Tuesday, May 03, 2005

"Cut the Middle Men - Cut Your Costs"

Wouldn't it be great to cut your costs while improving your market share? Most people don't realize that it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to acquire new customers - and that techniques such as television or radio ads don't cost near as much as you think - if you know how to cut out a few middle men!

If you own a business, and are looking to increase market share or expand the range of your marketing plan, extending into new territories, you probably already know that means re-shaping you plan to acquire new customers. This in turn also means new marketing materials that reflect your plan's new goals. But know this...

You don't have to pay a premium to get quality work.

This is way important, so listen up... Big time Ad Agencies are a thing of the past. They charge premiums for their "we do it all" services. No one likes to pay a premium when its not really necessary and the great news is that now days, in our turbulent job market, there are hundreds, I mean thousands, of freelancers out there that worked for these companies and they'll do the same work for you - but CHEAPER because they have no overhead.

That's right, these guys are the same people that laid out your print ad for you in the news paper, ran the audio mixer in the studio at the radio station, or edited your television commercial for Time Warner.

The day to day lowering of technology prices is creating a "do it at home" euphoria in the digital media world. This could be good, and this could be bad. It's good for business owners who use qualified freelancers to cut out the ad agency middle man, and bad for those business owners who take their marketing into their own hands, feeling that they can now "do it all themselves," when they simply lack the professional techniques, composition, and industry know-how of print layout, video editing, photography, etc.

What I mean is that even though the technology is cheaper - there is a reason that ad agencies take photographs that look more professional than your photographs at home. That's because their photographer is a professional, whom you can hire directly, just as you are an entrepreneur. But understand that it was the photographer and not the agency that made all the difference in the world.

You may be saying, "Yeah but I didn't go with a big agency... I went with Joe's production company." Please, be honest with yourself. Were you dealing directly with the guy who took the photo? The guy who edited the video? The guy who designed your ad? No? Then you went with an "agency" and someone skimmed a premium off the top.

Cut your costs by cutting out the middle man, but make sure you're not trying to cut out the professional. Do this and you'll see the quality remain in your advertising materials, while your costs to acquire the materials go down.

If you need help finding the right professional to meet your specific needs, you can contact me - I have a vast array of marketing contacts in my book, and I'll send them to you commission free.

Next time we'll talk about re-evaluating your marketing plan to begin targeting your growth areas to acquire new customers - while keeping your old ones of course. And remember, in doing so you could even save money... If you cut out the middle man.


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