Every year small and medium enterprise spends thousands of dollars on advertising and marketing their companies all over the world.  And every year the same companies sit down for hours sifting through data as they try and establish how they came up with the sales result.

Was it the clever advertising, the great market positioning of the product, the excellent service, the buoyant market for the product or the great distribution channel?

Do they really need to spend all of that money to do it again next year, do they really need that expensive marketing consultant or agency, and how can they duplicate or improve this year’s result?

As they soul-search for hours looking for the perfect formula, they tend to forget the simple rule in human nature that allows their marketing to be successful.


It’s not just that the advertising campaign was clever or that the product was displayed ‘right time right place.’  It’s the fact that the people who are responsible for selling the product could see the vision of the company.  They had ownership of the direction of the marketing and the ‘reason to be’ in the marketplace.

In 20 years of working in advertising and marketing, this is the single biggest thing that I’ve seen get in the road of a successful marketing campaign. In short, if your people can’t see it, how can they sell it?  If they can’t see it, there is no way they are going to help your customers see it, and if your customers can’t see it, there is NO WAY you can sell it, unless of course they stumble over it.

Next time you put an advertising or marketing campaign in place, finish the job by training your people on what it is you are trying to sell.  Give THEM the slap on the back and let them know they are the last link in the production line, and the reason for the success or failure of a campaign.

And when the campaign works, don’t call your consultant to congratulate them or give your agency credit, it’s their job.  Call your people into the boardroom and tell them how they did a great job supporting the efforts of your campaign.

Too often companies around the world adopt the ‘set and forget’ approach to a campaign in hopes they have found the perfect marketing strategy.  They hope that because they have created this marketing machine it will do the work for them.  Forget it, it just doesn’t happen.

Get into the trenches and dig with the troops.  Give them the marketing tools, the marketing training and the vision, and they’ll give you the results.