What does selling soap have to do with being an entrepreneur?
After all, companies like Procter & Gamble and Unilever are so huge and command such massive advertising resources that they’re playing a completely different game, right?
P & G and Unilever may be the biggest advertisers in the world, but they still have to launch their new products in crowded, noisy marketplaces – just like we do.
They have to hold their market share against aggressive competitors and hopefully grow the share they’ve got – just like we do.
They have to work like the devil to keep their customers happy and their vendors on their toes – just like we do.
The one thing the big soap merchants have that some small business owners don’t is the luxury to think ahead. But actually, for giants like these two, it’s not a luxury. It’s a life and death necessity.
Like an oil tanker, a mega-corporation can move a lot of product, but when the marketplace changes and the boat needs to change course, big companies are handicapped because they’ve not able to change quickly, which is why these companies invest so much in trying to see what’s beyond the next bend.
So what is beyond the next bend?
Readers of this letter may be surprised to find that the world’s top buyers of advertising are just as confused as we are.
A quote from today’s Financial Times “Unilever revamps approach to advertising”
Here’s what Alan Rutherford, Unilever’s global media director, has to say about today’s media environment and how the world’s top advertising pros are dealing with the challenge.
Remember, Unilever, like P & G, is among a handful of 800 pound gorillas that spend more on advertising in one month than the economies of some small nations produce in a year – so not only do they get to critique the ad industry, the ad industry listens and takes notes.
“Where the ad industry is struggling is in putting all the components of brand communication together… There is a struggle to have traditional media and digital and content and public relations under one roof.”
“Advertising isn’t the simple “buy an ad and count the sales” business it used to be. There are new tools now that not only enhance traditional advertising, but are becoming necessary to cut through the noise. Coordinating all these tools is not easy.”
Learning the new marketing tools (blogs, audio, video, viral marketing strategies etc.) is one thing. While there is a learning curve, at the end of the day, it’s a finite task.
The real challenge – and the one that no one on the entrepreneurial side of Internet marketing is talking about – is how to integrate all these tools into a focused approach to marketing.
Well actually, someone is talking about it…
Two months ago, I visited Martin Wales in Toroto where he and I and a select group of System Club members spent the day talking about how to harness the new Internet marketing tools so they pull together with maximum power.
We captured the day on video and are in the final stages of editing it.
At some point in the near future, I’ll have Martin on as a guest on a tele-conference and we’ll cover this subject in greater detail.
Meanwhile, if all these new media options have you confused, that’s a good sign.
People who aren’t confused are coasting, aren’t thinking. Someday they’re going to wake up and wonder where the party went.
As always in business, it’s pay now or pay later.
– Ken McCarthy
P.S. For over 25 years I’ve been sharing the simple but powerful things that matter in business with my clients.
If you’d like direction for your business that will work today, tomorrow and twenty years from now, visit us at the System Club.