My wife called me away from my computer where I was working on a small business marketing piece to watch a television program that critiques commercials. The panel of experts would show a commercial then either extol the virtues of the commercials or show where it fell flat. This time there they were explaining how brilliant a Honda commercial was and why it earned their praise as a marketing device. But as a small business marketing consultant I wasn’t impressed.
I agree it was visually enjoyable but it didn’t inspire me to do anything other than what I was doing before I saw it. From a small business marketing perspective this is not a good thing. Every dollar you spend to market your small business must return at least one dollar back to you. A small business marketing strategy must be based on always getting a positive return for your marketing dollars.
If you are a company as large as Honda and have an almost limitless marketing budget then you can certainly play the branding awareness style of marketing that is so prevalent on television. What Honda and companies like it hope to accomplish with such an advertisement is that when and if you ever need that type of product, you will think of them. You cannot afford to play that game. Small business marketing should focus on direct response style rather than awareness or traditional marketing.
This means you and I have to make every marketing tactic and strategy bring us a positive ROI. Whether it is an ad, commercial, direct mail, email or seminar it has to prompt your prospect to pick up the phone, click on a buy now button, answer the email or whatever action you desire from them.
Take a look at all your small business marketing vehicles; website, brochures, flyers, advertisements, etc. Are they designed for your small business to create some form of response? Ideally your marketing causes a predictable and measurable response. If not, fix it.