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When in Doubt, Focus on the Product

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on August 10, 2011

I used to obsess over ad success and SEO conversion rates. I spent my time looking at advertising and marketing from every angle I could think of. When I felt the results were off, I’d go back and rehash those reports in search of that elusive maximum return for my small advertising budget. Then I spoke with a mentor who suggested I use the time that I was spending trying to optimize each advertising nickel to instead polish and refine my company’s products and services and let them sell themselves. As I put his advice into practice, not only did I find he was right, I found that our goods could sell themselves better than any advertisement ever did.

No amount of advertising helps a poor product. Say you own a restaurant and sink a ton of money into advertising for the grand opening. So many people show up that you can’t seat them all. The problem is that you neglected to hire a good staff. The food is nothing special. Your expensive experiment failed to build a customer base.

Focus your energy on the product or service. Instead of advertising, hire a top chef, use the finest ingredients, and demand quick and kind service from your wait staff.

A good product advertises itself. If you, the concerned restaurateur, give your patrons the best service, most-flavorful food, and competitive prices, advertising expenses will fall. All of the sudden you’ll see regulars. And friends of regulars. Before you know it, you’ve built a loyal word-of-mouth network on your superior product.

Always remember: No matter where you’re running your ads, they’ll be gone eventually. A reputation has a way of staying with a product, and a sterling reputation for your product is worth far more than the money you didn’t spend advertising it.

Jim Belosic
Reno, Nev.

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