Extra Edition / Business Management

Don’t Market on the Cheap

Your Sales and Reputation Will Suffer

Bob Janet
Bob Janet
I am the first to be very frugal in spending my marketing dollars. I never advertise unless I can measure the results of my marketing and I do my very best not to waste marketing dollars.

Recently I played in a charity golf tournament. Among the giveaways to each participant by one of the sponsors, an insurance company, was a used golf ball. Immediately all you heard was, “Did you get a used ball from _________ insurance company?” Each time the comment was accompanied with laughter.

On a note accompanying the used golf ball it was explained that if your ball had a star drawn on it you won a free sleeve of balls at the closing banquet. (A sleeve of balls is a small box of three balls.)

The entire day everyone was asking the joke of the day, “Did you win a sleeve of used balls?” (I checked and the company was giving away five sleeves of new balls.) It got so bad that the insurance company’s representative that was to announce the winners at the banquet left early in embarrassment.

By cheaping out and not giving everyone a new ball, at a total cost of between $60 and $80 depending on the brand name, all the money spent sponsoring the tournament, which was substantial, was wasted. And instead of gaining a reputation of being a top-notch company who helped a charity, this insurance company, if they did not destroy their reputation with the 80 golfers who they were soliciting for business, came close to it.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to market on the cheap. If you are not going to make your business look like a million dollars, which when done properly does not cost that much extra, don’t bother with marketing at all.

Publication date: 7/8/2013

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