If the horse considers this a victory…

the small business man on the ground has other ideas, and none are excuses.

I do believe it’s an inherent quality many of us learn very early in life. As a child grows up using trial and error, you may have heard, “Why do I need to take the training wheels off? The bike works fine with them on.”

Sooner rather than later, the training wheels do come off, as the child was harassed by another child or the child decided it’s time to move on. Whatever the reason, it was time to take on a new challenge.

Big Marketing and Advertising.

Occasionally, an advertisement works so well that people start talking about it, even remembering the name of the product. For example, look at an AFLAC advertisement. It’s well branded, cute, funny and serious about people having a type of insurance to meet their needs.

Their TV commercials featuring the AFLAC Duck, who frustratedly quacks the company’s name to unsuspecting prospective policy holders. Most people remember and know that the advertiser is AFLAC.

The advertisements work. AFLAC introduced the duck in December 1999, and today is known worldwide. The company’s identity and brand of the entertaining duck has become predictable in the United States and Canada with TV commercials featuring the AFLAC Duck.  That’s the way an advertisement should work but unfortunately, it’s a rare occurrence.

It takes a lot of trial and error to achieve advertising success as AFLAC has accomplished. Fortunately for them, they are a huge company with a rather large marketing budget. Plus, the company states that through a partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, AFLAC has contributed more than $100 million to childhood cancer research and treatment. Great PR.

This is not the case for a small business. Smaller companies, using advertising and marketing, cannot afford to use a form of trial and error in their marketing. However, when using direct-2-customer marketing strategy, they have a variety of testing options to give them a better return from marketing. Which I believe is the biggest reason small business advertising and marketing is not nearly what it should be. It’s time to take off the training wheels and end the excuses.


Collaborate with existing customers, an industry or association, employees, and similar companies in your space who understand and care about their marketing success.

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Information on AFLAC was used from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aflac#The_Aflac_Duck.

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Thanks again for reading. Questions?                                                                   

Mike Deuerling, aka MarketingDoc
Marketing Communications Group, Inc.

It’s All About Copywriting Attracting Customers

About MarketingDoc 398 Articles
30+ years in marketing. 30+ years as a small business owner. Love music, photography, gardening and just about anything outdoors!

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