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Treating Marketing Pain with Acupuncture

February 23, 2011

small business marketing successOkay, sometimes I am a bit out-there with my similes.  I am going there again with this post.  I had acupuncture last Thursday for the first time (getting rid of shoulder pain that was caused by skiing moguls) and driving home after the session, I was thinking about my conversation with the acupuncturist and realized that the talk I had with her reminded me a lot about the talk I have with clients about their marketing.  Bear with me here…

While I was face down on the table being needled, I was asking her how acupuncture worked.  I was trying to understand the science or cause and effect. After a long, detailed explanation about how it helped to clear the channels in the nervous, blood and lymph systems, she went on to tell me that scientists had tried to gain and understand of exactly how it worked through the use of MRI and brain scans while patients where undergoing acupuncture.  In the end, nothing was defined.  We have some theories about why it works, but nothing is really conclusive. It just is and has been for thousands of years.

So why is this like marketing?  Well, think about all the variables in your marketing. You have your message, your offer, your list and then you have the various vehicles or tactics to deliver those.  We have mail and email, social media, advertising of all types, the telephone, text messages, display advertising, product placement, sponsorships, references and referrals  (and probably another dozen that I am not naming.  So what made the new prospect or customer pick up the phone and call or walk into your store?

Was it the ad in the newspaper or the email you sent?  Did they see a mention of you on their friends Facebook page?  Was it the phone call that your salesperson made a month ago but the timing just wasn’t right?  Or is it some combination of all of the above?  Its likely you’ll never know and I am pretty sure that you don’t want to spend the amount of money you’d need to in order to get the exact answer.  And ultimately, it doesn’t matter.  You got a new customer and the system works.

Like the acupuncture, I don’t always know why the marketing works.  A good acupuncturist has trained for years and understands where to put needles and pressure to get desired results. They don’t know why it results, they just know it will.  A good marketing person doesn’t always know why something works, but they do know what to do, what to say, where to say it and when – and it gets results.

  • In the end, there are a few absolutes I can tell you about marketing:
  • If you don’t do any, you will likely not be in business very long (even referrals are a form of marketing)
  • Marketing is always changing
  • It will always cost you in terms of time or money or both
  • Taking action will create results.
  • Taking action with the right message with create better results
  • Taking consistent action with the right message will yield consistently better results

So if you are unsure what to do or say or where and when to say it, then get some help to figure it out.  I haven’t been trained in acupuncture and would never try to needle myself.  If your marketing isn’t working, stop wasting your money and causing yourself pain – ask for help.

Dan Kraus
Written by Dan Kraus

With more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, and go-to-market strategies, Dan Kraus has developed a deep portfolio of experiences that he now uses to help small businesses profitably grow their businesses. As an entrepreneur, Dan understands the challenges of growing a business with limited capital and human resources. As a line of business manager in larger companies such as SAP America and Great Plains Software (now part of Microsoft), his experience launching new business ventures inside reputable organizations established his reputation as a creative and effective executive that could both plan and execute within corporate confines.

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