Commodity versus Quality

A blog I frequent linked to another blog that had a tongue-in-cheek list of rules for emergency medical service. Rule #29 got my attention:

When responding to a call, always remember that your ambulance was built by the lowest bidder.

That’s a humorous perspective, and it’s one that many small business owners should apply to their advertising and marketing. Some things, like rice or copper, truly are a commodity, meaning that there is no difference in quality regardless of where you buy it or who supplies it. But art and communication are not commodities. Excluding thieves and rascals, you will get what you pay for when it comes to your advertising and marketing.

Advertising and marketing communications are one of the last areas of industry that remain hand-crafted by individuals. It can’t be automated or mass-produced on an assembly-line. Someone, either you or someone you hire, has to sit down and thoughtfully solve your problem of crafting and communicating your unique message.

Your goal is not just to advertise, but to advertise effectively. That means that you shouldn’t just turn to anyone with a discounted version of Photoshop to create your ad or website, nor should you ask just anyone with a video camera to make your marketing film or TV commercial. Your advertising and marketing is vital to the success of your business. Quality advertising and marketing is effective. Anything else is a waste of money. Don’t make the mistake of treating it as a commodity.


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