The simple truth about marketing success

An entrepreneur walks into a bar. “Why the long face?” asks the bartender. Gloomily she responds, “I just found out I couldn’t get new business with positive affirmation and good intentions.”

Now this businessperson isn’t a horse or a Doberman pinscher. She’s an intelligent, professional woman with a small business and some great loyal clients. Her business is stable but flat and she’s ready to diversify her offerings and grow to the next level. She makes a decent living because she works long hours to keep her current customers happy and maintain orderly books. She needs to find a way to effectively build new business without compromising the quality of service to existing clients.

Enter marketing consultant. “There are a number of things we can look at to help build your brand and attract new business,” he says confidently. He goes on to recommend some inexpensive options for utilizing e-mail marketing, media relations, interactive Web sites and blogs, search marketing, link reciprocation, targeted advertising, social media activity, networking and (“Not happening!”) sales calls. As the conversation unfolds the entrepreneur’s cheerful demeanor becomes more and more stoic.

“What kind of time can you and your partner personally devote to getting such initiatives started?” Mr. Consultant asks.

“None — we’re already stretched too thin!” is the answer.

“No problem, we can help you do any of these things with a little of your input. Can you give me some budget guidelines so we can put together a plan for what you can realistically afford to do?”

Pause … “We don’t really have any budget. What would it cost for … “ And here’s where the stoicism shifts over to melancholy.

The choice before us

The above scenario is based on a real recent experience of mine.

When our businesses reach this exciting point of decision, we have the choice before us: continue to do the same things or dramatically shift gears with a commitment to invest time, and money if necessary, to effectively leverage the myriad communication tools available. We can engage the success key.

The nice thing about new media choices is that they are two-way or multi-directional. Our customers and the community itself can become our best new business advocates. But it takes TIME and COMMITMENT! Success is never easy or cheap. Somewhere, somehow and someday it is paid for. Why not take control over the investment you make in your business future?

If you’ve made the decision to grow, take the leap now. Don’t wait to be pushed because when it’s your own decision, you BELIEVE in it, and you put in the extra hard work, you are ultimately guaranteed to grow.

Very importantly, give yourself and your efforts the proper time needed to take root and work. Patience, faith and persistence will be your guarantors of victory in the marketplace. I know this to be true because I have witnessed how all of this works in practicality.

These efforts have worked wonders for my career and business. If they worked for this entrepreneur, they will surely work for you too.

Chuck Sink, executive vice president of Big Hit Media LLC, a Barrington-based digital media and brand communications company, can be reached at or at