Marketing & Toilet Paper (not so different after all)

The other day, I met my TMI friend Lisa for lunch. I call her my “TMI friend” because you can always count on Lisa to share wayyyyy too much information.

Our food had just arrived and I was aiming a delicious, steamy, heaping forkful of baked salmon toward my mouth right as she blurted out: “So I was sitting on the toilet the other day…”

Ummm, really? The fork hung in mid air and I gave her a long, side-eye glare.

This is what I’m talking about when I say she’s my TMI friend. She finds a way to say the grossest things at exactly the wrong time (like when I’m trying to get my lunch on).

I’ll spare you the gory details, but here’s the gist – she decided to save a little money and bought cheap toilet paper. Let’s just say it does NOT perform well when push comes to shove (if you know what I mean).

Being a bit of a business nerd, this got me thinking about marketing. Believe it or not, toilet paper and marketing have a lot more in common than you might imagine.

The Problem: Poor Quality Sneaks Up On You

marketing and toilet paperThe first problem with buying cheap toilet paper is you don’t realize how awful it is until you’ve already got your pants around your ankles.

Have you ever hired someone from Fiverr to do designer work? That’s the marketing equivalent of buying cheap toilet paper.

You might spend only $5 initially, but it may take several hours to find a reputable vendor, even more time to explain what you need before you realize they don’t have the skill set to deliver. Then you spend another $5, more time and more frustration before you finally (FINALLY!) walk away with a finished product. And even then the quality of the work is just…meh.

Was it worth the savings? Not really.

As a small business owner, your time is your number one asset. It’s up to you to protect it! Click to Tweet

The Problem: You need TP everyday

If you only had to use toilet paper once a year you might be able to get away with saving a little dough and going with itchy, scratchy, transparent 1-ply toilet paper. But let’s face it – you use toilet paper Every. Damn. Day. Go ahead and invest in the luxuriously soft, quilted, 3-ply option.

Ready for the marketing tie in? Here it is — think about what you do for a living and say it out loud. (Yes, say it out loud right now…I’ll wait).

Did you say something like “coaching” or “retail” or “software”? Think again. You are in marketing, friend. We all are.

As small business owners, we wear a lot of hats. The most important one is our marketing hat. Because without marketing we don’t have customers. And without customers we don’t have a business. And without a business…well, you see where I’m going with this.

Marketing is the greatest driver of new and repeat customers. You don’t market yourself once a year, you market yourself eleventy-six times a day. Every time you blog, that’s marketing. Every time you post in a Facebook group, that’s marketing. Every time you meet a friend for lunch and you tell her about what you’re working on, that’s marketing too. Everything you do, say and represent is part of the marketing plan for your business.

You need marketing too much to skimp on it.

The Problem: Skimping Says Something (Nasty) About You

Buying cheap toilet paper says something about you – and it’s not good. Take restaurants for example — one of the first signs that a restaurant is going to fold is when they start buying cheap toilet paper.

Why does this matter? Because it’s something the guest notices. When you’re at a nice restaurant and you’re forced to use itchy, scratchy, gross TP you take notice. And it makes you wonder what else they’re skimping on.

Your customers are the same way. The experience they have in the “bathroom” of your business is just as important as the experience they have at the “table”.

Investing in marketing is not a luxury

the toilet paper entrepreneurI did a little research on the difference in price between ultra cheap toilet paper and super-luxe toilet paper (because I’m geeky like that). Here’s what I found:

The cheapest toilet paper on Amazon is $0.71 per roll. So, how much is the fluffy, thick, luxurious stuff? Just $0.79 per roll.

The price difference between crappy marketing and phenomenal marketing isn’t that different either. When you use cheap toilet paper, you have to use twice as much. So it’s really not that “cheap” after all. Don’t let your marketing strategy fall into the trial and error trap or you’ll end up spending twice as much! Click to Tweet

Over to you

So, where did we leave things with Lisa? She decided that cheap toilet paper wasn’t worth the savings. She knows her bum is worth the investment (and so is yours!).

Now, I want to hear from you. What marketing tools have you invested in that were totally worth it? Leave a note in the comments below and let me know!


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