So this owner-manager of a specialist industrialist equipment supplier gets in touch and says, Can I help him get more customers?
We chat through a few ideas, he’s keen and enthusiastic and asks if I’ll send an email with the bullet points of what we discussed, plus an estimate of costs. I acknowledge this is a start-up and he won’t have much of a marketing budget, so I pitch my estimate accordingly.
When we speak a couple of days later he says he wants everything I suggested but didn’t realise marketing would actually cost money! He thought marketing was like Sales in a Sunday suit, he thought marketing was free.
Just as he struggled to comprehend that there’s a cost attached to employing a marketing consultant, I struggle to understand how any business person could think that marketing comes free! We don’t expect a mechanic to mend the car for free or a plumber to fix the leak for free, so why should we expect to employ a marketing professional for free?
I get brassed off sometimes by business people who approach me for marketing wit and wisdom and then are shocked when they’re told there are costs involved.
Can anyone tell me why some people think marketing should be free? Or am I just a victim of the “try it on” brigade?
COMMENTS: Craig Lowther, media production, Newcastle upon Tyne: Sadly not an uncommon experience Philip. For my part I have a very focused profile of the type of company I usually try and engage with. Very early stage start ups, in my experience, just don’t have the budget and so I tend to work with late stage companies. They know to grow their brand they need to invest.