Monday, November 19, 2012

Plumbers do it. Why shouldn't we?

Yeah, cheap joke in the image department here.

I know, I know.

But still, what do plumbers, auto mechanics, appliance repairmen and even dentists have in common?

They don't work for free. In fact, they won't even tell you what is wrong with your toilet, car, refrigerator or teeth unless you're going to pay them something.

Honest, since this popped into my head yesterday, I haven't been able to think of a single other line of work that is expected to give away its expertise in order to get hired.

Talk to us. Look at what we've done for others. Talk to our references. Ask questions.

But got God's sake stop asking us to "tell us what you'd do for us." And stop asking us if we have any "ideas".

We'd do for you what we've done for others, and if what we've done for them isn't good enough, move along. There's nothing to see here.

And of course we have ideas. Would you like to pay us for them?

Seriously, is there another business on earth that will invest as much time in the hope of new business as us?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mime pizza

A cool spot by way of ace copywriter Larry No Relations Hinkle at Lunchbucket Creative and his Will Write For Beer blog.

It's nice to have non-relatives in the business.

The road to success is a toll road.

An inadequate ad budget is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

I can't figure out if it's because people don't think advertising is worth spending anything on or if it's because they think it's such a powerful tool that they don't need to spend much on it to get a benefit.

Or if they think that simply throwing up a Facebook page or hopping on the Twitter Autobahn is enough. Or they are thrilled that social media seems to be free. Or that the PR folks are getting tons of "free" advertising.

I don't know. I really don't.

But I do know that when someone is investing several million dollars in a new business or in improvements to an existing one, it is the height of folly not to make an adequate investment in telling people about it.

And make no mistake about it, the whole arena of getting attention for your business is a big, nasty, wild-west gunfight. With some pretty smart, aggressive characters in it.

Back when I was a PR guy, I learned an expression that I think applies to marketing in general. Everything you need to know is in four words:

"Do good. Tell people."

It's not that hard. But time and again, you see someone put a lot of cash into the "doing good" part and then sort of letting the "tell people" part slide. Makes no sense.

Whether you do it on the web (in paid or social media), in a newspaper or a magazine or on a billboard, on the radio or the television, if you want people to know about whateverthehellitisyou'redoing, you going to have to freaking tell them.

I don't care how nice your hotel is, how great your restaurant will be, how wonderful your customer service will be, what sort of selection you have in the showroom or how low your prices are, it won't count for a hill of beans if nobody knows about it.

I've said it before and will no doubt say it again, "If you build it they will come" only works in the movies.

And only in one movie at that.