Cash is blood & branding bleeds

by Ash Horton
August 7, 2019

If cash is blood, then when you spend a dollar, it’s better that you achieve an immediate return because without blood, you’ll die.

Small business owners shouldn’t continually pour funds into marketing strategies that aren’t delivering instant sales because, eventually, their bank accounts will bleed dry. It seems that only businesses with exceedingly large budgets engage in long-term marketing approaches because deep pockets are what cash-flows this strategy. Small business owners know that immediate returns are what pay the wages.

Most of what’s written above is a myth & these assumptions are keeping small businesses from achieving significant growth.

This does, however, beg the question; How can small businesses get traction and compete with the world of big-business with enormous advertising budgets? We all know a small business owner that has their back to a wall and is being squeezed on margins by a global retailer. Let’s call this person David. We empathise with the David’s and we villainise the Goliath’s, but that’s not the answer. That’s nay saying, it’s negativity, and it’s making excuses.

Instead, let’s explore what options you have when developing your marketing strategy in 2019 & 2020.

Back when Ingvar Kamprad started IKEA in 1943, he had to advertise through printed catalogues & newspapers. IKEA’s first catalogue was a risk and a significant investment. IKEA is now generating revenues of 37 Billion euros per annum and operating in 38 countries. Not bad for a young Sweedish chap that started operating from what looked like a tool-shed.

Ingvar was probably focused on immediate returns too, but IKEA also cares about both their brand & values, more so than any other company in history. They’ll advertise sales, to draw the customers in store, the lifeblood. You’ll also find that throughout the entire business, their mind-set is customer-centric and focused on ensuring that their reputation maintains its excellent standard.

When you think of IKEA, you might think of meatballs, you might think low cost and good value, but you also associate that this power-house of a company is environmentally conscious. IKEA values its reputation above and beyond any other marketing strategy. IKEA rightfully wins the hearts of the consumer because they’re genuinely a great brand with real values.

How does this relate to you as a small business owner?

The message you should take from this article is that cash is king and without cash, you die. Focus on immediate returns, such as lead-generation through paid social media advertising will be a winner. However, you have the necessary marketing tools in 2019 that can help you work on your long-term branding strategy, both as an individual and as a profit-driven entity. Take this blog, for example. If you’re still reading, then it’s added some value to your life, and it’s a digital footprint that allows readers to evaluate Thinkroom’s services, competence and likability.

It’s an article that will remain online forever.

Writing an article cost nothing but time. If you have a newsworthy story, send it to your local news agency. If it’s an article that helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses, publish it on LinkedIn.

When people Google your name, what do they find? In 2024, you have an opportunity and the tools that IKEA’s founder, Ingvar, wasn’t so lucky to have. You can easily architect your digital presence and distribute it through the free, relevant channels, while your competitors are likely to be neglecting this key long-term marketing strategy.

Remember, it’s the tortoise who won the race!

Ash Horton.

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