Here’s a marketing paradox: How can giant corporations like Google make the same mistake as the tiny one-person business trying to get started in business-building. The answer: Answering this question with a “yes”
“I can do everything.”
Of course, the correct answer to that question — especially from a marketing perspective — is “no” but the temptations to extend, take on new work, and “grab opportunities” are always there. In hard times, contractors stretch out of their areas of expertise and bid for work for which they have no experience or credentials. Google, meanwhile, pours massive resources into social media, trying to overcome Facebook’s power. And the newly minted consultant says, when someone asks for advice on a specialty beyond the consultant original marketing message, says “Sure, I can do that.”
Now, there are times when this sort of extension/growth and problem-solving challenge can still make sense. I remember well how a good client asked me to produce a residentially-focused magazine six years ago, when our business had only published newsprint business-to-business publications. After he repeated the request several times, I gave in — co-ordinating a joint venture that has evolved into a separate business, Ottawa Renovates magazine. And this experience gave us confidence to publish several business-to-business magazine products. However, notably, we proceeded with caution, set up a distinctive business organization, and I avoided problems of energy diversion by bringing other partners into the picture to lead/manage the new business.
Generally, however, the further we go from our core expertise and background, the riskier the story — and if the product/service is simply “better than” the competition, but not truly new and innovative, then you are probably spinning your wheels in frustration.
Remember your business/marketing focus or you’ll be caught in the crowd of failures.