Do you suffer from Promophobia? How well do you rate on this six question test?

What do companies who experience wild long term success have in common?

Surprisingly, being in some hot, high technology industry is not a key factor. In fact, one of the fastest-growing multimillion dollar companies in the Greater Sacramento Area is Waste Connections. Yes. A garbage company.

Innovation is not a common factor. Powerhouse companies such as Microsoft and Hewlett Packard don’t usually create new product categories. Instead, they follow innovators and gobble-up huge shares of the marketplace by coming up with their own versions of hardware and software.

Having a charismatic leader is not a common factor of success. I’ve had one-on-one discussions with dozens of Fortune 500 CEOs. Some of them are, well, boring.

So what do successful companies have in common?

They market their products and services. They do it aggressively. They do it both online and offline. They do it when times are good and when times are bad.

They know the very simple truth that promotion is the fuel that drives growth for a business.

Under this broad category called promotion comes a wide variety of activities; media advertising, publicity, online activities, social media, and direct response advertising to name only a few. While each is different, they all have the same purpose — to generate more business for their company.

So, why don’t all businesses use these tools and sneer at the economy and negative media, while growing their business anyway?


Webster’s Dictionary doesn’t currently define the term, so allow me to do so. Promophobia is an extreme or irrational fear that promotion, while a good idea, simply doesn’t fit your business model. Symptoms include; weak sales, nagging financial concerns, and increased risk of business mortality.

Do you suffer from Promophobia? Take the following test to find out:

1. Are you waiting until you have enough money to start promoting?

This common mistake ignores the mountains of evidence which shows that promotion creates revenue for your business. Promotion generates the sales that provide income. If you wait until money magically arrives, you’ll never have extra money with which to promote. Sadly, you probably won’t have money for other things either.

2. Are you afraid you’ll bury your business with new customers?

Frankly, that’s a much better problem than not having enough customers. What are the net results of not promoting? No new customers. Having to let staff go. Insolvency. What are the net results of promoting aggressively and well? Many new customers. Hiring new staff. Affluence.

3. Are you concerned that promoting your business will lower people’s perception or make you look desperate?

That only occurs if you do cheesy or desperate advertising. Rolex, Mercedes Benz, Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts — all premiere brands — advertise themselves aggressively. They do so in an upscale manner. In fact, it’s one of the ways they maintain their prestige image. You can do the same.

4. Are you putting all your attention on organizing your business and now have no time to promote it?

Organizing will make you more efficient and often reduce your operating costs. It will not, however, get you new customers. If you don’t get new customers, your business will eventually slide. In the end, you’ll have a highly efficient operation with nothing to produce.

5. Do you think that marketing just doesn’t work for your business?

Did you try a little advertising without generating discernible results? Poor results are caused by one of two things. 1. The ad was poorly created so it didn’t get a response, or 2. You didn’t run it long enough. It takes a while to get a message through to a buying public. That’s why promotion is an ongoing process.

Think of promotion like the gas pedal on your car. Stepping on the gas gets the car going. But you need to keep gas flowing to keep the car traveling down the road to your destination. Take your foot off the gas and you’ll slow to a stop. Step on the gas and your car will go faster.

6. Do you just not know where or how to start?

The answer is to connect up with someone who knows how to create effective marketing to grow your business. They should be results driven and willing to help you measure your return on investment.

(Here’s where you’re probably expecting me to plug the Sentium team and our experience in creating effective marketing programs. Or, perhaps you think I’ll talk about how we use both online and offline strategies to produce results. You may even presume I might mention how we can schedule a no-obligation phone discussion to review how to best leverage your marketing opportunities. Well, not this time.)

Let me remind you of what Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his inaugural address: “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” For businesses who want to grow, that would read, “…the only thing we have to fear is promophobia itself.”

So, instead of being afraid, take action. You can control your own financial growth despite the competition and anything happening in the economy.

Just remember: promotion is the fuel that drives growth for any business.

Do it well and you’ll help assure your long term viability.

To your business success,


Click here to get your own Free subscription to Marketing Rocket Fuel.


Richard Wilson is the Founder/Chief Marketing Strategist for Sentium Strategic Communications which helps companies craft the right message for extraordinary results. Over the past 31 years, his clients have ranged from start-ups to major technology companies.
© 2009 All Rights Reserved. All people who are looking to dramatically boost their business should read this e-zine. Don’t even think about reproducing this document or its contents without written permission from Richard Wilson. But feel free to forward this to all of your friends. For reprint permission, please call 800-595-1288.