The Problem With Marketing As A Service

36 replies
It starts out exciting.

You can do magic for a business...if only they will let you.

The frustration sets in when you get continually knocked back.

Then somebody gets it, hires you and you finally get money in the door,
some self worth back and a chance to do what you love.

Something isn't right though.

For some reason the results for your client are below what you both expected.

Your self confidence takes a hit.

That bad attitude carries over to your prospecting.

New client work dries up.

Damn this marketing gig!

Ever experienced this?

Best,
Ewen
#marketing #problem #service
  • Profile picture of the author chaotic squid
    I'm still kinda new with marketing (few years experience) but I have enough experience to know what's realistic and always make sure to make reasonable goals that I know I can deliver. Haven't had a campaign yet that has completely bombed, but if I did I'd offer to fix it for free.

    My clients results are important to me, so I try to be upfront about my experiences with different strategies and what my results in the past have been and what can be expected.

    Marketing campaigns often have different results, but it's your job to be honest about what you can deliver, and pass/refer jobs that you may be unable to complete.

    Basically, don't promise the world. Provide examples of what you've done before, and if you fall short of your previous campaigns, fix it so that you can meet or exceed your clients expectations.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9332597].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    I think this is one reason that some folks choose the training/coaching/consulting/DIY type methods of delivery versus DFY.

    Some here have said that the real money is in the doing of the service but I think there are lots of people making big bucks not providing a service but providing DIY resources.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9333174].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author ronr
      Yep I have.

      Several reasons.

      -You do what works but they don't do what they need to profit from your results
      -They resist what you want to do because it's different than traditional marketing
      -Their staff resists you because they think you are making more work for them
      -Their staff resists you because you are an ousider
      -And things don't always work. You can get some one to #1 of google or something only to find out it doesn't produce resuts.

      Sometimes it could be better to find a high paying marketing postion with one (or two) companies long term (while working from home). That way you are one of the team and have more control. Sure you give up some freedome, but you are working from home and a steady income can be nice. It's also nice not not hustling for new offline clients all the time.

      Ron

      Ron
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9333379].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    This is exactly why I have moved away from it.

    RedShifted made a post that inspired me to use my knowledge to market for myself instead of as a service for others.

    Then, one of my clients paid me $5,000 and then made a HUGE return from my work. He was one of the few people who actually followed through with my recommendations. He is still profiting big time.

    When I saw that, I decided to use my knowledge and skill to market myself. I've spent the last several months retooling.

    I fully believe I will experience a 10X increase on my efforts.

    Marketing as a service exposed me to many risks that I could not control, the most severe being the biases of the business owner. I simply had no control over their habits, beliefs, and ability to follow through. This meant that even though we may be doing really great work, after a few months they sort of "fizzle out" and want to try something else.

    Marketing only for myself and not as a service puts me firmly in control of the execution. I am not at the mercy of the whims of the client. I have always been amazed at the human ability to self-sabotage.
    Signature
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9334418].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Dan, recently I've helped 2 friends move away
      from marketing as a service.

      I think it goes beyond what you are doing because
      it is physical products that are essential in the delivery
      of it. Another words they are already using it and cannot
      ship it out without it.

      Easy to identify prospects.

      Prospects are proven buyers.

      High dollar transactions.

      Repeat business.

      No marketing funnels needed.

      No stock to carry.

      Product same for every order.

      Hardly any extra time for a $5,000
      order or $50,000 order.

      In my paper receipt roll business it takes under
      30 seconds for a phone order.

      Stress, hardly!

      The world of supply is different to the world
      of marketing as in night and day difference.

      Best,
      Ewen
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9334472].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Dan,

      I am right there with you. For me it was learning what I can create for a client that does not "Require" the clients long term input. The less a client has to do, the more stable the outcome is. I try my darndess to stay away form social media and the like UNLESS you can see walking in, that the client already in some shape or form uses it. Going in and teaching a client how to use this more effectively is FAR easier than teaching them how to use it.

      I have one client that built up a pretty nice following on his facebook page. to be honest 100% of the following was NOT related to his business, it was more about cute kittens and your average redneck stupidity. ( He does own a smoke house restaurant so I guess rednecks kinda apply )

      We implemented a stupid little campaign. Through the art of storytelling ( see Joe Golfers post on the subject: How Business Can Use Storytelling ) He explains he is in the back most of the day etc. He started posting images of food right before it went to the tables. He then asked for his followers to start sharing images of the food once it was at their tables. 90% of the images that were posted, and there was really quite a few were of empty plates! Talk about advertising!

      SO started the "Emtpy Plate Club" Excluding Friday and Saturday. He has hired a person to go around to tables with tablet in hand and ask if they would like to share a pic on facebook in return for 10% off. This person then asks them to leave a review and the like.The overall growth of his business has been 200%+ He got "IT".

      This is FAR from the norm. but again, its understanding who at the very least May get "IT" vs pushing someone in a direction they will not follow through on.

      Any and every failure falls on the shoulders of US as designers / marketers. weather we like it or not, it is our JOB to produce results. And that in itself I believe to be the key. its is OUR job, and not the clients.

      WE understand that some activities have results that build over time. Clients want results NOW. So again for me personally Not only do I pre-qualify my clients based on the "Product" they will have me create. But I need to pre-qualify the clients ability to follow through on services that can be added to that product.



      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      This is exactly why I have moved away from it.

      RedShifted made a post that inspired me to use my knowledge to market for myself instead of as a service for others.

      Then, one of my clients paid me $5,000 and then made a HUGE return from my work. He was one of the few people who actually followed through with my recommendations. He is still profiting big time.

      When I saw that, I decided to use my knowledge and skill to market myself. I've spent the last several months retooling.

      I fully believe I will experience a 10X increase on my efforts.

      Marketing as a service exposed me to many risks that I could not control, the most severe being the biases of the business owner. I simply had no control over their habits, beliefs, and ability to follow through. This meant that even though we may be doing really great work, after a few months they sort of "fizzle out" and want to try something else.

      Marketing only for myself and not as a service puts me firmly in control of the execution. I am not at the mercy of the whims of the client. I have always been amazed at the human ability to self-sabotage.
      Signature
      Success is an ACT not an idea
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9335830].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
        Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        Any and every failure falls on the shoulders of US as designers / marketers. weather we like it or not, it is our JOB to produce results. And that in itself I believe to be the key. its is OUR job, and not the clients.
        Excellent post with a great example. The quote above is the lynchpin for me changing directions.

        I no longer wish to be in the position where success/failure depends on something I can't control. Even when producing great results, I've had quite a few clients get "shiny object" syndrome and shift resources somewhere else. Or, there have been times when we were right on the edge of a major breakthrough or improvement, and the client gave up.

        The impact on business stability cannot be overstated. If you regularly have to replace clients, your workload increases 100x.
        Signature
        Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9336065].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      This is exactly why I have moved away from it.

      RedShifted made a post that inspired me to use my knowledge to market for myself instead of as a service for others.

      Then, one of my clients paid me $5,000 and then made a HUGE return from my work. He was one of the few people who actually followed through with my recommendations. He is still profiting big time.

      When I saw that, I decided to use my knowledge and skill to market myself. I've spent the last several months retooling.

      I fully believe I will experience a 10X increase on my efforts.

      Marketing as a service exposed me to many risks that I could not control, the most severe being the biases of the business owner. I simply had no control over their habits, beliefs, and ability to follow through. This meant that even though we may be doing really great work, after a few months they sort of "fizzle out" and want to try something else.

      Marketing only for myself and not as a service puts me firmly in control of the execution. I am not at the mercy of the whims of the client. I have always been amazed at the human ability to self-sabotage.
      I've said for years there are very few SEO consultants who are actually GOOD who do SEO work for client, no clients will pay you enough. That's why I flipped the model and only do work on properties that I own, even if it benefits the client. I've done site rentals, and lead generation and finally marketing campaign licensing. It all works with properties I own. I won't do SEO for a client property under any circumstance unless I'm getting equity(with the exception that sometimes I do work for past clients or close contacts of the past clients).

      It just takes a few years to get how that works, and be willing to demand your worth in the marketplace.
      Signature
      We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up ... discovering we have the strength to stare it down. - Eleanor Roosevelt

      Your opinion of yourself becomes your reality. If you have all these doubts, then no one will believe in you and everything will go wrong. If you think the opposite, the opposite will happen. It’s that simple.-Curtis Jackson- 50 Cent
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9338687].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        I brought up this discussion after private talks with people
        who what seem successful on the surface, however all's not well
        in reality.

        For some, they can fix their situation or come to the realization
        its a battle not worth winning.

        Of course they don't know what they don't know,
        therefore don't look at a product business model.

        And if they did, don't know about finding the right one.

        Totally understandable.

        Two friends came to the conclusion that the marketing as a service model
        isn't as good as a certain type of product based business.

        The first friend went looking for the right product,
        I didn't tell him what it should be other than it...

        was essential on the production side.
        fast moving consumable
        durable
        trade only suppliers
        suppliers ship direct to customers

        He came up with it and there's enough personalization
        to make it Amazon Supply proof.

        Only cost to set up is registering a company name.
        which the trade only supplier requires.

        The second friend is riding on the coat tails of his work
        by starting in the same product based business.

        I know I'm bit of a lone voice in this community on this subject,
        and since everything else I post is marketing related and take on consulting clients
        in the area of marketing.

        All this means is I think broader than just marketing so as to
        be of greater assistance.

        If everybody has only used a hammer and not seen a nail gun
        in action, then it's totally understandable.

        Best,
        Ewen
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9338828].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          If everybody has only used a hammer and not seen a nail gun in action, then it's totally understandable.
          The line of the week!

          Ewen,

          Products are not for everyone. I will tell you this... I saw that you touting the Puma contract. I have been after Nike in one way or another just to one up you... still no success and THEN I saw what the contract was for?!?!?!?!

          I was on the phone the NEXT day setting that up.

          That being said. I personally do have my hands in more than a few product based business' Some that I produce and sell, and others that I buy in bulk in sell, etc This is why I sell my "Services" as Products. Its tangible... you can put your hands on it... ok well maybe cant touch it, but your eyeballs can see it!

          More than anything it is a matter of diversity of in bound cash flow. And if you happen to be able to set up a "System" that allows you to take orders... pass the orders along, and they get delivered.. well "good on ya" is what I say!

          Everybody around me ( in person ) thinks I am the ideas guy. Truth be told all "My" good ideas so far this year... have ALL come from this board.

          Hell.. the "Tipping Point" post made me $150,000 ( gross ) in one phone call. Claude's video stuff. a good chunk. Paper products... I don't even want to go there. I think I owe some people some steak dinners or something!

          Read less between the lines... and actually read the lines... then follow. go blindly and follow. It will pay off!

          Signature
          Success is an ACT not an idea
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9338875].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          I brought up this discussion after private talks with people
          who what seem successful on the surface, however all's not well
          in reality.

          For some, they can fix their situation or come to the realization
          its a battle not worth winning.

          Of course they don't know what they don't know,
          therefore don't look at a product business model.
          Again, I would say you're missing my point. Offering marketing services isn't in and of itself a bad business. It really comes down to your growth model no matter what business you are in. If you're going to sell toilet paper or you're going to sell marketing services you need to have your systems in place.

          I think the problem most people have in this business is they target blindly and they target the wrong companies. They target owners of very small, not very profitable business like restaurants and realtors and plumbers. Most of these business owners gross less than $300k, and are generally making less than $100k in profit. They can't afford to pay you $25k a year in marketing, even if it could increase their profit to $200k+ a year. That's a very difficult sale.

          Instead you should only target slightly larger small businesses in the $1-10M revenue range that already do marketing. Doing anything else is an exercise in frustration. Not enough people pay attention to who their ideal clients are, and instead get in bed with every pain in the ass client who is willing to write them a check. Ask yourself this, are you marketing to people who actually own businesses or do they own a job? There is a vast difference in marketing to real businesses over people who own jobs. Huge!

          I also believe you should specialize in a handful of niches, and dominate verticals rather than geographies. Yes at first you have to experiment to figure out what niches meet your skills. But eventually you're going to want to dominate no more than 2-3 verticals as that gives you tremendous leverage.

          Then you're going to want to have a system in place for client acquisition, and you have to avoid the cardinal mistake of stopping marketing for new clients. You need to have a new client funnel that never stops. You should know exactly what that funnel looks like to, how long it takes, and how much you'll have to invest for each client. Difficulties in this business happen when you lose a client or two and your funnel isn't working and then you struggle to get back to profitability. You should be aiming for predictable growth. What's always interesting is seeing marketing consultants who don't do a very good job of marketing themselves.

          Then you should have a system in place to get your clients to spend more, more often. This is client management and income creation. Your existing herd is much more profitable than finding new clients.

          Then finally you should have a client servicing system. As I've said before I'm a huge fan of systematization. I like the Michael Gerber material. But I'm also a huge fan of Paul Lemberg. I like the Gotta minute time management techniques of Chet Holmes. And I'm a huge fan of the Paddi Lund material.

          So to recap problems with offering marketing as a service you should pay attention to:
          1. Target best clients only, go bigger get out of your comfort zone.
          2. Niche. Go into a handful of niches and dominate the vertical. Less work, more profit.
          3. Replicatable, always running client acquisition system.
          4. A system for getting your current clients to spend more, more often.
          5. Sytematized service providing.

          Now these keys aren't specific to offering a marketing service, you can use it in any business. Whether you're offering a service or a product. I would be willing to bet a pretty sizeable amount that your clients weren't following those simple principles. It's that their particular business model was broken not that the business itself is unsustainable. Their business could have been fixed by some simple steps. And if I had to pick any of them I'd be willing to pick #1 as the most important of all. Getting the right clients is the key to making a marketing business work. If all you're doing is offering marketing services to penny pinching business owners who net less than $100k a year, you're going to have a miserable existence. I've found there's not a great deal of difference in the work needed for a client who can afford to pay you $300 a month and one who can pay you $10k a month. So why would you bother going after the smaller fry clients unless you're just uncomfortable at that level.

          I just don't buy that moving from a service based business is a better path. Perhaps you could explain further your position of the superiority of a product based business over a service based business. I've worked with many businesses in many different categories. I've never seen a can't miss business. It takes skill to run any business well. Just curious of your position if you're willing to expand upon it. What do you believe are the natural benefits of a product based business over a service business, and what are the risks? How do you get over the fact that most product based businesses are commodities, and most consumers of those goods will elect to buy based on price and convenience.

          Now where I will agree with you is eventually you're only going to want to provide marketing for businesses you own or control or participate in the growth of. It can be very frustrating to take a set fee and not participate in the growth you've created, and equally frustrating when you know what they should do, you tell them what they should do, and they don't do what you tell them to do. I really only like doing work for equity now. So as I grow my new marketing biz this year, I'm only going to specialize in industries in which I'm actively acquiring companies of my own and growing them.

          Fun discussion.

          P.S. - Another alternative I thought of as I was re-reading my post. Perhaps the issue also lies in the monetization of their service. Yes, it's hard to deal with people giving you a hard time when you're only charging them $100-500 a month. However the BS meter is a lot more flexible when you're charging $3k, 5k, or $20k a month. Or if your pay was tied to performance- i.e. 20% of profits. Change how you get paid, and how much you get paid, and the business just might be more attractive. Just a last thought.
          Signature
          We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up ... discovering we have the strength to stare it down. - Eleanor Roosevelt

          Your opinion of yourself becomes your reality. If you have all these doubts, then no one will believe in you and everything will go wrong. If you think the opposite, the opposite will happen. It’s that simple.-Curtis Jackson- 50 Cent
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9340362].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            Originally Posted by MRomeo09 View Post

            Fun discussion.
            Sure is!

            Here's one more con for marketing as a service.

            Two words, CONSTANT CHANGE.

            Why this is important to the discussion is because it requires
            lots of time input to stay up to date with the changes and often money
            to learn about them, more money testing the new environment.

            Most times, losses are going to incur not only with the new changes, but also with the testing from the new knowledge. Marketers will tell us the returns on their new approach, but are less inclined to tell us their losses over a long period of time. Those gains don't break even when you balance the two sides.

            Not only do we face constant change in the new online media,
            we face the inherent constant change in buying behaviour.

            But first, back to the online media.

            Headlines are popping up like these all the time...

            New Chart: Fending Off 'Banner Blindness' - Make Some Simple Changes to Your Advertising | MarketingSherpa

            SUMMARY: 'Banner blindness' will slash the impact of just
            about any email and online ad over time.

            Your Facebook Page's Organic Reach Is About to Plummet

            "Your Facebook Page's Organic Reach Is About to Plummet"

            We've talked about Google and Facebook platform changes over time.

            Now lets move on to a more hidden constant change...buyer behaviour.

            This quote...

            "The control is your enemy"
            Boardroom Inc. Vice President Brian Kurtz
            $100 million dollar company who hires the
            A List of direct response copywriters
            and pays royalties to get the best out of them.

            Once they have the numbers in for a winning direct mail promotion,
            they go back to work trying to beat it.
            They know if they don't do that, inevitably the winning promotion will falter and
            not be profitable.

            Not the media the problem, it's the message that tires.

            Breakthrough Advertising goes through in detail how markets constantly change,
            therefore advertising needs to change to meet this reality

            Buyers change because competitors start copying and now you get lost in the mix.

            My experience with co founder of Green Acres and her Auckland licensee telling me his ads aren't working. She went into denial because they "used to work"..

            Take longboard nyc. He runs a traditional offline business wanting help because a cheap
            competitor is stalking his ads and virtually copies them. He came on here for help.

            Another clue as to why marketing changes is you'll see all the new training
            coming out from the same authors. If they didn't, they'll be made redundant.

            A system needs to be always changed to take into account the changes buyers dictate
            on the marketing side.

            I recall a E Myth licensee from Australia was struggling because his message wasn't in tune to his market.
            He was following the Gerber system.

            Those change time frames as a general rule are longer when dealing on the production side.
            Especially if there is marketing being updated.

            Then you'll see companies for sale in the manufacturing and distribution sectors which have been in a
            steady state of profits for multiple years without marketing.
            Michael Senoff of Hard To Find Seminars has interviewed a guy who used to only buy those 2 types of business before he retired. He bought them because they were stable, therefore low risk which enabled him to bring in investors to fund them 100%.

            In the product businesses myself and 2 friends are in, you'll be hard pressed to find any outside training to keep up with the changes in the industry...because it happens rarely.. Certainly not a Dan Kennedy style trained guru in the industry because there is not constant change. Constant change requires to be kept up to date and money changes hand.

            You can choose to be in a sector like marketing as a service that requires
            lots of time input to stay up to date with the changes and often money spent
            to learn about them, more money testing the new environment...

            or go in the physical product supply side which inherently has less changes,
            therefore less of the other.

            Best,
            Ewen
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9341088].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ATAC
    Hey Ewen
    We all been there but you have to come up out of it and do something positive for someone if you are selling services.

    Maybe you are or were offering the wrong kind of services to your clients and should be selling more of a hands off kinda service like lead gen or sms marketing
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9334953].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by ATAC View Post

      Hey Ewen
      We all been there but you have to come up out of it and do something positive for someone if you are selling services.

      Maybe you are or were offering the wrong kind of services to your clients and should be selling more of a hands off kinda service like lead gen or sms marketing
      The only marketing service I provide is pure consulting,
      not what most around here call consulting.

      My observation is those who run pure lead generation businesses
      are having to keep up with changes that Google and Facebook
      continually make.

      In the world where you only are contacting buyers
      of physical products you get close to 100% who will talk
      with you. I only recall one person who didn't want to.

      Granted, not everyone bought, but they were open to hearing what I had to say.

      Those numbers don't happen in typical marketing.

      It boils down to whether or not you are talking to a PROVEN BUYER OF YOUR PRODUCT!

      Plus the product isn't on the marketing side, it's on their production side.

      This is where the biggest amount of money is invested in the world of business,
      not marketing.

      Best,
      Ewen
      .
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9335574].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Product is without question FAR easier to sell than a Service. If you focus your product towards business as Ewen has done, it is then "Targeted" selling. Most every business "Need" rolled paper.

        Getting even a bit more targeted, looking at Restaurants and bars / night clubs. they all need rolled paper. They all need toilet paper ( your average restaurant goes through a 50ct box a WEEK ) They need cups, they need plates, takeaways, napkins, silverware, soap etc.

        If you were to say land more than one or 3 of these deals with Clients were you supply the paper goods.. one could say contact Weyerhaeuser or Hopaco or the like and discuss Bulk contracting. This would give the ability to offer goods cheaper than the direct rep would... hmmm I am starting to think someone has looked into this ( Thanks again Ewen - like I needed more to do! ha ha )

        So you then send a cutsy cutsy sales rep in... She has a copy of the "Standard" pricing list, and a copy of YOUR pricing list. They can see the savings. It is very easy to explain that we buy bulk for more than one location, and that is how we can offer such low pricing.

        Markup for me sits right in at 20%. I send in the orders, and they get delivered to the prospective locations. In the last 2 months I have re negotiated my volume contract to even lower rates. I am now having to move 7 digits worth of product in a years time. I believe that Ms. cutsy cutsy and I will be moving 8 digits of paper products, by this time next year.

        There is no web site. other than a price list, contracts, order form, and business cards there are no other printed items. ( 3 of those Items I print in the office ) there is no direct mailing. There is NO advertising what so ever. Just straight up cold walk in calling. the sales pitch? "Would you like to save money on things you buy to run your facility on a daily basis?" I mean really who says no to that? Here is what you are paying for these items... correct? they go get a bill and confirm. Here are the prices we are offering. And we explain how we can offer the "SAME" product for less. we then slide in the order form.

        As Ewen stated the conversion rate is right at 100% once you are in front of an actual decision maker. It literally takes them longer to walk back and get a bill to compare pricing than it does to close the deal.
        Signature
        Success is an ACT not an idea
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9335766].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author StarkContrast
          Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

          Product is without question FAR easier to sell than a Service. If you focus your product towards business as Ewen has done, it is then "Targeted" selling. Most every business "Need" rolled paper.

          In the last 2 months I have re negotiated my volume contract to even lower rates. I am now having to move 7 digits worth of product in a years time. I believe that Ms. cutsy cutsy and I will be moving 8 digits of paper products, by this time next year.
          What a business! 8 figures by pushing/moving, er, TP (and other paper products). Yeah, I must be in the wrong business.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9336154].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author savidge4
            Originally Posted by StarkContrast View Post

            What a business! 8 figures by pushing/moving, er, TP (and other paper products). Yeah, I must be in the wrong business.
            Keep in mind I am pushing that much in retail product but making a measly 20% of that. As I grow into the 8 figure sales area I will be pulling right at 30%. Its kinda scarry really!
            Signature
            Success is an ACT not an idea
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9336492].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    This is an interesting and very timely discussion for me.

    If the argument is that we only want to be in businesses that we are in full control of versus providing marketing for others, isn't almost every business of more than 1 person (you) reliant on someone else?

    Employees or contractors quit, fail, steal, etc.
    Supply lines can dry up due to inventory issues, manufacturing issues, etc..
    Physical products have to be shipped which can fail in some way.
    Physical products that aren't created by yourself only may have quality issues.
    Manufacturers can go out of business on a whim.
    Government regulates it all and can take it all away.

    And if we are talking about marketing for ourselves only versus others, aren't we subject to the same unreliability that others face? Google may unrank us, Facebook may ban us, Aweber may not deliver our email, our webhost may get shut down, etc.?

    If we are selling SEO services and our client's site goes down in rankings I can see how the perception, no matter whose fault it really is, is that we failed. Clients, rightly or wrongly, get angry, cancel contracts, do chargebacks, spread the bad news, etc.

    The fault could be all ours, all theirs, shared blame, or totally out of our control such as Google decides that all websites that have blue color in the home page gets unranked yet they haven't published any dislike for the color blue.

    Would the same be true if we only provided consulting/coaching, training (through various means) only and didn't do the actual work ourselves - the client did all the implementation? All the WSO buyers that cry scam would say that the author is blamed for the user's failure even though in many cases the user didn't follow directions but I can also see that a hands off approach would be more blameless. Can a doctor be blamed if the doctor keeps reminding the patient to quit smoking but the patient refuses to do so and therefore dies of cancer?

    I've also noticed some of the "big players" here mention every once in a while they are getting tired of providing services and want a more hands off approach such as training or speaking or consulting only while admitting the money is very good in providing the services. This makes me think that some people with certain talents should perhaps start out with the DIY approach versus the DFY approach if they could figure out how to make the money as good as providing the services.

    Mark
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9337129].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
      Any business is more difficult without systems. Sure I've run into all of the problems with running a marketing consulting business. I've run into problems collecting, bad providers, bad clients, unreasonable expectations, etc, etc, etc. But like any business it becomes better when you have some solid systems in place. That's no different from any other business really.

      I'll tell you some of the advantages I perceive in running a marketing business.

      1. You can make a lot more money per employee than a product based business. It's not uncommon to be generating $200k or more per employee with a consulting business.

      2. The profit percentages can be quite high. In a pure product based business you're looking at 3-20% profit from revenue. While on a consulting business you can earn in the neighborhood of 60-90% profit from revenue. That means if you have a product based company with a million in sales you might make between $30k and $200k, while a marketing consulting business will make between $600-900k profit on that same million in sales.

      3. You can establish different guidelines for client contact with a marketing consulting business. It was no big deal for me to leave the country for a week with my marketing business and my clients were fine with it, as long as the work was being done. You can do a complete Dan Kennedy type system where you only talk to clients by appointment. A marketing consulting business can be a lifestyle business.

      4. Speaking of a lifestyle business. It's possible to run your marketing consulting business from anywhere in the world. I have colleagues who live in Thailand and Indonesia, Mexico and Nicaragua. Much more difficult to do with a product based business.

      Are we specifically discussing your business or just product based businesses in general. Drop shipping office supplies isn't a guarantee of an always profitable business. Have you heard of Amazon Supply? Forbes had a great article- Amazon's Wholesale Slaughter: Jeff Bezos' $8 Trillion B2B Bet - Forbes

      The problem is your business is a commodity business. If you're selling paper product, I honestly don't care if I like you or you're my best friend, I'm always going to go with the best price. Have you heard the story from Grumpy old Dan where he was selling audio tapes in the speaker business, and how a long term client invites him to dinner and parts with him because they lowered the price of the tapes by .005 a tape, because after all biz is biz. My point is Amazon is poised to completely destroy your business.

      From the Forbes article- "Amazon, meanwhile, booked more than $74 billion in revenues last year, selling everything from beds to server time with a viruslike strategy that values opportunity and disruption above short-term profitability." With a commodity you're always at risk of being completely shut out of the marketplace by any competitor who cares more about customer acquisition than profitability. "Boston Consulting Group told Forbes that AmazonSupply's prices were about 25% lower than others in the industry. "

      In a pure product based business, you could give me your very best customers, the ones you've had the longest, the ones you feel are the most loyal, and if I offered prices 25% lower I'm going to steal a fair percentage of them. Versus a pure marketing business, it's not about the prices it's more about the relationship. Amazon isn't going to take over my marketing business. Nor is a big player like Web.com.

      In the end, being a marketing consultant isn't a bad thing in and of itself. Pay attention to the teachings of Alan Weiss, who has some fantastic information on the subject. I like marketing consulting. I'm relaunching into the space in September. Like anything if you're not prepared, and not willing to be the best in the arena, you can struggle. It's not inherently better to offer products over consulting, it depends on your strengths.
      Signature
      We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up ... discovering we have the strength to stare it down. - Eleanor Roosevelt

      Your opinion of yourself becomes your reality. If you have all these doubts, then no one will believe in you and everything will go wrong. If you think the opposite, the opposite will happen. It’s that simple.-Curtis Jackson- 50 Cent
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9337458].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
        Originally Posted by MRomeo09 View Post

        It's not inherently better to offer products over consulting, it depends on your strengths.
        That was an excellent breakdown of why marketing consulting is attractive. It has been a great thing for me, too. Starting with zero cash investment and practicing marketing while others pay for the learning has been awesome!

        In the end, biz IS biz. It's all about budgets and math more than anything else. As a practical matter, it doesn't matter whether you are selling paper, bulldozers, or services.
        Signature
        Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9337523].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Huskerdarren
        Originally Posted by MRomeo09 View Post

        Any business is more difficult without systems. Sure I've run into all of the problems with running a marketing consulting business. I've run into problems collecting, bad providers, bad clients, unreasonable expectations, etc, etc, etc. But like any business it becomes better when you have some solid systems in place. That's no different from any other business really.

        I'll tell you some of the advantages I perceive in running a marketing business.

        1. You can make a lot more money per employee than a product based business. It's not uncommon to be generating $200k or more per employee with a consulting business.

        2. The profit percentages can be quite high. In a pure product based business you're looking at 3-20% profit from revenue. While on a consulting business you can earn in the neighborhood of 60-90% profit from revenue. That means if you have a product based company with a million in sales you might make between $30k and $200k, while a marketing consulting business will make between $600-900k profit on that same million in sales.

        3. You can establish different guidelines for client contact with a marketing consulting business. It was no big deal for me to leave the country for a week with my marketing business and my clients were fine with it, as long as the work was being done. You can do a complete Dan Kennedy type system where you only talk to clients by appointment. A marketing consulting business can be a lifestyle business.

        4. Speaking of a lifestyle business. It's possible to run your marketing consulting business from anywhere in the world. I have colleagues who live in Thailand and Indonesia, Mexico and Nicaragua. Much more difficult to do with a product based business.

        Are we specifically discussing your business or just product based businesses in general. Drop shipping office supplies isn't a guarantee of an always profitable business. Have you heard of Amazon Supply? Forbes had a great article- Amazon's Wholesale Slaughter: Jeff Bezos' $8 Trillion B2B Bet - Forbes

        The problem is your business is a commodity business. If you're selling paper product, I honestly don't care if I like you or you're my best friend, I'm always going to go with the best price. Have you heard the story from Grumpy old Dan where he was selling audio tapes in the speaker business, and how a long term client invites him to dinner and parts with him because they lowered the price of the tapes by .005 a tape, because after all biz is biz. My point is Amazon is poised to completely destroy your business.

        From the Forbes article- "Amazon, meanwhile, booked more than $74 billion in revenues last year, selling everything from beds to server time with a viruslike strategy that values opportunity and disruption above short-term profitability." With a commodity you're always at risk of being completely shut out of the marketplace by any competitor who cares more about customer acquisition than profitability. "Boston Consulting Group told Forbes that AmazonSupply's prices were about 25% lower than others in the industry. "

        In a pure product based business, you could give me your very best customers, the ones you've had the longest, the ones you feel are the most loyal, and if I offered prices 25% lower I'm going to steal a fair percentage of them. Versus a pure marketing business, it's not about the prices it's more about the relationship. Amazon isn't going to take over my marketing business. Nor is a big player like Web.com.

        In the end, being a marketing consultant isn't a bad thing in and of itself. Pay attention to the teachings of Alan Weiss, who has some fantastic information on the subject. I like marketing consulting. I'm relaunching into the space in September. Like anything if you're not prepared, and not willing to be the best in the arena, you can struggle. It's not inherently better to offer products over consulting, it depends on your strengths.
        If Amazon decided to get into the industry my company serves, they would own it within a year, and it's a huge market. It's such an easy business and natural fit for their core strengths that it's just a matter of time before they probably do.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9339151].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      When you are working in a service based model, there are some factors that can make or break you. As Mromeo has mentioned, having systems in place is key. I am a firm believer in Standardization. And the over all outcome of the approach needs to be Stability.

      I think you will see that most of us here that are "Successful" stay away from the DIY approach. Like I said in the earlier post, I only go there if the client in my eyes is prequalified to have the ability to follow through. You will also find that most of us do not use the DFY approach either.

      The secret is building systems that provide the results. A website by itself is not a system. Doing SEO by itself is not a system. Developing Google for Business is not a system. Creating Youtube videos is not a system. There is more there. Claude has a book that details his "System" MRomeo has laid out before his "System" I have done the same. Dan, has a system. Ewen and misterme I think are in their own worlds and they are the system. Mr. Kannigan has a system ( I will be honest here every time I think I have his figured out - kinda - he throws a loop in my theory. )

      The bottom line when selling "Services" you need to elevate from the "Services" level to the "Systems" level. its not just A "Service" its a cohesive combination of services that work as 1. From my own expirience this is where the "Stability" comes from.

      So why do most of us appear to shy away from a service based business to a product based one? or better yet roll into Consulting? I think the truth for most all of us, is we do all 3. We see the potential in all 3. And better yet we see that any 1 leads to the other and the other. WE ARE MARKETERS. All we think about it is "how can I get my foot in the door?" Don't want my services? how about I sell you some TP? ok you went for the TP... how can I reduce your operating expenses? full circle.. now lets bring you more business with my services.

      In itself THAT is a system!


      Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

      This is an interesting and very timely discussion for me.

      If the argument is that we only want to be in businesses that we are in full control of versus providing marketing for others, isn't almost every business of more than 1 person (you) reliant on someone else?

      Employees or contractors quit, fail, steal, etc.
      Supply lines can dry up due to inventory issues, manufacturing issues, etc..
      Physical products have to be shipped which can fail in some way.
      Physical products that aren't created by yourself only may have quality issues.
      Manufacturers can go out of business on a whim.
      Government regulates it all and can take it all away.

      And if we are talking about marketing for ourselves only versus others, aren't we subject to the same unreliability that others face? Google may unrank us, Facebook may ban us, Aweber may not deliver our email, our webhost may get shut down, etc.?

      If we are selling SEO services and our client's site goes down in rankings I can see how the perception, no matter whose fault it really is, is that we failed. Clients, rightly or wrongly, get angry, cancel contracts, do chargebacks, spread the bad news, etc.

      The fault could be all ours, all theirs, shared blame, or totally out of our control such as Google decides that all websites that have blue color in the home page gets unranked yet they haven't published any dislike for the color blue.

      Would the same be true if we only provided consulting/coaching, training (through various means) only and didn't do the actual work ourselves - the client did all the implementation? All the WSO buyers that cry scam would say that the author is blamed for the user's failure even though in many cases the user didn't follow directions but I can also see that a hands off approach would be more blameless. Can a doctor be blamed if the doctor keeps reminding the patient to quit smoking but the patient refuses to do so and therefore dies of cancer?

      I've also noticed some of the "big players" here mention every once in a while they are getting tired of providing services and want a more hands off approach such as training or speaking or consulting only while admitting the money is very good in providing the services. This makes me think that some people with certain talents should perhaps start out with the DIY approach versus the DFY approach if they could figure out how to make the money as good as providing the services.

      Mark
      Signature
      Success is an ACT not an idea
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9338143].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Using the metric of the most profit per employee,
        service based businesses only feature 2 or 3 times
        in the top 25.

        Here's the list...Most Profitable Employees: Companies - Bloomberg Best (and Worst)

        Best,
        Ewen
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9338190].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          Interestingly enough, If you really look at this list how many are JUST
          Product based, or JUST Service based or for that matter JUST Consultant based. Looking at the list I think that less than 5 on this list are just providing one of those 3 categories.

          Using APPLE as an example... Sure they Sell Apple products. But what about "iTunes"? That would actually be a service.

          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          Using the metric of the most profit per employee,
          service based businesses only feature 2 or 3 times
          in the top 25.

          Here's the list...Most Profitable Employees: Companies - Bloomberg Best (and Worst)

          Best,
          Ewen
          Signature
          Success is an ACT not an idea
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9338288].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          Using the metric of the most profit per employee,
          service based businesses only feature 2 or 3 times
          in the top 25.

          Here's the list...Most Profitable Employees: Companies - Bloomberg Best (and Worst)

          Best,
          Ewen
          For the most part having a list of the Top 25 companies in Earnings per employee isn't as helpful as it could be. Chances are most of us that are posting on an internet forum aren't likely to be building the next Apple in our spare time. However, let's actually dig a little bit. Let's look at the top 5 companies. From taking a look at the websites of each company, there's only one pure product company in the top 5.

          1. Interdigital is mostly a company who licenses out it's technology. So are they products or services? Is the business of creating new intellectual material that you can license a service or is the end product a technology you can license, a product?
          2. Rosetta Resources- They are an oil extraction and refinery. They do refining(a service) for other oil producers. They sell the oil to distributors. I'm going service on this one, as in the service of being the best oil extractors in uncommon oil fields. Although you could argue that the oil(product) is what they do.
          3. Everest is a reinsurer. Again is it a service you're providing, the reinsurance or is it a product the reinsurance product?
          4. CF Industries is a fertilizer manufacturer. I'll go product on this one.
          5. Iconix is a licensing company. They license brands to manufacturers. They don't actually make anything, they provide a service between the brand and the manufacturer. Again you could really go either way depending on how you wanted to interpret what they did.

          I don't have the time or energy to go through the rest of the top 25 in the list.

          You can get much better detailed information by spending time studying the RMA books. The Risk Management institute puts out yearly books on broad strokes of industries by SIC code. I've spent hours and hours picking apart those books and verifying it by talking to biz owners. Basically you can find out generally how profitable different industries are and by size. I don't have the information in front of me right now or I'd give examples. That's a much better example of how profitable different types of industries are. Let's talk about SIC codes, let's talk about the averages of industries as a whole. I think that's more relevant to the discussion at hand.

          It's kind of a silly conversation really though, as there are very rare instances when a company is purely product based or service based. I think it's kind of arbitrary, and you can argue either way(is a reinsurer a service or a product?). Is a restaurant selling a product(it's food) or is it providing a service(providing a convenient avenue to avoid cooking, and get entertained and fed at the same time).

          I think back to my most recent marketing activites- selling proven marketing systems to businesses in a vertical. I mean it was "sort of" a service, as there was some customization to it and it might include things like PPC campaigns, websites, direct mail, telemarketing, etc. But I could also hear the argument that it was a product because it was a black box, that you paste the outside of it with company information, feed it traffic and it spins out money/customers/appointments. There was very little labor involved in the fullfillment of the service. What I also found very interesting is that two of the top five most profitable companies are doing EXACTLY what I do- licensing. I too have found licensing the most profitable business model I've ever undertaken.

          My point isn't really about whether a marketing consulting company is greater than an office products company. My point(if I still have one) is that making a distinction between whether a service based business or a product based business is inherently better than one or the other is kind of silly. I've seen bad business owners break really good business opportunities. And I've seen people who by all measures shouldn't succeed, build something spectacular. She who markets well, manages well, and creates value superbly will succeed no matter what the industry.

          And I'd argue against the original post from Ewen, I don't find marketing consulting to be a horrible profession. In fact it's been QUITE good to me. There are blueprints you can follow. I believe Alan Weiss has laid out through his books a fabulous blueprint towards success. Some of Frank Kern's marketing consultant material was quite good. I in particular love the material that Paul Roetzer has put out on building a hybrid marketing/PR agency. I think it's fabulous. For about $100 on Amazon, you can pick up 4-5 books on becoming a marketing consultant that will give you a great start. But then of course you'll become much better when you study other marketing masters like Dan Kennedy, Jay Abraham, and others. If I had to give a short list I'd choose the following:

          The Consulting Bible: Everything You Need to Know...The Consulting Bible: Everything You Need to Know... The Marketing Agency Blueprint: The Handbook for...The Marketing Agency Blueprint: The Handbook for... Million Dollar Consulting (TM) Toolkit:...Million Dollar Consulting (TM) Toolkit:... 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide...80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide... Million Dollar Consulting: Alan Weiss:...Million Dollar Consulting: Alan Weiss:... Amazon.com: dan kennedy -- All of these that I could afford.
          And then I'd go on Jay Abraham's site- where he gives a ton of marketing information away for free. Try to find either the Mr. X book, or Stealth Marketing. Either is fantastic.

          You'd be in for less than $100 and have a fantastic start.
          Signature
          We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up ... discovering we have the strength to stare it down. - Eleanor Roosevelt

          Your opinion of yourself becomes your reality. If you have all these doubts, then no one will believe in you and everything will go wrong. If you think the opposite, the opposite will happen. It’s that simple.-Curtis Jackson- 50 Cent
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9338631].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Massively informative thread from everyone posting.

            The big lesson I've learned from working with business owners, is to manage their expectations. I give very low projections...basically the worst case scenario. When the worst case happens, it's a big success. When something great happens, it's a bigger success.

            By talking about small results, my sales presentation sounds real.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9338682].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author savidge4
              Claude,

              I wish I could do that... I have built in expectations... the amount I charge. I have that STUPID guarantee that says I will make back every penny you spend with me in X number of days.

              But then again maybe this is working in my favor... maybe I have reduced the expectations and didn't even realize it. well dang SCORE ONE FOR ME! haha

              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              Massively informative thread from everyone posting.

              The big lesson I've learned from working with business owners, is to manage their expectations. I give very low projections...basically the worst case scenario. When the worst case happens, it's a big success. When something great happens, it's a bigger success.

              By talking about small results, my sales presentation sounds real.
              Signature
              Success is an ACT not an idea
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9338898].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MarcusMcDaniels
    There is a methodology and way to do everything, as long as you find the right path to follow (you're most likely not going to be the first one going down that path). Even with marketing consulting, its just the way the world works. My preference would be to find someone who is successful and copy them :-) :-) after all, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9338087].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author GloriasRosse
    Hi ewenmack,

    Such a nice post from your side.

    I think you have mention the heart of MARKETING.

    I'm sure everyone in Marketing field has faced this once.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9339863].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JodyRossDeane
    Ewen,
    I think that you sum up a salient issue in the sector very well.
    And this illustrates why we need to MANAGE the EXPECTATIONS of the client
    AT ALL TIMES.
    There is often an overwhelming need to be strict and disciplined in
    communicating with the client, and there's a massive advantage in
    dictating your terms in a clear, unapologetic and frank manner.
    And, yes, marketing consulting can be a lot of fun, for sure, and very profitable.
    My 2 pence.
    J
    Signature

    Get Hyper-Targeted Instagram Followers and Start Banking Big!:-
    TARGETED INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS SERVICE (Guaranteed Delivery)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9340325].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    products are changing too, 3D printing is/will revolutionise the way products are designed, tested, created etc yet how many manufacturers understand the potential and implications of 3D printing, plus all the constant developments of materials, processes etc OK not as faddish as internet changes but you really don't need to be on top of every change on the internet, just the ones that then prove themselves to work.

    I let others do the testing and tweaking then when its shown that say WhatsApp can be used for marketing effectively, we jump on board but like I say we let others work it all out .
    Signature

    Mike

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9342333].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author lindseycholmes
    Ewen, we all go through this. I actually have 15 years experience in Traditional/ Digital Marketing and can tell you that the same issues have come up throughout my career, and especially with a transition to Digital. I can also tell you that you can't make some clients happy. Marketing isn't a tangible service so the lay person can't quantify it for themselves, yet they know they need it. That said, spend time talking to your client about their ROI and then agree on one that works for you both. Add that to your strategy deck and contract and at least you know you fulfilled your agreement. Yes you want your client to be 'happy' but you don't want to compromise your energy, efforts and expertise because they don't understand marketing.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9343032].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author John_3771
      Originally Posted by lindseycholmes View Post

      Ewen, we all go through this. I actually have 15 years experience in Traditional/ Digital Marketing and can tell you that the same issues have come up throughout my career, and especially with a transition to Digital. I can also tell you that you can't make some clients happy. Marketing isn't a tangible service so the lay person can't quantify it for themselves, yet they know they need it. That said, spend time talking to your client about their ROI and then agree on one that works for you both. Add that to your strategy deck and contract and at least you know you fulfilled your agreement. Yes you want your client to be 'happy' but you don't want to compromise your energy, efforts and expertise because they don't understand marketing.
      I agree with this and in regards to doing marketing for offline clients I have found that it can be difficult to track where the increase in revenue is coming from, especially if it is based on foot traffic. It isn't like the online world where you can track every part of the traffic process. The big thing that will help is that you both have to be on the same page before you start marketing for your client. Don't promise them the world. It's great to be very energetic and positive, but it's a very hard thing to promise to gain them x amount of clients or customers or to increase their revenue x amount in a certain time frame. You need to also give it some time to take effect and make sure that your client knows that.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9344177].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author John_3771
    Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

    It starts out exciting.

    You can do magic for a business...if only they will let you.

    The frustration sets in when you get continually knocked back.

    Then somebody gets it, hires you and you finally get money in the door,
    some self worth back and a chance to do what you love.

    Something isn't right though.

    For some reason the results for your client are below what you both expected.

    Your self confidence takes a hit.

    That bad attitude carries over to your prospecting.

    New client work dries up.

    Damn this marketing gig!

    Ever experienced this?

    Best,
    Ewen
    In my experience over the years Internet Marketing is the ultimate when it comes to trial and error and getting back on your horse. I think that anyone who is successful online can tell you all kinds of stories about how things have went bad and we've all had countless setbacks. What is important is that you learn from your mistakes and apply what you've learned going forward.

    Perhaps the best trait that a successful Internet Marketer can have is to be resilient. Failure can effect your attitude one of two ways. It gets you down and negatively effects your online business and outlook going forward or it can motivate you to do better and have a positive impact on your online business and your attitude going forward.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9344146].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
    This discussion seems a little ridiculous because it seems that the underlying point trying to be made is that selling products is better than providing (marketing) services.

    Yes, there will be change in how you market online. You will need to adapt to those changes. It would be great if it all stayed the same and nothing needed to be changed or adapter to, but the reality is, things with Google or Facebook will change over time.

    But to say that because of this selling products is superior seems crazy.

    Does that mean that the way you sell and market a physical product will not change? I think to refer to businesses that sell products that do not require "any marketing" is a poor example to use as a comparison. Most product based businesses definitely have to market their products. And as such, they too are susceptible to the exact same things marketers who provide their services are susceptible too.

    In fact, a market who knew what they were doing could reasonably demand a much larger income going forward, as product based businesses who do not know how to efficiently market their products to generate sales will have no other option but to seek the advice of an expert.

    Plus, many times when you are selling a product you are selling a commodity. Your toilet paper is the same as someone else' toilet paper. Not unless you have a unique product that no one else is selling will you be spared of this problem. And even when, no one is going to find out about your unique product without marketing. So again, you too would be susceptible to the changes that everyone else would have to cope with.

    Ultimately, I don't even get where this is all going.

    It was said that marketers will have to lose a lot of money when testing out new methods or ways of generating sales and leads. Yes, money is lost in testing. But ultimately, who do you think bears this cost? It is the client who is selling a product.

    Although my experience may be limited, at this stage, having had some experience both with selling products and providing services - I would personally prefer a service based business.

    In my experience selling products direct B2C, it is very easy for a competitor to enter the market and undercut you. It creates all sorts of problems.

    When providing a valuable service, you have the ability to set yourself apart and the chances that someone can show up, out of no where, and provide the exact same service you provide, at the same angle and with the same approach are much smaller. You are not nearly as susceptible to being replaced as someone who is selling a generic product, be it toilet paper, receipt paper or the majority of products on the market.

    The point is, based on the points brought up in this discussion so far, the argument just does not appear to be sound.

    Selling products is not constant, easy and somehow spared of changes in processes, systems, etc.

    I want to emphasise that the point Ewen made about selling products where the company did not have to do any marketing and still saw consistent growth is obviously a great example for his case and point in this discussion. But it is certainly not the norm, and I'd argue that it would only apply to a small minority of products or manufactured goods. Most business do need to market their products.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9344949].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author 89camaro
    Wow thanks for posting this, I am truly Inspired!
    Signature

    Professional Designer with 8 years experience. I enjoy what I do! See for yourself. http://michaeltinnin.deviantart.com/

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9345048].message }}

Trending Topics