Chapter 11. Meaningful Marketing

"We looked successful in the eyes of our potential customers, and, as a result, everything that came out of my mouth had an air of credibility to it. Perception is reality."

Now that you're armed with an understanding of your company's internal positioning, it's time to step out into the real world.

When we opened our recording studio in the early 1990s, business was not going so well. We'd had the doors open for just over 12 months—and it was tough. We thought we were doing all the right things, but the market was just not responding—and it was largely our own fault. We'd positioned ourselves as great advertising jingle writers and producers, but operating in the middle of a recession with shrinking advertising budgets meant that our service was one of the first things to get cut. Advertising agencies, our core source of revenue, were hell-bent on making their clients' dollars go a little further. Many of them perceived our product and service offers to be a luxury item—something that they could do without if they needed to save a buck on the overall advertisement production.

We were mailing out material and making calls to any and every potential client we could think of, but we were just not getting the message across. I'd run out of ideas about how to get us back on the radar and show our clients that we were an important part of the creative mix—and that they really did need us to get the best results. One afternoon I found myself at the house ...

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