3 Reasons Business Owners Avoid Marketing – Part 1 of a 3 Part Series

Whether it’s marketing departments at Fortune 500 companies or a small business marketing team, I’ve observed the split between those that produce the product and those that try to attract customers to it. In these companies its not the job of the producer of the product to market it. As a small business owner, you do not have that split though.

So, here are a few thoughts on why small business marketing is important and why small business owners may not think of themselves as the marketing department. In my next articles I’ll share seven tips on how to practice small business marketing without becoming a salesperson.

3 Reasons New Business Owners Don’t Put Too Much Planning into Marketing

Bob Walsh reminded his readers of an excellent, relevant video of a Seth Goodin presentation to Google called All Marketers are Liars. Godin’s right – marketers are liars (it’s called puffery). And who wants to be a “liar”? Not me. Not you.

Yet the truth is that competency at a task does not correlate to how well the resulting products are received or celebrated. This is a hard thing for microISVs and most small businesses owners to hear. Here are three reasons why people put too little thought into their small business marketing plans.

  1. They’ve been told they’re the best programmer (or lawn care guy, accountant, painter, etc) that people have ever worked with. What more could people want?
    Yet company owners are only paid if they get “hired”. Being great at building the product or service the company offers does not make one great at getting “hired” in the first place.
  2. They Have Such Personal Excitement About Their Product That They Don’t See How Anyone Could Not Immediately Just Want It?
    Again, people could only want it if they hear about it. The marketing efforts we will talk about in the next article are all about helping people hear about a product, try products, and talk with others about their experiences.
  3. They Don’t Want To Be One of Those Slimy Greedy Salespeople.
    They’re not alone in this aversion to sales. Katherine B. Hartman, a marketing professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington says that in an analysis of movies and TV shows from 1903 to 2005 “the salesperson character personifies some of society’s most despised characteristics-greed, deception, distrust, and selfishness.”

So I’m not proposing all small business owners become salespeople. I’m recommending that new companies should plan from the beginning for the marketability of their products, services, and business and have a small business marketing plan. In fact, make it part of deciding what product or services to offer.

Part two of this series is here.