The Biggest Marketing Myth Exposed

biggest marketing myth exposed

If you’ve ever advertised in mainstream media or thought about doing so, this post is for you!

The other day, a colleague and I had a meeting with a potential client who is looking to get started with social media. We asked him how much he spent on advertising and I nearly fell off my chair when he told us! He said he was spending up to $15,000 per year on advertising with no discernible  return on investment. $15,000!!!!!!

Now, advertising in mainstream media has its place but if you are spending a fortune on advertising in newspapers and magazines and not seeing a significant return on investment, then it is time to step outside the traditional marketing box and do things differently.

The biggest myth in marketing is that you need to spend thousands on outside help to market your business if you want a return on investment. 

The truth is, if you are willing to put in the effort and time, you can successfully market your business without relying on expensive marketers and costly advertising.

Don’t get me wrong, plonking a page on Facebook and shouting out to the world will get you nowhere fast. You need to have a system in place to make sure that what you are doing is highly targeted to your idea clients, is drawing attention to your business, and is measurable. Miss one element in this system and your efforts will likely fall flat.

People are spending more and more time on social media, especially Facebook, so if you don’t have a system in place to market your business, rather than spend thousands on mainstream advertising that doesn’t get results, it might pay to instead invest in learning how to market your business using social media.

As a starting point, here are some awesome resources for you:

1. Social Media Examiner: Every day, except Sunday, Social Media Examiner delivers useable small business social media tips, resources and news. They also host virtual events that give you valuable information about using social media in business. They also have clubs where you go and talk about small business, blogging and Facebook. I’ve been in the clubs since January and am loving the insights and interaction.

2. Mari Smith: Mari Smith is known as the pied piper of Facebook. Her free webinars are content rich and oh, so helpful! I loved her work so much I decided to join one of her programs. Worth every penny!

3. Amy Porterfield: Amy’s blog contains fantastic and practical social media tips for small businesses.

Do you have any social media resources you’d like to share?

  • John Cosstick

    Hi Cas,

    You are spot on! Getting the basics right is so important. There was an interesting article by Juan Felix on The 7 Secrets to Strategic Marketing Success on The Social Web here .I believe that Juan is right and that small business people starting social media to improve their relationship marketing would benefit greatly by employing contractors with specialist knowledge to make sure they have thought through their strategy. Juan’s article is definitely worth a share. What are other readers thoughts on this subject of social media contracting?


    John Cosstick

  • Ashley Neal (@smallbizatlanta)

    I agree 100% Great post!

    @ John Cosstick, I think that if a small business owner can find the time to utilize social media then they should do it on their own. If they have stff they can have their staff participate as well (the staff knows the business inside out as well). As a last resort I think that a small business owner should enlist social media contracting, but I advise that they do so with extreme caution. I know a few small business owners that have had some BAD experiences contracting out their social media. Receiving little to no return on their investment. So if a small business owner decides to do this they should ‘proceed with caution’. Really research the company and ask to see the results (or speak to a previous customer). In my opinion , no one knows your business like you do so if you can do social media marketing and engaging in house.

    • Cas

      Thanks Ashley, you make a great point. I think that outsourcing to social media agencies is tricky when you’re unsure about the ROI but any social media agency worth their salt, will have a pretty comprehensive process and will be evaluating performance as they go. I think a six month contract should be minimum in order to see results. I also think a lot of businesses have unrealistic expectations about how quickly a business grows using social media. It takes a while to establish and build relationships with potential clients.