5 minutes reading time (1003 words)

No Marketing Is Better Than Bad Marketing



You Only Get One Chance At A First Impression

Maybe you’re thinking that the title of this blog (and the answer it implies) is mere hyperbole. Nope. Still, there seem to be plenty of entrepreneurs who disagree. They insist, against all evidence to the contrary, that DIY marketing is a great way to gain market share while saving the company money. But in reality, amateur marketing almost never turns out to be a good use of precious resources. And chances are these efforts can actually do lasting harm to your business and its reputation. Allow me to explain.

Startup Challenges

One BIG Challenge

Today’s mar-tech ecosystem is vast and complex. To achieve even minimal success requires technical mastery, strategy and lots of hard work. All that time and effort is better left to experts. The results will be better. And just as important, you’ll free up valuable bandwidth so you can focus on wielding your own superpowers.

Another Challenge—Savvy Shoppers

Online shoppers are fickle. From my experience, you have less than 10seconds to establish authority with potential customers visiting your website, based on the visual impact alone. And for those viewing one of your digital ads? The decision on whether or not to take you seriously is nearly instantaneous. I’m not suggesting that John Q. Public is likely to give your website or ads a design critique. But today’s consumer is exposed to enough solid marketing that it’s painfully obvious when something fails to measure up.

Filtering information

It’s often subconscious, but we all form opinions as we go. Is this company real, or is it a mom-and-pop operation? Making snap judgments is a key part of the filtering process that allows us to completely ignore 95% of the ninety-kazillion marketing messages we’re bombarded with each day.

So, back to you and your brand. Let’s say you’re lucky enough to get viewers past those crucial first few seconds and they lean in and begin reading your copy. Think you’re out of the woods? Not so fast. Now, your messaging must pass the sniff test. If not, you’ll still be judged harshly: “These guys can’t be any good at what they do, this site (or ad) is terrible.”

That’s right. It’s not just your marketing prowess being judged, but your professional competency at doing whatever it is you really do.

Familiar Examples

We’ve all seen examples of this:

  • It doesn’t matter that your restaurant has a world-class chef if the marketing is terrible. Nobody will believe you, let alone dine at your bistro.
  • You could be a potential Grammy-level musical act. But if your branding is amateurish, nobody will bother to listen.
  • Maybe you’re one of the top Lexus mechanics in North America, with awards and accolades to prove it. Still, how many Lexus owners will think they can trust you based on a weak web presence?

Case Study in Success

Actually, that last example is detailed in a case study on our website. MyCSAuto.com was founded by just such a mechanic. As we wrote in our blog post, “MyCSAuto.com Keeps Winning Customers and Awards”, the company flirted with hiring MojoMediaPros for several years. Each time, they opted for a less expensive, "good enough" website. And each time, the results produced little more than disappointment. Eventually, the company relented and decided to hire Mojo to design and build their site. Literally within a week of the new site launching, phone calls to the company increased dramatically. As did their sales and growth.

So what happened? Did this company change its service offerings? Revise their pricing? Was the owner suddenly a more gifted mechanic? Of course not – he had always been brilliant. 

The winning difference, plain and simple, was the presentation of their business online. The previous website attempts had failed to convince cautious Lexus owners that they could trust their precious vehicles in the hands of this shop. By elevating their brand, and presenting the strengths and values of this gifted mechanic and his team, all the paid search traffic he’d been paying for finally started converting into real customers.

Resources for Startups

The goal of marketing is to engage prospects and introduce them to your brand, convert as many as possible into paying customers, then build loyal, lasting relationships. Even today, amid all the new technology and communications avenues, the basics still matter.  Every step of the customer journey is important.

As a mentor, I’ve had the opportunity to coach dozens of startups. And while it may sound self-serving to say so, when it comes to marketing, most first-time entrepreneurs underestimate the hard work, expertise and time required to make meaningful headway. In doing so, they’re also underestimating the incredible opportunity costs which can be chalked up to bad marketing. 

So, what is a startup or cash-strapped business to do? Throw in the towel and go home? No. Instead, I suggest you let this notion guide you:
“If you can’t do everything well, do less, better.”

Okay, so we’ve defined the problem. Now, what about offering a solution? I suggest you start with our free guide, “Your Startup: How to Plan a Startup Marketing Budget”. This is a FREE download.

But we didn’t just write a white paper and call it a day. Actually, my team and I have created an entire marketing ecosystem designed to help budget-challenged entrepreneurs, and even more established companies get this stuff right the first time. We call it SmartStart.

I have lots more to say on this subject, but my 5 minutes are up. If you’re ready to learn more, I encourage you to check out the links above.

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