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  • Writer's picturePete Steege

No Pain, No Gain

There's no free lunch in marketing. I've found that no pain, is no gain. If you are not putting in some effort, if you're not suffering a little bit, thinking about and striving for the best marketing approach, you're probably missing out on what marketing can do for your business. Here are three ways that no pain is no gain when it comes to your marketing.

"Commodity Marketing"

First, commodity marketing is the idea that I'm going to just choose the cheapest, highest volume, easiest mass-produced way to do my marketing. Mass emails, mass direct mails, annoyance advertising, digital advertising, things that are the lowest common denominator. They're a race to the bottom. It's like, how can I do this cheaper? Things like that may seem like a good deal, but the effect is, that you look just like everybody else. You become - your message becomes - a commodity, and that is the opposite of what you're trying to do with your marketing. The goal of marketing is to stand out somehow with your uniqueness, and you can't do that if you find the cheapest way to do whatever you're focused on doing. So, you need to let go of that and start first with what you need accomplish with your marketing and find the right thing to do that, not the best deal.

Less is more

Secondly, doing less is hard work in marketing. Coming up with the right words, the few right words is not easy. I love Mark Twain's quote where he said, 'I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead'. Marketing is that way. Those simple stories or images or messages that you are so drawn to in consumer marketing are because of a lot of effort to distill things down into the right story. The other side of less is more is that when you do choose a campaign vehicle, let's say you're going to do online advertising, or you're going to do a webinar, something like that, it's really important to put investment in upfront because garbage in, garbage out is the rule. If you haven't thoughtfully prepared for what you're going to do with the right message, the right material, the right experts then it comes off in a poor way.

Simple isn't easy

And third, there's a paradox here. You have to work hard to make things easy for your prospects and your customers. You want to sweat the details, so they don't have to. Doing that, putting that work in, so that they don't have to do the work shows that you care. And you don't have to say I care, they see it in the experience they get from you. They will notice, they might not even realize it, but unconsciously for sure, they will notice and be attracted to that generosity.

So your opportunity is to choose the harder and better path with your marketing. And the harder path tends to be the better path, because most people don't do that. And in marketing, you want to stand out. And by choosing the tough road and putting in that elbow grease and spending that money, you will stand out.

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