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Marketing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration

Marketing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration

Thomas Edison’s famous quote “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” is adaptable to marketing too. Marketing ideas can be found every where - the hard part is implementing the ideas. Time and time again colleagues and associates recount the same story - they know small business owners that have brilliant ideas on how to reach and attract customers - but they lack the man-power and knowledge to implement their genius. Normally, they’re simply too busy to devote the necessary time and effort to keep marketing going on a regular basis. So instead, there’s spurts and explosions of marketing followed by little or nothing.

Marketing is about repetition

Consumers see thousands of advertisements and promotions every day - perhaps even every hour. And we’ve all become quite adept at tuning out the marketing bombardment; mostly. Marketing needs to be consistent and continual. Repetition is good. Repetition is good. Why? Because busy consumers often take a long time to recognize your company or brand - especially if you’re new to them. But every impression will secretly add to their conscious and sub conscious experience and desire regarding your brand.

Jingles get stuck in your head. Mascots and brand icons become household norms. Brands and marketing become ingrained in your mind. Marketing can shape your perception - and then perception becomes reality. However, this level of recognition and acceptance doesn’t happen overnight. It’s usually a result of continuous (and even subtle) impressions. A product ad in a magazine, a billboard while you drive to work, a radio jingle, a TV commercial, and even a t-shirt worn by a co-worker might all silently build upon each other to promote a brand. Marketing is cumulative in its effect - or it should be.

Ideas are easy, it takes time and effort to market

Successful marketers like to pretend that marketing is easy - but they’re describing the idea creation process - the hard part is bringing those ideas to life, following up, and doing it repeatedly. Thinking of a catchy headline can be easy, but creating a series of ads, defining the publications it should appear in, negotiating and coordinating the placement, monitoring the response, and following-up on each lead is the time consuming part. Especially if you’re like the typical small business owner that is doing it all.

Don’t try to create the Mona Lisa - instead build the Louvre

One of the benefits of approaching marketing as a long-term process is you avoid anxiousness over each deliverable. After all, the one piece of marketing will be one among many works of art - it doesn’t have to be the Mona Lisa. You shouldn’t agonize is this best ad - or the right headline - or most the enticing offer? Sure, some concern is justified - you want every dollar spent to bring in more than a dollar - but what you should really be concerned with isn’t the question “how well will this ad work?” it’s “what’s my next ad? What’s my follow-up?”

Why? Because marketing like art is subjective. Unless you’re in a really niche market in today’s world one ad may not appeal to or attract everyone. You need to have many approaches and outlets happening concurrently so you reach the disparate audiences where and in the manner they desire. Look at Coke - they’re every where - on television, in print ads, online, and outdoors. Or examine Nike - just do it - and you’ll discover they too are omnipresent. You might see an ad in a magazine, a commercial on television, see them online, all before you slip on your Nike shoes or t-shirt.

Ubiquity is the key to marketing success

Even if you don’t have the marketing budget of Coca-Cola or Nike - the lesson to learn is that you have to market your brand non-stop. Don’t do one mailing or an ad in a publication - commit to multiple insertions. And don’t rely on a single medium - try different media. Be as every where as possible and you’ll see better returns and continual returns. Of course this is simple to say, but again, it’s hard to execute. It takes time and money to plan, create, and deliver multi-prong marketing - but in the end it’s well worth it.

Fortunately today, exposing your brand or company is far simpler and definitely more affordable. The internet provides a portal to the world. Social media can help you find the influencers in your market, digital printing makes brochures and printed deliverables far more affordable. Take advantage of the technology and keep in contact with your prospects and customers. But do it continuously and consistently…. and gradually success will follow.

Jul 06, 2011
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