My example for this article is the Nike shoe company. When it comes to marketing you'd be hard pressed to find a company that does it better than Nike. How else could you sell shoes that cost about $5.00 to make for well over $100?
Can you come close to competing with their multi-million dollar budgets, and high paid advertising agencies? Most likely, no. But can you learn a lesson from their approach to marketing and use it in your business plan? I hope the answer is yes.
In my opinion the number one thing Nike does that most other companies don't do... Long term outlook. They don't ever risk their long term goals for a short term gain. They invest heavily in brand recognition and "perceived value", rather than price points and sales and all the other short term advertising campaigns one could come up with. They understand that when it comes to buying, consumers buy what they know. They may run millions of dollars of advertisements that don't immediately pay off, because of not everyone is in the market to get a new pair of shoes today. However, when you find yourself in the market to buy a pair of sneakers, it would be a rare instance that your purchase didn't include at least trying on a pair of Nike's.
How can you use this lesson in your small to medium sized business?
Simple, think long term instead of short term. When you run a radio campaign or a tv campaign and you don't immediately see 10,000 people beat down your door, don't just assume it didn't work. When you buy an internet schedule of banner ads, and you only get a .0001 click through rate, don't assume that your money was used in vain. It could be that some of the people exposed to your ad weren't in the market for your product at the moment, but hopefully with a good strong message and recognizable logo, you'll be remembered when they do come into your market. That's called BRAND RECOGNITION, and it's what every company who expects to be around for a while should strive for.