And Who Actually Can!

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

By Geraint Clarke

I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, especially during times of economic downturn.

“Couldn’t we just sell ‘x’ or ‘y’ right now?”

“Let’s start a TikTok account, we can just go viral and sell loads of ‘x’.”

“Let’s just run a 20% OFF Sale and put ads on Facebook to make millions in income.”

If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it.

Let’s be honest… just because you can sell it, doesn’t mean it will sell.

Every marketer’s job is to sell more products to the right people for the least amount of ad spend. That’s a given. So why do people still try to do your job for you?

Selling relies on a lot of factors…

What current economic climate are we in?

Are people unemployed, losing work or low on disposable income?

Do they need that product right now? i.e. is it essential?

Are you able to drown out the noise to reach them?

Is your product able to ship to your customers within a timeframe they expect?

I bring this up as I work within a niche that’s massively affected by the current economic downturn.

Many of my friends on social media are asking advice on how to salvage their lost business and the responses are so deliciously vague it’s intoxicating.

“Sell a course.”

“Use YouTube live for a lecture and accept donations from viewers.”

“Start taking larger deposits for 2021 bookings.”

They say it with so much authority as if the act of doing is enough for everyone. It’s not.

Most of the time they’re just desperate to contribute. They see someone in need and want to say anything that potentially could be of service. They care.

The Misplaced Marketing Fallacies

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

So why are people so vehement that they know how to market products and services?

Why do they speak with so much authority? It usually breaks down into these three reasons:

They’ve heard/seen it work before.

They have a feeling.

They assume customers will just buy, just because it’s good.

We’ve all seen viral sensations occur overnight. Or so it seems.

Because they appear on our radar from nowhere, we assume that’s where their flight began… but this narrow view of companies hitting it big, or influencers hitting it big, is usually one viral moment from their thousands of hours of work/content.

Similarly, profitable businesses don’t have four followers.

So what do you actually need?

You need a customer base to sell to, or a crazy amount of ad spend, or the ability to go out and create a piece of great content to hopefully gain new customers.

I applaud everyone’s desire to pivot given the current situation, but it requires a level of realism with your marketing expectations.

I have no desire to buy a new car right now, I can’t drive anywhere because of the current lockdowns, so no matter how flexible the price, car manufacturers are likely to see an unavoidable decline in sales.

Your #1 obstacle with your marketing is making your product feel essential, desirable and affordable to the right audience — your audience.

Don’t expect a simple sale to work or a new product launch… and definitely don’t take advice from someone who isn’t currently selling an adequate volume of their products.

Everyone thinks they can do marketing, but few do it well.