This article was originally published in the MSCO Newsletter Unconventional Thinking in March of 2005. We have reprinted it here along with other newsletter articles by popular demand and to make it available to our blog recipients.
1. Advertising and marketing are the same.
To hell, they are. Advertising means buying space or time to relay a message. It can be important to marketing or irrelevant, depending on the company and its goals. We told one of our retail clients to stop advertising and sales went up.
2. The best marketing presents a company and/or its products as beautiful or creative or sexy.
Who says? I’ll tell you: the ego driven creators of beautiful/creative and sexy marketing. What they won’t tell you is that they don’t care a whit about your company’s Return on Investment from its marketing dollars. They just want to be told what creative geniuses they are. Sometimes the least “creative” marketing is the most effective. Wal-Mart’s marketing will never win a prize for aesthetics but it has built the best brand in the world.
3. Salespeople aren’t really part of the marketing process.
Nonsense. They are the centerpieces. Yes, there is a difference between selling and marketing, but if the marketing process leads to a sales team empowered to close, and the salespeople are not closers, sales will be few and far between.
4. With the right training, you can turn non-closers into closers.
Forgetaboutit! You can’t train non-salespeople to sell and you can’t stop salespeople from selling. Find the latter and pay them well.
5. Great marketing agencies are the ones that win lots of awards. So choose them.
Okay, if you want to borrow awards to place on your mantel then do so. But if you want sales to grow, go for the award-less agencies that live by the credo: the best marketing is the product of the least expense that results in the highest ROI. My marketing firm, MSCO, Inc., has won a few awards, I am embarrassed to say. The only one I am proud of, we received from Forbes for creating an ad that motivated more readers to act than any other ad.
6. Good marketing is based on rules.
You should spend x percent of your revenues on marketing. Great direct mail generates an x percent response rate. Hogwash to it all. Every company, every product and service is different: so how can there be universal rules? Rules are for schools. Results are for business people! If you are told that the best return you can get on direct mail is 1 percent, seek to generate 10 percent! Great marketing, inspired marketing, can be the most powerful force in growing companies large and small. The great marketers – Bill Gates, Mary Kaye, Tom Watson, Ray Krock, Sam Walton – avoided the myths, avoided marketing that sucks and drove their companies to the mount. You can do the same.