Unlike Pizza Toppings, More Marketing is Not Always Better

Uncle Gino's Pizza

“Unlike pizza toppings, more marketing is not always better.”  I heard this phrase on a radio show not too long ago, and thought it was a stroke of genius.  There are a myriad of marketing channels out there, some free, some expensive.  Marketing exists in a variety of forms such as radio ads, clever roadside billboards, or simply the printed names of companies on the side of work trucks.  Things like social media, which are free, serve as a great means of connecting and sharing information with potential customers.  At the other end of the spectrum are channels like large scale media ads, which can be extremely costs. 

Consider the Super Bowl in February 2014, the championship game for American Football.  Advertising was priced as high as $133,000 per second.  Despite the costs for advertising, brands like Coca-Cola and Budweiser beer can benefit because they are able to reach members of their target audience.  After all, soft-drinks and beer go hand in hand with sport.  And while this one game has some of the largest viewership for a single event, such an audience may simply not be the right one for all businesses. 

Large scale marketing is not necessarily worthwhile or cost effective depending on whom you are trying to reach.  Further, marketing costs are not simply how much one might pay for a billboard, a print ad in the newspaper or an online ad on Google.  Marketing costs also include the time and effort you put in to reaching your target customer.  So while social media, for example, may not cost anything to jump in and start sharing information, doing so will still consume time and energy.  Creating a print ad for a publication will require several iterations before it goes to press, all of which will cost time and energy. 

Simply put, while there are numerous channels for you to market your products and services, it does not mean that you should pursue all of them.  Rather, the key is to focus on the right channels to reach the right audience.  Thus, particularly for small businesses and companies whose time and money are precious assets, energy and priority should be levied on reaching the ideal customer or client.  Anything beyond this is opportunistic, but should only be done with any remaining budget.  To emphasize this point, compare, the benefit you might receive as a plumbing supply company by spending $133,000 per second for a single advertisement during the Super Bowl, versus $133,000 for a year’s worth of print ads in industry catalogs. 

If there is to be a secret to marketing, it is that your business must concentrate your message towards the desired audience and the ideal customer.  Simply broadcasting your advertising in any direction will in fact dilute your efforts.  So the next time you evaluate your marketing effort, don’t pile your avenues and channels on like pizza toppings.  Pick the right ones for the most effective marketing plan.

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