Marketing is not accounting – a little rant about who business owners trust 😤

This year I achieved a 32x on ad spend for my own brand. If you know anything about marketing, you’ll know this is at the very tippy top of marketers in terms of performance. That being said, I still struggle to get other business owners to listen, but they’ll happily listen to someone who has never ran their own brand & work for someone else in a fancy office.

I know why this is – because I work in an office space I share with my family’s business & drive around in a 2012 Nissan Qashqai – but it’s ultimately a frustrating reflection of the entrepreneurial space as a whole & how we judge success.

My biggest annoyance is how many entrepreneurs & marketers don’t understand how irrelevant a lot of marketing statistics are for small businesses. They’ll produce verbal diarrhoea about numbers & theories which simply don’t translate to the world of small business.

I know because when I was first learning about the subject I also read these stats, I also believed them & thought they would help guide my successes, & I found out through years of experience how they’re actually fucking irrelevant & don’t apply to 90% of industries & 99% of normal new businesses.

Here’s the truth about successful advertising:

  1. Make a product/service which people want to buy & which isn’t already over-served.
  2. Create a digital presence that shows how amazing you are including images of your product/service, wording that reflects what your customers have been searching for & branding that makes you look legitimate. Offer something for free that gives people a reason to get in touch, such as a free design or brochure.
  3. Advertise it so people who are looking for this product/service can find you.
  4. Refine as you gain results.

It’s not rocket science, & most of the skill in advertising is researching what people are actually looking for & refining the advertising over time.

It’s time-consuming & boring; which is why it’s a good skill (as nobody wants to actually do it). It’s also why we want to believe there’s a secret science to it, as it makes it more of a get rich quick scheme.

However, the stats & theories you’ll see online won’t really say this. They’ll just get you to force your brand on as many screens as possible & get you to watch heat maps that have tell you that 90% of people landing on your website just clicked on the text randomly for no reason (this is a joke).

If you’re wondering why a lot of consultants & gurus tell you to look at heat maps or clicks it’s because you don’t need to have good advertising to get a dopamine hit from seeing these things happen. For the most part they don’t help you achieve sales, & are only worth focusing on when you’ve got 100,000 people visiting your website per month.

To put it into a cooking analogy, focusing on these meaningless statistics is kind of like trying to make water boil. You can focus on how quick you can bring water to boil or how controlled you can get the bubbles, but without actually adding some ingredients you can’t really understand how these variables actually effect the end result.

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