When I first came to USFSB there happened to be a small marketing company, consisting of the owner and his design assistant, renting some of our office space.    While practicing law, I had engaged in some advertising but I hardly had any direct experience with the art or business of marketing.   As I developed a relationship with the owner of this marketing company, I quickly bought into the notion that all marketing is good and will produce results.   In essence, I was being marketed by the marketer.

Over the next several years, I become so enamored with the idea of marketing that I actually wound up hiring him so that I could take advantage of his services full time.  This proved to be a big mistake.    It is true that he created very well designed flyers and slick marketing pieces all of which looked great but never seemed to produce the results that we had hoped.   Whenever one of his marketing ideas fell short he always had an answer or excuse that seemed to make sense at the time.    Looking back, it seems that many times the message got lost in the glitz of the marketing pieces.

As I spent more and more money on marketing and receiving very little results in return, I slowly started to realize that marketing can become a bottomless pit if you let it get away from you.   When pitched by an experienced marketing person, all of the ideas sound great and make you believe that they can’t possibly miss their mark.   Part of the illusion is that you want to believe in the power of marketing.   In reality, very few of the marketing ideas are worth the money spent on creating and implementing them as part of your business plan.

Over time, I came to realize that marketing is much like gambling.   You can quickly spend a lot of money seeking that jackpot only to be broke and disappointed in the end.   As I become more experienced in the operation of USFSB, I found that many of my ideas were just as productive as those of the marketing expert and cost far less.    Eventually, I came full circle, fired him, and started using more of my own marketing ideas that were simple, direct, and less expensive.

I finally learned that marketing, like everything else in life, is best used in moderation.