Advertising blackout

We try and run our business on the basis of spending nothing on advertising and relying on word of mouth. That’s the goal. It works – word of mouth helped us achieve record growth last year.

If we get our products and services right then advertising id redundant.

Imagine a world without advertising. I appreciate it will never happen and even suggesting it makes me sound somewhat dim. But think about it for a moment. What would happen to businesses if they relied solely on word of mouth for growth.

Those with deep pockets screaming at you incessantly – Harvey Norman, Coles-Myer, Telstra, McDonald’s, Toyota, Holden, Ford, Crazy Johns Phones, Target, Safeway, all the banks – I could go on. Advertisers spend $7.5billion last year according to AC Neilsen. I wonder what reserach has been done measuring customer satisfaction against advertising spend. I’d like to think that serial advertising based on price or some other factory other than service suggests poor service.

So, give me a month, a week, hell even a day without advertising and see what happens. Business will discover customers again and customers will enjoy a level of service they only ever dreamed of.

Sales are not a right. They must be earned. Too often we forget that because we’re too busy chasing growth down the wrong road.

If we take the advertising scream out of the business equation we show just how personal business is. If customers were not yelled at to go to Harvey Norman for great prices in every ad break on commercial radio maybe the independent would be checked out and customer service would win. Check out the Harvey Norman website, where is their customer pitch – other than price, price and price.

Big retailers fall over or get into trouble because they lose focus on customers. This where independent retailers can win. It’s where we must win – more than every before and passionately in every part of our businesses.

If you’re in retail go in tomorrow and make exceptional customer service your mission. Treat contact with customers as an Oasis experience – something the customers will enjoy so much they will tell others.

That’s where your growth will come from.

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