I just got off the phone with a great guy who was telling me he could not afford our services. "Michael, you've done everything we asked you to do and you've given us solid advice. But we just can't afford your company."
I asked, "So, tell me, did you do what we suggested?"
I asked him the logical follow up question: "Why?"
His answer: "We're confused. I get sales people into the office every day telling me I should buy this advertising idea or this magazine, or this newspaper, or this television station. I can't afford those projects. We've followed what our business manager has told us but it's not working. We need people in the door and they are not coming. I think we just need to figure it all out on our own."
"Did you follow through with our suggestions & Media Plan?" (Notice, I'm still asking the same question.)
"Well, no. Our business manager thinks..."
And, he is right. They can't afford our services. Not because we charge too much for what we do, not because our marketing plan was flawed, not because of our ignorance of the market...but because they are not doing what we told them to do. They already know better...
It's often like that in this business of advertising & marketing. Maybe it's because civilians (non-advertising types) see television ads, read magazines, use the Internet, or listen to the radio and those actions make them, marketing experts. "After all, how hard can it be to figure out advertising and marketing? I see it everyday."
It's kind of like, "I watched three hours of brain surgery films AND stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. I'm qualified to operate on your husband."
We're still friends and I wish him well and we'll be here to pick up the pieces. But not until he throws thousands of dollars at a problem he can't fix. Because, in reality, he can't identify the problem. He simply doesn't have the skill set.
So, how much is it worth...to learn?
Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications - A full service advertising company that never has to "guess" because we already know.