Marketing Advice Sucks

Posted: March 17, 2008 in Business Advice, Small Business
Tags: , ,

Small business must think that marketing advice has no value – otherwise they would be queueing up outside the local experts office.

Or is there some other factors at play here?

Finances are simple in principle – you add figures for expenses and income and viola!. In practice its a somewhat different picture and a whole industry has grown up to support businesses figuring their finances. Small business knows this and chances are the first professional advice they get is from a chartered accountant.

Fear is a big driver – get your finances wrong and it wont be just the tax man calling with a ‘please explain’

Technology expertise is valued by most business-people too. The cost/complexity/frustration combinations force many to get advice. (The value of that advice when bought only on price is another matter!)

Marketing doesn’t strike the fear of finance, and doesnt appear to have the complexity of technology, so most do it themselves, and struggle to survive.

But who’s to blame? The small business-people who misunderstand the value of Marketing experts – or the marketing experts for not selling themselves to their target audience effectively?

You decide – and let me know in a comment.

  1. Joseph Reis says:

    I think it is ironic that many marketing experts cannot effectively market their services. It’s like a plumber whose house constantly has backups and leaks, only the results stink much worse.

  2. I think that small businesses do understand the value of experts, but for the things that aren’t “rocket science”, they figure they can do it themselves. This includes business cards, flyers, advertising, and naming. After all, with a word processor, and some clip art, how hard could it really be?

    Do-it-yourself does make sense if you have a limited budget, and you want to start the business and bootstrap it. I advise my startup clients that it’s better to do something (and gradually improve over time) rather than do nothing (and get stuck in perfection-paralysis).

    When you do-it-yourself, you appreciate a lot more what a true professional can do.

  3. Judy Dunn says:

    Interesting question, Chris. I think yes on the blame question—twice. Marketing dollars are the most easily cut, precisely because the small biz owner/solopreneur doesn’t recognize what brilliant marketing can do for their bottom line—and marketers are not selling the core benefit in terms of the results that can be achieved. Let’s face it, “marketing” is such a vague term unless you can pinpoint your target audience, find your niche customers and communicate the specific results you can deliver.

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