During the run-up to war in 2003, the French government was uncertain about joining in the Iraq invasion. It wanted more proof for the U.S. intelligence claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, and that there were going to be “Mushroom clouds” from Iraq.
This caused a great deal of disquiet between the two countries. The U.S. Congress got so mad it even passed a resolution, changing the name of “French Fries, on the Congressional cafeteria menu, to “Freedom Fries”. When asked about this clash between France and the USA, then president George W. Bush quipped: “The trouble with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur.”
Of course, the word “entrepreneur” is, actually, a French word, coined in 1800 by French economist Jean-Baptiste Say when he wrote, “The entrepreneur shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield.”
Monsieur Say was certainly prescient when he named this radically new type of businessman, and described a revolutionary change in commerce, back at the turn of the 19th Century, embodied in his famous thesis, Say’s Law of Markets.
That was pretty much the start of the capitalist rat race, when the prime objective of business changed from creating product to creating aggregate demand.
More Demand for the Dollar
So creating demand is your company’s primary purpose and, especially if it is a small company, it needs to create this demand as inexpensively as possible. Sweeping advances in social media have provided opportunities for mass marketing that are much cheaper and more accessible than ever before.
You don’t buy advertising to establish a brand identity for your product or company any more, you just start a Facebook, Instagram or Youtube page, basically for free, and spread your brand’s name and logo through creative friending in social media.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to print that logo on a bunch of paper flyers, posters and personalized envelopes, and slip those under as many windshield wipers as you can at a Walmart parking lot, when that company’s opening a new store.
You’re getting your message right smack dab in front of a whole lot of folks, who like bargains and new stuff, that the Walmart executives have been kind enough to provide for you with their multi-million dollar new store roll out.
If that isn’t “shift(ing) economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield”, then, who knows what is. Your company’s name has been memorialized in the minds of thousands of new potential customers, at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing tactics.
Maybe You Need to Hire a Professional?
Once you get past the basically free marketing tools available from social media, and the more bizarre and crazy ideas like posterizing construction sites and parking lots, you need to start making hard choices about actually spending some serious marketing dollars.
Problem is, so many of the cheaper marketing ideas either just drain money or allow leads to be lost. You’ve got to be selective. If a marketing tactic can’t be directly traced to increasing sales opportunities, or generating more leads, or developing the ones that you already have, then you’ve got to take a hard look at it.
See if you can talk to other entrepreneurs who have employed the tactic and find out what they think about it. Or if you can’t get anyone to share their experiences, maybe you need a proven marketing pro on staff, someone with a lot of experience. If you don’t have sales veteran on your team, you might be wasting money, and not realizing it.
Pricing Strategy as a Marketing Tool
How did you determine how much to charge for your product or service? Are you sure you know how much a customer is willing to part with to enjoy it? There is a threshold of how much they’ll pay and your marketing strategy must put this criteria front and center before you price any item.
If you’ve accurately and honestly calculated the entire cost structure for putting your product or service out there, then you have a pretty clear picture of how much you need to charge to keep your business viable. Compare your bottom line costs with the retail prices of similar products or services from your competitors.
If there’s a difference and your production cost is lower, and there’s room for some low cost marketing strategy, then there’s an opportunity for profit. If not, then you’re probably not going to be in business much longer unless you can cut costs.