I have worked for GlobalSpec for nearly a decade. Through the years, our sales team has shared with me different reasons potential customers have decided not to add GlobalSpec to their marketing mix.
Some of these reasons, when I first heard them, struck me as incredulous and irrational. I assumed it was an isolated case – an outlier. But after hearing these reasons repeated every year, albeit by a small number, I’ve come to realize it is reality. However, when these explanations for not spending on marketing were uttered in this current economic climate, I was shocked once again.
Despite my mother’s aversion to the word “dumb,” that is what comes to mind when I hear this rationale. This is not unique to GlobalSpec. You can insert any potential marketing investment in front of the following excuses for saying no.
1) My Web site needs work…so we don’t want anyone to visit until it’s fixed.
Does Wal-Mart close its stores for several weeks while it rearranges retail space to better accommodate shoppers’ preferences and drive more sales? Of course not. Even if you are working on a site redesign, you still want people to discover your company, its products and services.
Nobody’s Web site is perfect. There is always room for improvement. But don’t take yourself out of the marketplace while you work on it.
2) We can’t handle the leads/visitors/customers.
So you may not have a CRM automation system with all the bells and whistles. What are you doing now for people who want to buy from you? You must have some system/process in place.
Start with leads that are overtly expressing buy signals – RFQs. At the very minimum, isn’t there someone in your organization – sales, customer service, a distribution channel – that would be willing to follow-up with a request for quote? Sure, you would maximize your marketing effectiveness if you could nurture and respond to every lead you receive. But if you cannot do that yet, don’t leave money on the table for your competition to grab! RFQs don’t rain from the sky by the thousands so chances are your company can accommodate the time to respond to these ready-to-buy prospects.
3) We have all the business we want.
This one is my favorite. And amazing that we still hear it in a year when the majority of companies are performing below their 2008 revenues.
I get it, you can’t just add manufacturing capacity at the drop of a hat. What do you have lined up three months from now if you are so fortunate to be booked out? Wouldn’t it be nice to have more potential orders that you could pick and choose from – to respond to those that are in your sweet spot and have the highest margin potential or potential for repeat purchase?
If you are going to say no to spending your marketing dollars, make sure it’s for the right reasons – the wrong target audience, lack of ROI, or the medium is not suited to reach your company’s goals. But don’t limit yourself by using the excuses above – they may be convenient, but they may also negatively impact your business efforts and keep you from meeting your goals.