I’ve noted a recent influx in what I label “desperate marketing”. What is desperate marketing? Well, it is when a company is really in need of business so business owners just “throw something out and wait to see if it sticks”. There are several reasons why this kind of marketing is not only not effective in the long run, but may cause long-term ruin.
1. Marketing is all of the things that one does to attract, service and retain clients. As such, successful marketing is an ongoing process. If a business owner simply focuses on bringing in new clients without adequately planning to service, retain and get referrals from clients, he/she is missing out on prime opportunities and is not working efficiently. You may liken this to someone who loses 50 pounds through diet and exercise. Initially, they will look and feel wonderful. However, if they do not monitor what they are eating and continue to exercise, they will find themselves 50 pounds heavier again, OR WORSE. It is much easier to maintain health than to constantly perform an overhaul. Similarly, it is always better to have a long-term, all-inclusive marketing strategy.
2. Desperate marketing can negatively impact a product/ service’s perceived value. Having a 75% off Recession Sale (yes, I’ve actually seen that) simply because you are desperate for business? What happens when business starts to pick up and you are stuck making 75% less revenue per customer? Plan on raising your prices again? It is extremely difficult to get clients to pay significantly more for a service that they have received at a discount. Have you ever bought a designer item somewhere and saved over 25%? After then, how many times have to paid full price for that same type of item? Worse yet, when we get great deals we spread the word. While this is normally a good thing, this can mean death to your business in the long-term if you have been offering a deep discount (not based on any holiday, quantity discount, specific promotion or long-term marketing effort).
3. Companies that appear desperate (but not going out of business) more often than not lose potential clients. It is a fact- everyone wants to be on a winning team! Watch how many people “miraculously” become fans of sports teams that make it to the playoffs- people that have never mentioned the winning team before. Business is the same way. People want to know that they are buying a valuable product/service. If a company looks like is has little value, many will assume that company offers inferior products/services, otherwise, why would the prices be so low?
Offering incentives and discounts are a fun and necessary part of doing business. However, marketing is an ongoing process, not a single event. Plan in the long-term to ensure maximum effectiveness!