As I write this the internet is melting over Nike’s new Colin Kaepernick “Just Do It” marketing campaign. According to the <leaning> left, online sales are up 31% and the campaign has already received $43 million in free advertising. According to the <leaning> right, stock immediately dropped $4 billion, but the real impact of losing the conservatives patronage will take time as shoes and clothing aren’t daily/weekly purchases like the Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, or In-&-Out Burger controversies of past.
As business owners we’re often taught to look up to the big mega companies, and even copy what they are doing because, after all, they’re big so they must be smart. In fact, I was taught early on that the purpose of my advertising was to get my name out there and build my brand. Well if you’re Nike, Budweiser, Ford or any of the household super companies this strategy makes some sense. But, it’s a huge myth in the small-to-medium sized business (SMB) world.
We hear about the American economy on the news and social media as if it’s one big category. In reality, the American Economy is made up of 3 very different sectors. There is the ‘Political’ sector funded by us tax payers where Washington operatives, lawyers, lobbyists and lifelong politicians revolve around a fake money machine deciding how our money will be spent. I’m sure there are some good honest politicians out there, but corruption happens all too often in this sector. City officials like former Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, who with the help of his friends extorted contractors and used public funds as his own piggy bank, stealing millions of dollars. It’s interesting to look at the homes, cars, and lifestyles of many of our state and federal representatives and cross reference that with their salary and see the obvious lack of congruence. When this sector spends money, it is not their own. When they earn money, its sources can be mysterious.
Then there is the ‘Wall Street’ sector of the economy made up of publicly traded companies and banks where industry insiders seek to capitalize profits in any manner possible, including fraud, collusion, and conflict of interest to maximize personal wealth. Like Madoff did with his 65 billion-dollar Ponzi scheme. There is plenty of upstanding and legal business going on Wall Street, but the lines between systematic corruption and honest business can be very blurry. This is where most of the big business world like Nike lives, and just as in the political sector when Wall Street CEO’s and pundits are spending money, it is investor money, not their money, worked for and earned by them.
Then you have a huge pipeline of money flowing between those two sectors. This is where Washington Lobbyist come into play. A lobbyist is someone hired by a business (or a cause) to persuade legislators to support that business or cause. Lobbyists get paid to win favor from politicians. For example, oil companies send lobbyists to Washington to try to make life easier for oil companies.
In the 2013-2014 election cycle Wall Street banks, companies, and trade associations spent $1.4 billion to influence policy making in Washington. Lobbying is legal, and bribery is illegal, and separating the two can be a real challenge. Many consider this an ongoing cycle of legalized bribery and systematic insider corruption.
One thing is for sure, money modifies behavior, and that makes the difference between bribery and lobbying feel like semantics.
The 3rd sector is Main Street America, where you and I live and work. Where small-to-medium sized businesses drive the economy, do real work, and provide real jobs. In the first two sectors, up is often down, and left is often right. No logic. However, in the Main Street sector honesty, hard work, and smart business best practices reign supreme.
This is important to understand, because only in the 3rd sector do the laws of money have authority. In the first two, it’s a fantasy land. You and I must understand where we live and work, in the Main Street economy, and not drift over into watching and copy-catting those other two fictitious worlds.
The only money we have to spend is our money. And nobody spends someone else’s money the way they spend their own money.
The Main Street sector truly is the backbone of our economy, and since 1995 two out of every three jobs created comes from the SMB sector. And it’s also important to note that small business is what creates big business. Bezos started Amazon in his garage and Zuckerburg started Facebook in his dorm.
Unlike the Wall Street folks, the purpose of your advertising isn’t to build your brand, it’s to grow new market share and increase retention through lead-generation marketing that builds relationships with your target audience. And when you do this properly you get branding and a positive ROI as a happy by product.
We’re proud to be part of the Main Street Economy, and that’s why our goal here at PSM is to enrich lives by providing powerful turn-key marketing so people, businesses, and our (main street) economy can thrive!
We realize that you work hard for your money and that when you spend it on advertising you expect quantifiable results. That’s why every single product we sell we also use ourselves in our day-to-day business. If I wouldn’t spend my money on it, we don’t sell it.
For more information on lead generation marketing contact us today at 877-242-4472 or shoot us a message at www.powersportsmarketing.com