Some people may classify this statement as Strategy vs. Tactics but there is a bit more to the distinction. Lately, I’ve come across a few fast-talking fast marketers who make my point. I have a nickname for them Billy Badasses. Fast-talking tactics with big numbers of rocketing gains and high-profit promises. I love how they offer up big-player tactics as proof it will work for all businesses. What is not spoken about is the fact that the majority of Tahoe Truckee businesses do not have the budget to play the big numbers. Not to mention we don’t have the numbers of people a big city does so paying for big city budgets is a losing venture. A small demographic with large budgets means one person can see your ad 50 times a day and the annoyance factor is real.
I’m not bashing the speed at which online marketing can work. With one video email campaign I fully booked a resort for three months in 10 days, at their regular price, and the months booked were off-season, October, November, and ALL of December. One of my best success stories. Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort case study.
How to navigate the BillyBadass game?
Going in I feel there are some things you need to consider before buying into the fast market big buck game.
What are your business goals?
The fast answer is to make money but getting there takes breaking it down into smaller goals. Your business’s timeline is essential in getting the most out of your ad dollars. Knowing when to run your pre-season ads will reap the biggest ROI and where fast marketing can pay off.
Many of my clients have all the business they can handle during high season. Rather than stop the flow this is a time to build brand and save ad dollars. Brand building can be very cost and resource-effective if planned in advance. When I do my job well my clients rarely see me during high season yet their brand content keeps rolling out.
When the shoulder season hits it’s time to plan and time your next ad campaign. Navigating the costs of the shoulder seasons can make or break a Tahoe Truckee business.
A well-placed fast-marketed flash sales or local deals can be effective in offsetting a reoccurring cash flow dip.
What are your personal goals?
At one time I had a business that had potential for scale. Big Water Event Media. I created affordable, shareable videos of kid skiing competitions and had the potential to scale into Gymnastics, Martial Arts, Performing arts, and beyond. In 2018 I did a pitch deck where the valuation reached $3 Billion in projected sales. At the final pitch, during the value section where I talked about approaching and managing the $3 Billion dollar company, a VC asked me “What happens now?” I pointed back at the graph where the business value was at $10 Million and stated, “I’m out here”. His smile let me know I gave him the right answer. I could not envision myself at the helm of a $3B company and he knew that small founders can be a problem up the road. Not to say he was being greedy just realistic. We both knew I would be in the way.
My goals of being self-employed for the past few decades have earned its own name, Lifestyle. I'm more interested in creating a business that fulfills me as a person and value as a member of our community. I need money to succeed but I don't need $3B to be happy. If big money is your ultimate goal then fast marketing will need to be mastered and your business model adjusted to receive it. But, be aware Nike is one of the best textbook studies in slow marketing.
Are you ready for Scale?
This one is the one I have seen ruin many a business. I watched a friend go $120K in debt playing the big numbers game with ads that were not ready or worthy for scale. Sad to say the business model was but the ad campaigns were amateur, low production quality, and untested. Someone sold her on continuously creating low-bar content for big-dollar testing on a national scale which failed. Big. We see them constantly on our feeds and they ooze desperation. In a calendar year I produce 5 - 7 BWCI ad campaigns and out of these productions only one a year really connects. These are the ones that I increased the budget for and recreate over the years. I don’t gamble, I test. I do the same for my clients.
Can you afford it?
For a local ad in the Tahoe Truckee area, my budget and the budget I recommend for my clients is small compared to a national ad, under $150 a month. Even if my client has goals of national coverage I choose a small region with a small budget to test first.
BWCI was offered $2K for 30 days in ad money from Meta for a single ad and I took them up on it. Going in I had my doubts but I did run a proper experiment and gave it my best shot on the premise of opportunity and proof of concept; If I had a million dollars to play on the lotto would my odds of coming out a winner greatly increase? No it did not, the ad failed miserably. Even the Meta ad rep told me to go back to what I was doing because I was getting real results.
Just for kicks and giggles today I did an AI prompt “if you have a million dollars to play the lotto how would that affect your winnings?” Pretty basically AI gave me 5 reasons on there are better ways to spend your money.
Are you racing to the bottom?
Be sure your ads are in YOUR best interest and in the long run will benefit your business. Playing the lowest rate, lowest price game is a race to the bottom. Yes, you may get more clicks but if you win the game your business could lose its overall value. Keep in mind this is different from a flash sale, a valuable tool to raise cash and pass on old inventory. Although I must add how I didn’t even bother with Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. The number one reason fatigue, the big boys have tapped out the novelty and now it just feels like hype. The Black Friday video commentaries on social are worth the time for pure entertainment. The time of shopping for the discount bargains and cheap useless items of the past is over.
Now after the pandemic and all that has changed demographically purchasing is all about value. How does your business value come across? Your marketing dollars may be better spent cleaning up your online presence this fall going into 2024. I predict know, like, and trust are going to be big factors in people purchasing in the new year.
If there is a topic you’d like to hear more about by all means comment below or direct message and I’ll do my best.
Nothing better than a good question to jump into.
Reach out for a talk over coffee or a hike I give information freely. I only ask to be paid when I do the work. email@example.com
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