Marketing’s Dangerous Echo Chamber

Marketing echo chamber definedMarketing by echo chamber can kill your business.  Its not just small business owners who believe everyone thinks and acts just like them.  Marketing agencies can be swept away too.

Doug Garnett from Atomic Direct :

“far too many (business ad decisions) ad agency decisions are based on personal preference and neighborly anecdote. It also explains the ad biz obsession with digital – resulting in spending that far outpaces it’s effectiveness.”

An echo chamber is a place where you hear only your own voice coming back to you in a delayed fashion.  Generally, its a fun experience.  Maybe you can even remember the first time your heard that kind of an echo as a kid.  Harmless fun.

Death by Echo Chamber Marketing

When it comes to your marketing, the echo chamber will kill your business.  Entrepreneurs have the worst problem with echo chambers.  The business they created with their own hands, their own ideas, and their own sweat is endangered by the very skill set that enabled them to take the risk.

Here are a few symptoms of echo chamber Marketing.

  • Your revenue is stagnant or down
  • You only listen to pitches from people you know
  • You think everyone uses media like you
  • You are going to run the same promotions next year you did this year
  • You think you are the smartest person in the room

There are great local examples of echo chamber marketing in Billings.  Almost any purchase of time on either cable supplier is a definition of echo chamber.  Expecting a cable ad buy to make your business improve is akin to putting your life savings on 36 red and spinning the wheel.  The usage of cable is so low gambling might actually be more effective.

The Billings Gazette with a reach of only sightly more than 15% of all of Yellowstone County residents gets enormously overbought.  Its a great example of businesses and ad agencies stuck in what they think versus marketing realities.

It is echo chamber marketing at its best.

Should you Billings Echo Chamber marketing think this doesn’t apply to you or your business, take a look at this chart from the Media Behavior Institute.  This is a chart of how real people use media compared to how industry pros (ad agency people) use media.  The same chart looking at entrepreneurs instead of agency people would probably have similar scores.

Notice the huge disparity between the general population and people who do advertising for a living.  If you intend to win and grow your business, you must  focus on what real people do.

The echo chamber was fun when you were young.  Take a moment to see if you are still in that chamber.  It will kill your business.

Marketing on Cable is Cheap–Should Be Cheaper

Marketing on cable in Billings is cheap.  Because it should be.  Take a look at these numbers courtesy of MarketingCharts.com

Here’s how to read this and add a Billings marketing spin to it.  The chart is based on on viewers and households.  In this case, 3.5% of the homes in the U.S.tuned into a portion of the Dallas/Oakland pre season football game.

One can assume Billings may have less than the national average interest in a football game with teams nowhere near here, but lets give the game the 3.5 rating.  There are slightly more than 52,000 homes in Yellowstone County.  The projection is then 1820 homes watched part of the game.

It better be really cheap in price.  The loss in marketing reach and value is huge.

Billings marketing on cableThere are some good reasons to use cable as part of your marketing mix.  With numbers this low, general cable should be considered one of the last places you put your marketing dollars.

Cable penetration and marketing in Billings

I’ve made arguments before about cable’s lack of penetration and clearance in the Billings market in the past.  When you look at the number of homes passed by cable and ratings like these, cable is almost a must pass.

A specifically targeted cable network or show, like home improvement with HGTV for example, is the way cable works best for Billings marketing purposes.  If you let cable become your first stop for marketing, my fear is you will pay for that with fewer sales and less revenue.

Marketing-Right Place, Right Time

Billings marketing is about right place at the right timeMarketing your business is being in the right place at the right time.  It is why Google is running ads on websites all across their network right now.  The idea?  To push the feeling their ads are the only ones that work.  After all, when you appear in search you are in the right place at the right time.

It is also wrong.

It is undeniable people almost always use just the first page results when they do a search.  42% of searchers click on the first result they get believing in Google’s infallibility of getting them the best answer.

If marketing were that easy,you could be to buy Google Adwords and call it a day.

It is not.

New Marketing World

The internet has opened up a whole new world to businesses and customers.  The new connections you can make with your current customers and connections with people who have never heard of you is enormous.

People want to do business with companies they know and believe in.  That’s why using a good mix of advertising is the best way to improve your business. With so many choices, it is hard to decide what the right mix.

There are over 20 different ways to market your business in the Billings marketplace.  No one can afford to be in all places at all times.  The use of a professional to help you with your strategic plan is not difficult or costly if you make the right choice.

You could Google for one, of course, and take the first name on the list.

Partner in Marketing

Or you could look for a partner with a wide range of marketing skills including buying, planning, writing, and producing high quality performing advertising solutions. The partner would be experienced in TV, web, billboards, print, mobile media and radio among others. Now it would be great if that first Googled name had all those qualities, but if you did not know the first company, what then?

I know which one I would take.  And it probably isn’t using Google’s first result for something that important.  At least not without additional information.  That is why your marketing mix is so important.  You have to be known in ways additional to an online presence. Your potential customers think the same way.

Professional help for your website and your marketing is only a click away.