Through the last dozen or so companies that I have owned, several statistics bubble to the surface of my mind.
These are statistics that I need to share with you for you to understand why marketing isn’t a gimmick. Additionally, to truly ensure your ultimate success in business, you will need to readjust your perspective on sales and marketing.
- $250 M The return on my lifetime marketing spend
- $38 M Marketing dollars spent to drive top-line sales
- 88,687,500 Newspaper circulars printed and mailed to drive gross sales
- 257,880,987 Impressions customers have seen from my companies
- 38 Books I have read about marketing and sales.
- 0 Current college credit hours I have in marketing
- 1 Reasons why you shouldn’t try to “figure it out” on your own
My entire career I have proudly called myself an entrepreneur, a serial entrepreneur, a CEO, and an investor. These are all earned titles over the last decade and a half; however, in retrospect, none of these labels are suitable to represent the true essence of who you need to be to win in the game of business. Truth be told: entrepreneurship is a lifestyle. Being a CEO is a byproduct and being an investor is the result.
What is the glue that holds all of these titles together? Who did I have to become to elevate through the different levels of accomplishments listed above? Who was I at my core? Maybe the right question and the question you should ask yourself to understand if you can figure it out, “What am I?”
You see, for me the answer was simple. It was this underlying theme that has circled around me since I was a young child. It was the fixed axis in which my entire being revolves around. Four simple words that define why I could figure it out and why most people fail.
I AM A MARKETER!
This isn’t a one and done statement that you can simply proclaim and embody. Being a marketer means that you understand several things about consumers. You recognize what makes people tick; you understand emotional triggers; you can write killer sales copy; and you are a ninja at walking others through the decision journey.
Most entrepreneurs have a super power and a calling. Their super power is that thing that gives them a competitive advantage in their craft and their calling is the drive inside of them that compels their soul to make the world better. It’s super inspiring, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, entrepreneurship isn’t a simple, beautifully spun tale where everyone wins and going into business means you end up rich and happy at the end. The sad truth is most businesses fail. They fail due to a million different scenarios according to the leaders of those same businesses.
Failure doesn’t always mean bankruptcy. When I describe business failure, often, I am referring to the stagnate nature of a brilliant opportunity. That start up that could have unseated the ‘Big Guys’ or that product that could have changed an industry. Possibly, you run a 1-5 person company with a true heart based mission but you can’t figure out why no-one is listening. All of these scenarios are failing in business. Failure is not reaching your full market potential. Period.
Let’s go back for second. I started this by saying, “You shouldn’t try to figure out marketing on your own.” Then I talk about all of the businesses that are failing every single day, with millions and millions of reasons (excuses) why. What is the correlation? It’s actually simple.
One of my early mentors in business used to say something that was way more profound than I think even he realized. In a time of crisis he would announce,
A problem ain’t a problem if money can fix it.
You see, regardless of the millions of reasons entrepreneurial ventures fail, they all have the same remedy. Revenue fixes almost EVERYTHING. If you can’t make payroll, sell something. If you can’t pay your lease, sell something. If you can’t afford additional product because you have a warehouse full of last years model, sell something. You need to upgrade your technology but don’t have the financial resources, sell something. Partners are fighting, sell something. This list could literally go on forever. Revenue cures 99.99% of business stresses.
So, how do you sell something? Marketing.
Yes, you have to convert leads to sales. You have to be able to convey and close based on your value proposition, and you have to do the work every single day. However, before you can do any of those things you need to get people to your business. You need to take a consumer who has never heard of your product/service and over time convey why they need what you have.
This is the fail point for most businesses. Their leaders have their super power and their calling but neither of those things are in the field of marketing. They often say to themselves, “I can do this, right? Just run some ads and people will rush in! Why do I need to pay someone to do that for me? It can’t be that complicated.”
One other very popular but slippery thought process is, “Things are going great! I don’t need to pay someone to help me. I am doing just fine.”
The problem with both of these lines of thinking is simple but highly overlooked. If you are trying to figure out how to get customers in the door then how are you using your skills and talents to elevate your company?
No-one ever thinks, “I’m going to go into business because I am a marketer! I can make customers rain down from the heavens almost on command.”
Normally, their thoughts are much dreamier, “I am going to help people and change the life of my family in the process!” If you are a true marketer, congratulations, you are sitting in the 1/10th of 1%. A true marketer is the unspoken hero of every brilliant success story.
If you don’t understand what it takes to move a customer from asleep, to aware, to awake, then this article is for you. If your business isn’t where it needs to be, if you aren’t making the impact you feel your heart desires, if you are having struggles in your company, or if you feel like you have hit a ceiling and your just not sure how to reach that next level, then there is truly only one thing for you to do. Hire a marketer, let them focus on getting your product in front of the eyes of buying consumers, and then you can focus on your God given talents and do the things that you want to do inside of your business. You will be much happier, and your company will be better for it in the end.