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Note: Part 2 of this post is here - http://www.missionparadox.com/the_mission_paradox_blog/2012/10/money-and-marketing-part-2--1.html
Money and Marketing - Part 1
Let's consider the role that money plays in marketing. Here are a couple of opening thoughts:
1. There is an inverse relationship between time and money. The means that the less time you have to market art, the more money you need to promote the work. Maybe once a month I get a call from some artist that has a relatively low amount to invest in marketing AND wants to sell tickets to an event that starts in two weeks.
"What can I do?" They ask.
"Nothing." I answer.
They hate that answer. But it's the truth.
If you are looking for immediate attention that leads to immediate sales then get ready to break open your wallet. If your wallet is empty, or relatively empty, then you have problems.
This leads to one of the best marketing lessons I can give you. If you are low on money, give yourself more time. Much more time. Way more time then you think.
If you are using "free" marketing tools such as email or social media, keep in mind that those are very cluttered airwaves. You are using it but so is EVERYBODY ELSE. Any message, even the most noble message, needs time to break through the clutter.
2. Free marketing is often not enough. One of the most dangerous ideas out there is the idea that marketing is supposed to be free. All you need is an internet connection and BANG the world is yours.
Even free or low cost technology can benefit from investment. Let's use email for example. A lot of you are using email services like Constant Contact, Aweber or Emma for marketing purposes. It is a great idea. But maybe your email could be better and perhaps money could be invested for that purpose.
Maybe you invest in a professional photographer, video person or writer to help your email marketing separate itself from the pack.
Perhaps you invest in a training course on email marketing to make sure you're getting the most out of the "free" tool.
You've probably noticed that I used the word "invest" and not "spend". I know that may sound like I'm playing a word game with you. Actually, I'm trying to make a broader point.
Not all spending is bad.
A lot of artists and arts organizations I encounter are terrified to spend money on anything that doesn't have an immediate and obvious return. On some level, I understand the fear. But we should also acknowledge that fear does play a big role in this.
Resist that fear. Don't be afraid to make smart marketing investments. In the next blog post, I'll give you a framework that will help you decide exactly what a smart marketing investment looks like.