Are you in the wrong business?

Image via

A few weeks ago I wanted to schedule an oil change for my car, so I called the service department at a car dealership. (How come most car dealers still don’t offer online booking for regular maintenance?) Their reception took the call and asked me to hold for a few moments so that she could transfer me to the service department. While on hold, I listened to not one but two radio commercials for other car dealers in the city (direct competitors of the store I was trying to book my service appointment with). The said radio ads were promoting some pretty impressive Jan 2013 incentives, by the way. I could not believe my ears. It was so… unpolished (chose this word after a looooong pause and a few deep breaths). Why would they let that to happen?

Every day car dealers spend thousands of dollars to drive prospective buyers and returning customers into their stores. Once there however, whether in person, on their website, or like I was on the phone, people are often greeted with unpolished marketing ideas, messages, materials, etc. Said differently: Once there however, whether in person, on their website, or like I was on the phone, people are often greeted with a bland, tired, and unpolished experience.

My 2¢:
What I’m about to say doesn’t apply just to car dealers—it applies to a lot of businesses. Chances are you hire someone to do your dry cleaning, change the oil in your car, etc.. You might be able to do some of those things yourself, but could you do them well and would it be an effective use of your time and energy?

Let’s now consider your marketing efforts. The point I’m about to make may not be popular. It may not win me friends. But I must make it: your marketing—you could probably continue doing it yourself. But really and truly, is marketing what you do best? If yes, you’re in the wrong business.

Jan 20, 2103