The Past, Small Business Marketing & Today

My grandparents had this box TV and when we wanted to change the channel we had to get up and walk over and literally change the channel. There were only 4 options. My mother listened to the exact same radio station every single day when we were growing up. We might hear a rock station at the pool but the dial was always set to country. This was 25 years ago.

Businesses have always understood the relationship between media and the people. Radio stations bring an array of different types of music to the forefront and have huge giveaways and more people listen and then they sent out ratings information, while the promotions are hot on your brain and you remember that the station you listen to “all the time” was the country station, rock station, etc. We also knew that TV stations local morning affiliations and national evening coverage is where you have dedicated family viewers sitting down to catch up on their daily entertainment and see what’s going on in the world. Today, like every generation before us, we’ve adapted, we’ve learned more and we started the digital revolution. Our relationship with news, media and our choices have all changed while most small business marketing in middle America has not.

Small business owners today, I find, are starting to connect the dots that “search engine marketing” is an actual thing and can actually benefit their business. I also find that many owners are still being sold to by their media reps. I remind owners regularly that media reps do not get those trophies in their cubicles by caring about your business, they don’t receive the annual trip incentives and sales assistant to help your business achieve short and long term goals. Their job is to sell advertising and maximize their complicated compensation plan, which is usually steered by the company’s goals and not what’s best for the client. If you are a business owner and your marketing plan looks the same way it did 36 months ago; today you are losing share of business and leaving yourself vulnerable to competition. Invest in a consultant that understands business, marketing and goals and stop buying from media reps that have the best looking powerpoint. Side note, most reps have a specific number of presentations they must pitch each week.

When I meet with small business owners, I find most are ignorant to their actual options. Their options for customized business solutions, their options for media placement, their options of diversification if they would stop wasting so much on expensive 30 second commercials. We can’t do it all but we can dedicate time and energy to learning more, getting outside perspective on your company and aligning with other professionals that will help you achieve your short and long term goals. Like with anything, make a plan. Your business can’t afford to be on all the media that is being pitched to you. Stop feeling bad for saying, “No” and start adapting to the new age of marketing. Start understanding more about what’s trending and what people are paying so much attention to on their cell phone every single hour of every single day. Our love for traditional radio and TV has changed and so should your marketing plans.

Today, everyone has the ability to tell their story and to introduce their product(s) and/or service(s) to the market. Today, we all have the ability to promote our products and give our viewers, readers and listeners a reason to pay attention, to learn more about us and to give them a reason to buy from us. Today, we have the ability to reach people that we have never been able to reach before. We also have more and more opportunities to waste. More time to waste and more money to waste, trying to figuring it out on your own. Today, being authentic, consistent and comprehensively cohesive is key to building your business and building equity with your brand.

Stop wasting time and start making a plan.

**Originally posted on EntreNash
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