The concept of “out-spend or out-teach” is critical in today’s informational world and it applies equally to online and off line marketing efforts. However, most small to medium sized business owners that I talk to today in and around my local area of Temecula and Southern California seem to be primarily concerned with their online marketing so for the purposes of this article, I will target my efforts on how “out-spend or out-teach” relates to those looking to grow their business via the internet.
To coin a familiar phrase, the world has gone viral. The winners in today’s economy are those that master the art of blogging, social media, and attracting followers. Many have termed this form of marketing “attraction marketing” where the content that you develop attracts people to you that are wanting the product, service, or information that you have. It is interesting to note that the new millionaires are the generation of twenty-somethings that seem to have figured out that monetizing a marketing plan has less to do with telling folks who you are and what you do and more to do with providing educational resources to your target audience that encourage them to follow you and wait on your every word. These savvy marketers have been blogging their way to the bank for the last few years while the dinosaurs of the old economy are struggling to find their place. While the “newbies” are amassing huge mailing lists, Facebook fans, and Twitter followers, the “veterans” fighting the urge to change might be stuck looking at their Outlook database wondering how they can get it to grow faster. Their answer usually revolves around the old “out-spend” technique where advertising dollars got soaked up by marketing departments and the answer was always centered around buzz words like “low rates”, “customer service”, “new and improved”, and “sale”. These strategies, although they still have their place, have become cliche and the consumers (and their dollars) today follow those with a long-term “out-teach” philosophy.
It’s as simple as this. In order to beat you, I don’t have to out-spend you if I can effectively out-teach you. Your customers will gladly follow me if I can provide the information they want on a consistent basis. The problem for most business owners, however, is that shifting their paradigm from out-spend to out-teach can appear overwhelming and confusing. In addition, the out-teach strategy is not one that appears overnight. Rather, it is a result of dedicated and persistent action which often goes unrewarded (financially) for quite some time. The out-spend marketer craves that one idea, slogan, or campaign that puts their business over the top almost instantly. They want to run an ad campaign that generates them new customers NOW. Anything less is deemed worthless or a waste of time and effort. The out-teach marketer knows that their strategy builds like a snowball… slow, steady, small at first, then bigger, and finally mammoth. The journey may take weeks, months, or even years but in the end, the out-teach business strategist has the ability to release a new product or service and instantly expose it to hundreds or even thousands of people. The out-spend marketer usually lacks the outlet for this type of mass distribution without spending even more!
The Old-School Marketer is like a hunter- hiking through the woods stalking his prey. When he sees his target, he goes in for the kill. The problem now is that he must continue to hunt in order to survive. The day he stops hunting, his family starves. The New-School Marketer resembles a fisherman. He simply figures out what the fish are eating, baits his hook, and waits patiently. He may need to occasionally switch his bait or his pond, but in the end the fish come to him and if he continues to use the right bait, they will continue to come.
Take a look at your current marketing strategy. Are you spending your time telling people about your business and what you do? Or are you attracting people to you by adding value? Are you stuck in the old advertising paradigm, or have you adopted the new philosophy: freely sharing your experience and knowledge and becoming the hunted rather than the hunter.