Don’t Forget the Marketing: Your Story and Your Brand Will Make or Break Your Business

By RJ Walters

If good marketing was as simple as telling people what to do then there wouldn’t be ads on your TV screen that you have no clue what they are promoting until the final logo screen.

If Amazon’s stronghold on consumers was truly impenetrable they wouldn’t spend an estimated $33 billion per year on marketing.

If all logos were created equal, then why are some marks iconic and others forgettable?

Just like hiring, finance, organizational structure and employee development, marketing is something that requires planning, investment and strategy. 

But for some reason, it’s often an afterthought instead of a line item.

Here are seven reasons that marketing is an integral part of a business’ long-term sustainability and success, and why it can be perilous to neglect it.

You Don’t Know When Someone Might Need You

Marketing is part science, part bravado and a whole lot of trying new things to determine what works. It is wise to have a marketing agency help you strategize campaigns and produce regularly scheduled content so you can get in front of customers frequently enough that you will come to mind when they have a need. Data proves that it often takes at least 5 to 7 brand impressions for someone to remember your brand.

Marketing is like cultivating an ever-present cold call to a potential customer at just the right time, and this happens when your brand is memorable and meaningful.

It’s Money Well Spent

An in-depth survey of chief marketing officers in 2022 showed businesses on average spent 8.7% of company revenue on marketing, so less than 1 in $10 goes into studying, locating and communicating with new and existing customers. 

Alternatively, 2022 data by Hubspot indicates that email marketing (as an example) yields a whopping return of $38 for every $1 spent. It might be a hard number to believe, but usually email marketing is an affordable way to get an ad or sponsored content in front of hundreds or thousands of individuals, in a place they visit almost every day (or every few hours)—their email inbox. There are more than 4 billion people with email addresses around the globe, and the right marketing and advertising streams can help you tap into the ones most beneficial for your brand.

Good Graces Alone Are Not Enough

Just because you are nice or have a solid product, doesn’t mean you will be profitable. Word-of-mouth marketing is a wonderful revenue source, but it is also wildly inconsistent and it’s difficult to determine if the message is really getting to your target audience(s.)

Lakelander Media Creative Director Jon Sierra owned his own design and branding company—Sierra Creative—for six years. He said one of his biggest regrets, and potentially the reason he went a different direction in his career, is that he didn’t spend enough time and resources on marketing. He said it’s easy to get so lost in the everyday details of owning and running a business that you don’t think there’s time to also focus on how you are getting your own messages out.

Sierra believes if he had put the money and intentionality into marketing his services then he could have created more dependable revenue streams that would not have had such volatile peaks and valleys.

“I would not start another business or initiative if I did not have a marketing plan established,” he said.

The Seeds You Plant Today Grow Tomorrow’s Crop

Did you know it can sometimes take as long as seven years for a sweet cherry tree to begin flowering and producing fruit? In today’s market you can either buy the seeds for little cost and put a lot of hard work into harvesting them or you can spend a lot more money to transplant a mature tree that is ready to produce fruit.

For most startups and small businesses, it’s not realistic to purchase an entire farm worth of “cherry trees” up front, but it’s worth investing in seeds and mature trees in the marketing sense.

According to a 2018 Forbes article, simply being consistent when you present your brand can increase a business’s revenue at least 23%.    

Don’t become so consumed or enamored with growth in your business that you don’t invest in the next stage of potential growth.

Not Everyone Makes a Good Doctor

If you haven’t done an analysis of your target audiences or considered the look-alike consumers (people who purchase from companies in the same industry or sector as you) then you might not even know the common cures for what ails your business or could make it healthiest in the long term. 

Marketing requires developing and implementing strategies that you play a role in with your day-to-day expertise but also involve insights from trained professionals suited to help you diagnose challenges and create solutions.

It Inserts Other People Into Your Story

Working with a team like ours at Lakelander Media you will learn from experts how to elevate the product, service or business you have poured yourself into by making the brand personal and relatable to consumers. People don’t like to be “sold” to, but they do like to envision themselves enjoying life more, looking good and feeling better.

If you have a clothing business, your goal shouldn’t be to convince people that you sell the best clothes, it should be to compel people to want to experience what it feels like and what it represents to choose your apparel as part of their wardrobe. Marketing shows people what’s possible by telling intriguing stories.