What happens when marketing stops?

I took a step back in time this week. I was invited in to a local company to discuss plans to reinvigorate their sales. “We seem to have lost our way” they said, “Pop by and tell us how you can help”.
Did you ever see that TV advert, the one for Carlsberg lager where a chap is walking along the corridor of a high tech building and he’s hearing a telephone ringing. It just keeps ringing, and it’s that old fashioned telephone ring, and it’s relentless. His curiosity gets aroused and so he tracks it down to a door marked “Customer Complaints”……get it? Well he opens the door and it’s like he’s stepped back in time. It’s a working office that’s clearly not been used for some time. It’s full of equipment that’s twenty or so years out of date, it’s all dusty. We are getting the picture….Carlsberg don’t get customer complaints do they? Anyway, what about the phone? it’s still ringing. So he answers it, looks at the dial on the phone and says the extension number, and can you guess the ending? After all this effort…..it’s a wrong number!!!! It made me smile….and just look at the power of good advertising….here I am years later, quoting the ad on-line!!!
The point is, that’s how I felt when I walked into this companies “sales and marketing department”. It was clearly not being used, and was full of sixties and seventies marketing materials. They had some expensive items, like an exhibition stand, and that was just ancient. All neatly boxed up, and waiting to be used for it’s intended purpose. They even had some promotional material left over that was worthy of being placed in a museum. It was like being in that Carlsberg advert!!! And what a waste? They needed to be putting their data onto personalised and branded USB sticks like dozens of our existing customers are finding, this is the modern way to promote your brand.
They had been market leaders. They had made a lot of money. The owners had taken a back seat and no longer had a passion for growing the business. They had sat back and reaped the rewards…..neglecting the brand, and letting their sales and marketing efforts tail away. Meanwhile, a steady stream of hungry competitors were nibbling away at their ankles, and here we are, tens of years later, with their market share at rock bottom.
With a new Sales Director on board, finally, they are seeking ways to reverse these trends. What a fantastic opportunity!!!
With or without my companies services, there’s so much that can be done here, and I’d just love to be involved. Time will tell if we are, and I’ll keep you posted as the story develops.

I often hear people say “they don’t need marketing”, and who know’s, maybe they don’t, but what this demonstrated was what can happen when you build a brand, and then pull the plug on self promotion.

What would happen if your business didn’t promote/market itself?


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