Marketing truth #3: There is no silver bullet

94156126  I hate to break it to you, but there's no magic marketing tactic.  

  • There's nothing you can do once or twice and voila, you have customers.  
  • You can't change gears every time you turn around and hope to build up awareness, let alone the desire to try your product.
  • You can't chase every shiny new object, thinking it's going to make you an overnight sensation.

Folks — marketing is not about a silver bullet.  It's not that sexy or that complicated.  Marketing, whether you want to hear this or not….is churning it out, day in and day out.  It's about being disciplined enough to create a plan and then work the plan.  Long after you're bored with it.

That's why most companies don't do it well.  When you boil it down — it's kind of boring.  Sure, it's fun to brainstorm a new ad campaign.  But that same campaign isn't all that interesting 24 months later.

Let me tell you a little story to illustrate my point.  We have a client who has a product in a very competitive niche within the over the counter pharma category.  Lots of Goliaths in their hen house.  Our client is the David in this story.  They'll never outspend their competitors.

Several years ago, they decided that having a presence in key trade shows where their referral sources (docs, pharmacists, nurses, etc) flocked was going to be their #1 effort.  They've not wavered from this strategy.  

They've tweaked their booth, their "come to the booth" enticements and their follow up, as they've learned.  But they've stayed the course.  In the beginning, they didn't attract much attention.  But now, their key referral sources seek them out at the shows.  They come to ask about the product or tell a success story. Then our client stays in touch with these contacts all year long.  The relationship that is born at the trade show is nurtured and then renewed at the next show.

The benefit of this boring "do the same thing over and over" method of marketing?  They're enjoying double digit growth.  Double digit.  In 2010.  When most OTC pharma products are struggling to hold onto the marketshare they've had.

Oh wait…did I mention that they're the most expensive product in the category?

  • If they only did shows every once in awhile, would they be enjoying this success?  No.
  • If they had rushed to social media and abandoned the old fashioned trade show tactics, would they be enjoying this success?  No.
  • If they'd tried trade shows for a year and then given up, would they be enjoying this success?  No.
  • If they "winged" their marketing efforts, never doing any budgeting or planning, would they be enjoying this success?  No.

Stop looking for the silver bullet and roll up your sleeves.  Marketing is hard, sweaty, dull, often boring work.  The silver lining?  Most of your competitors won't bother.

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