learning marketing from local media

So your {insert local media outlet} is offering a free seminar that will “teach you how to market your business”.

How benevolent of them to offer such a community service.

I’m amazed at how many small businesses are suckered into attending these events and don’t realize the true motivation behind the “seminar”.

If the radio station is sponsoring this knowledge fest, I’ll bet you my hat that they will try to convince people that radio is the best option. The newspaper seminar will tell you the printed word is the way to go. The TV station’s seminar will tell you why radio and newspaper are a waste of money. And now added to the mix, you have agencies that have a small social media following teaching the way to Facebook and Twitter bliss.

Think about this: Would you go to the “How to choose the best place to buy a car” seminar hosted by the local car dealership?

The truth is that every advertising medium has strengths and weaknesses. It depends on what you’re trying to communicate and who you’re trying to reach.

Just because a salesperson has the words “marketing consultant” on their business card doesn’t mean you should listen to them about your overall marketing strategy. They’re doing their job trying to capture as much of your marketing budget as they can. You should never let someone sell you advertising; you should buy it.

The only reason to ever go to the local media outlet’s seminars is that they typically offer some really good deal to the attendees. If you’re planning on buying from them anyway, it’s a good way to save some money. It’s like going on vacation and sitting through an hour of a timeshare pitch just to get free theme park tickets.


And shame on marketing speakers who lead biased events like this.

2 thoughts on “learning marketing from local media

  1. jack

    If people do not realize that they will be getting “sold” at these things…then that is their problem. Only issue I have with this is: It would be like listening to a guy that wrote a book about branding, talk about the branding….with his book on display.

    1. Chris Houchens Post author

      Actually, it’s nothing like that. The guy who wrote the book is not running down other business books. In fact, I think he mentions and suggests other business books he finds helpful to the audience during his talks.

      Plus the guy was asked to come talk about writing the book. Since the talk was promoted to attendees like that, the absence of a copy of the book would have been a little … weird. 🙂

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