, Television, or billboards, you must understand that you are purchasing ‘impressions’ (people’s eye balls).  You’re buying the right to interrupt people while they listen, read, watch, or drive by.  You don’t have their captive attention, you have their minimal amount of attention (if that), an amount that has been decreasing and will continue to decrease over time.

If you know someone will be selling what you’re selling for cheaper inevitably, how do you prepare?  Do you disagree that it will happen (lie to yourself) and go about business as usual?  Do you raise prices and try to milk your customers for all they’re worth?  Do you attempt to get more “awareness” of your average product? Or do you have a serious talk with all your stakeholders about the future of your industry and company, and try to determine a long-term growth strategy?

If you know your industry is going to change eventually, lying to yourself is not a very good sustainability initiative.

3 replies
  1. Jalen
    Jalen says:

    In my opinion, determining a long-term growth strategy and implementing it is the best way to deal with situations like the hypothetical one you mentioned in this post.

  2. Mike Klein
    Mike Klein says:

    Jeph, I think advertising will always exist. Social marketing and word-of-mouth etc are often longer term tactics. Sometimes though, you need to turn traffic on today. For example most new businesses are racing against their dwindling working capital, and they need to get customers ASAP. The longer term relationship building approach isn’t going to help in the short term. And advertising provides an necessary alternative. Although I would argue Google Adwords and Facebook advertising is probably a better option versus putting a quarter page in the local paper.

  3. Jeph Maystruck
    Jeph Maystruck says:

    You are correct Mike, I may have oversimplified the point. Awareness is necessary to most growing businesses, but what I see are companies trying to get more and more of useless awareness and the fact that it’s very difficult to measure puts a very difficult decision on the business owner of marketing manager. Where do you get the best exposure and best return on investment? To understand that you must have a strategy in place and taking a long term approach. If you’re just advertising to get your name out there I think that’s short sighted, advertising should always be a piece of a larger strategy.
    Thanks for reading Mike, I always like getting your opinions on this stuff.


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