Clint Powell: Advertising and Marketing Basics - The Tale Of Two Conversations

Friday, August 23, 2013 - by Clint Powell
Clint Powell
Clint Powell

Today we do things a little differently. I have two rants (not angry rants – just observational-rants) that come directly from recent conversations. They both have to do with business growth and marketing, but even to a bigger picture: our mindset when it comes to our overall plan in life (business or personal).

We might as well jump right in to conversation #1. I was talking with several clients lately and their remarks went something like this - ‘we have never really advertised before…mostly word of mouth’. Great! That is the best advertising! But then the conversation would get to something like ‘We aren’t getting the new customers like we did in the past’ or ‘I wish we could grow like we use to’. Hhmm! You know what my thought was? Success is a dangerous thing! That’s right…success left unchecked can play a major role in a company’s failure! You get complacent! You don’t engage in legitimate conversations about opportunities. Today’s world is competitive. Just like you…your competitor has more access to your customers and prospects than ever before. The market place moves faster. Customers are more educated about the buying process and about the products/services they are buying. The days of just opening the door, flipping on the light and calling that a ‘growth plan’ is over.

Today you have to expect more from your two most important assets: time and money. Success can numb us to needs. Success can mask lurking issues…it blinds us to things that need to be evaluated – that need to be improved – that need to be changed - it can kill the drive to lead or to be innovative. I understand you’re successful, but over time your inability to deal with success will slowly eat at market share. Keep success in check. Maybe you do need to advertise or try marketing strategies you have never done before. A store remodel may be in order. Revisit your service model. It could be that you’re in great shape…but don’t assume that. Fight the urge to say ‘we have never done it that way before’. Save yourself from your own success!

The second conversation was a little depressing - but let’s turn that frown upside down. I was talking with some business owners about the advantages and disadvantages of owning/building your own business. We are each in different stages of business growth, but can relate to one another on some level. It became apparent that my role in the conversation was to be the ‘yin’ to their ‘yang’…the ‘sun will come out tomorrow’ guy! Say it with me…this too shall pass. That was my role. As a business owner you have a lot on your plate. The challenge is to keep the dream-reality hologram firmly implanted in your brain.  

You know what a hologram is? Well, let me explain it in MY simple-minded terms. Remember when you would get those cool prizes in your cereal. And one of the coolest was the baseball card sized hologram…hold in one way and its David Banner – slight turn and it’s the HULK! Your job is to keep the dream vs. reality hologram in view and let it drive you. Yes…you have to drudge through the day-to-day mire and muck of payables, receivables, inventory, payroll, etc… YET – at the same time you have to turn that hologram card and remember why you do what you do. The challenge is to let the dream drive your attitude and guide your decisions. Why is this so important, and how does it relate to your marketing? Well, your customers are not just a ‘demo’ or a ‘target’ – they are humans. Your employees, your vendors, your prospects - all human beings! They spend money and they have emotions, feelings, friends, contacts, Facebook and mouths (to better tell their stories with). When they aren’t at work or doing business with you…they have the potential to bury you or build you. Your attitude and motivation can directly affect their word of mouth. If you are a business owner or decision maker then you are always marketing. In a lot of cases – you are the brand! Your challenges: do not let success lead to your failures and keep that dream-reality hologram in sight. See you next time. 

(Clint Powell is owner of Connect Marketing, a full service advertising agency in Chattanooga. He is a graduate of Carson-Newman College. He has spent years in radio advertising sales and management, built and sold a billboard company and works on a contract basis with other ad agencies writing ad copy and helping formulate strategies. Clint has worked with hundreds of local and regional companies over the years and helped them develop advertising campaigns. He frequently leads marketing and advertising seminars and meetings for businesses and network groups. He believes that life is all about connections and spends his time connecting businesses and business owners to solutions. He sits on the board of Y-Cap (YMCA Community Action Program) and helps with several other non-profits. Clint currently resides in East Ridge with his wife and three children.)



New Hamilton County Businesses

Here are the new business licenses from the County Clerk's office: GYPSY PICKER, THE 3411 HIXSON PIKE HIXSON, TN 37343   BUSY BEE DOLLAR STORE 1414 JENKINS RD STE 120 CHATTANOOGA, TN 37421   WINDOW CITY INC VARIOUS LOCATIONS CHATTANOOGA, TN 37402   WINDOW CITY INC VARIOUS LOCATIONS CHATTANOOGA, TN 37402   ELEANORS FLORAL SHOP ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Whiskey Applies For Permit For Distillery Across From Choo Choo

Officials of the Chattanooga Whiskey Company have applied for a permit for a distillery across from the Chattanooga Choo Choo. The location is at 1439 S. Market St. in a building owned by architect Thomas Johnson. The firm has given up on plans for a distillery at Fourth and Market, citing structural problems with the John Ross Building. (click for more)

Person Shot Sunday Morning On Englewood Avenue

One person was shot on Sunday morning in North Chattanooga. At approximately 9:18 a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a gunshot wound call at 1049 Englewood Ave. involving one victim. T he victim was transported to a local hospital suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information regarding ... (click for more)

North Carolina Man Dies In Rafting Incident On The Ocoee River

A 50-year-old North Carolina man died Saturday morning when the raft he was aboard overturned in the Ocoee River. The victim was Gary Brown of Clayton. Mr. Brown and five other occupants along with a guide were ejected after the raft they were navigating overturned in a rapid.   The victim was unresponsive when he was recovered from the water further ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Farm To Table To Dollars

I recently hosted a discussion with local business leaders, Andy Berke, mayor of Chattanooga, and Heather McTeer Toney, southeast regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We had an important conversation about the role of the business community in combating climate change. As the owner of 212 Market Restaurant in downtown Chattanooga, I’ve experienced ... (click for more)