If you’re reading this while at home, then you’re already half way to grasping the simplicity of marketing. If you’re somewhere else, allow your thoughts to journey back to the comfy confines of your home. There you are, sitting in your favorite recliner reminiscing of the day you unlocked the front door for the first time and entered in as the new homeowner. Now, go ahead and TiVo your way through all the great memories you’ve had. How many years has it been? Two? Five? Ten? Did you know that unless you paid cash for your home, all of those wonderful memories exist because the financial institution you borrowed the money from allowed them? Yes, your memories have been paid for on borrowed money. You really didn’t think YOU owned your home, did you? Of course not! Your bank or mortgage company is the real owner and, because of an agreement they made with you, they are allowing you to buy it from them a little bit at a time. Every month when you write your check, a portion goes to pay the interest with the balance applied to the principal until one day no more interest is needed, and thus 100 percent equity is achieved! This is the way 99 percent of Americans buy their homes, and it should be the way 99 percent of businesses approach marketing and advertising. The first step in home buying is to find the home that meets your wants. Do you want three or four bedrooms? How about a study? Does the kitchen need to be larger to accommodate the family? Does it have to be located within a certain area? Next, comes the hunt, until you finally narrow your choices to the ONE home that’s right for you. Now all that’s left is to work out with the mortgage company the “principal and interest thing,” and viola, you’re in your new home! Every dime you spend on advertising has to meet your wants. Who is the exact customer you want? Advertising is nothing more than pre-selecting customers in advance. Do you want a woman who has already decided she wants to buy from you before entering your business? Does she need to care more about whom she’s buying from than how much it costs? Next, find the advertising medium that delivers her to your door — she won’t come overnight, but she will come because every month you make a “payment” to “buy” her. At first, the majority of your budget will be spent on interest — yes, it costs a lot of money just to buy her “interest” — and very little will be applied toward equity (ownership). But, as you make your “payment” each month, less and less is needed to pay for her “interest,” and more and more will go toward gaining her “equity.” The more equity you have in her, the more you “own her” as a customer. Equity is nothing more than leverage, and the more leverage you have the easier it is to move her, as in move from a prospect to a customer. Once there, you will still have to make a payment through printed ads, just to remind her that you will always be there for her. When you make an agreement with a mortgage company, they won’t allow you to skip payments. Basically, you are committing yourself to make the monthly payment for the term of the agreement. Successful advertising never works when you skip payments. Make a contract with yourself to invest the same amount every month until you have full equity (ownership) of the customers you want. Always have yourself in their minds. Do you have an innovative way to relate to marketing? Would you be willing to share it?