Red Ridge Consulting
Your Secret Weapon
Marketing legend Jay Conrad Levinson’s career spanned over 50 years. His marketing message influenced countless thousands of businesses across the globe with some becoming the largest companies in the world.
When Jay talks about the high rate of business failures, he cites two main reasons. Either the business lacked clear and well-designed strategy from the start, or they didn’t stick with the one they created. Most of the time they grew impatient and changed their strategy before it had a chance to work. It makes sense that a business would fail if they never had a good marketing plan to serve as a road map to grow their company. But what is it about commitment to a plan that’s so important?
To start with we have to recognize that America loves speed. Who doesn’t love fast, fast cars, fast computers, fast smartphones, fast connections and naturally of course, fast results. Unfortunately when marketing results don’t happen fast enough people get scared. When people get scared they panic. In desperation they tend to radically alter or scrap their marketing plan before it’s even had a chance to work.
But all too often people fail to understand the very nature of marketing. At its core marketing involves change, specifically it seeks to change human behavior. Human behavior has been studied since the dawn of man and in some respects remains a mystery to this day. Numerous theories abound. Who’s right Freud, Jung, Skinner or your crazy uncle? But one thing is certain, changing human behavior rarely happens overnight.
Since people are creatures of habit, it's human nature to resist change. Once we get set in our ways, it becomes more and more difficult to change, not impossible just difficult. Even when change is in our self-interest, it's still resisted on many levels.
Did You Ever Try To Change Someone?
Was it your spouse, your girlfriend, your child or maybe even a parent? Was it easy? Did it happen quickly or even at all? In 2014 on Shark Tank’s 100th episode Mark Cuban talked about this when he expressed this simple truth, “it’s very hard to change minds."
Most understand that change is difficult. Yet for some reason there is this disconnect between reality and marketing. People expect marketing to be different. They want it to be a miracle worker, to produce instant results. But then when it fails to change people quickly, many to assume their marketing is not working. The fact is even superb marketing rarely delivers immediate results. Actually few things in life that are truly beneficial ever happen quickly.
At It's Core Marketing Is All About Change
Changing Perceptions Changing Attitudes
And Ultimately Changing Actions
Change demand time to work. You may not like it but that's how life works. That's why it's essential to make a commitment to your marketing - to give your message and your offer a chance to work. You see marketing is so much more than any single event, technique or tool and seldom ever instantly succeeds.
One Million Advertisements
You must remember your marketing message is but one message in an almost limitless sea of messages. We’re bombarded daily by advertising. In one hour of TV or radio there are anywhere from 40 to 50 commercials. Then you have billboards, magazines, and smartphones to contend with. In fact many people are even walking billboards giving free advertising.
Famed marketing guru and author Seth Godin estimates you're exposed to over a 1,000,000 marketing messages yearly. Imagine one million messages all vying for your attention, all trying to change how you think and how you act. Buy this, don’t buy that. Do this, don’t do that. Think this way, don’t think that way.
What if Seth Godin’s estimates are a little high, what if it’s only half a 500,000, or perhaps only 250,000, the number is still mind-blowing. Getting your message to take hold and stand out from all the rest is no easy task. Who can recall two or three ads on television last night let alone a week ago? That's why patience is necessary to give it time to cut through all the clutter and make a lasting impression.
How To Create Confidence
Changing people is never easy which is why a commitment to your marketing is essential. For that reason it’s critical to create an exceptional marketing plan. Operating your business with a well thought out strategy, one that’s based on substance rather than hype – is the fuel for the confidence you need to give your plan a chance to work.
Here's the key- when you set out to create your strategy, take as long as long as you need. If you want to change it, change it before you commit to it. But once the plan is complete commit to it. This shows you take marketing seriously and you’re not expecting overnight results.
Commit But Tweak
If you want to experiment, experiment with this. Review your strategy every few months and make small changes to sharpen its focus. After six months or so you might need to modify certain aspects of your strategy but only if it’s essential. Then after one year reexamine it. The conservative philosophy should apply, if it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.
Your objective is to provide your customers and prospects with confidence in you are and what your product or company is all about. In marketing perception is everything. You need to remain stable. The more you change the less confidence the public will have in your product. However during the first year especially you will need to experiment and test. That’s how all-marketing works. In marketing the three most important words are test, test and test some more. Test the offer, the headline, and the price. But don’t change media, message, format or your identity - keep them consistent with the overall plan.
You Want A Miracle?
Here's your miracle, commit to your plan, there is no other way. Seriously don’t look for miracles. In the beginning you may not have any way of knowing if your plan is good or bad, except for low-cost testing, your own intuition, and the advice of others in whom you believe. Too often people never bother to put in a great deal of time or effort to create an exceptional strategy that’s specifically designed for the needs of your company. Is it any wonder they end up with little confidence in their plan?
Naturally at times it won’t be easy to remain committed. Initially you may not see any results or meager results at best. Count on needing anywhere from three to six, and possibly even nine months before the results you want materialize. If you get impatient, if you don’t stick with the plan, it’s certain to fail. Almost all marketing plans start off slow or stumble at least temporarily. But if you give up on your plan, or radically alter it before it's had a chance to work, that is a guarantee for disaster.
Here's Your Ace In the Hole
Imagine for a moment if your business had a strategy you were proud of - one that you could happily commit to? Such a plan would make a big difference in the day-to-day operations of your business. Remember marketing is about changing attitudes and actions. Weak commitments lead to meager results. Most people wait to see results before they commit. That’s now how it works. Imagine telling your fiancée on your wedding day, "I won’t commit until I’m sure things are going to work out."
Why is commitment so important, because people have changed very little in the past 130-years. Click here to see why 2018 looks an awful lot like 1885.
If your business needs a new direction, one that inspires action, confidence, and commitment call Brian Bodnar 818 268 8700. Let's talk about your business and see if we’re a good fit to work together.