Small Business Marketing Tip #4: Ego Normous - Learn Marketing From The King

Jimmy Vee

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I was reading the latest edition of Adverting Age magazine, an industry pub for us advertising nut-cases. Actually, I’m not real fond of the journal – too much junk about big brands and million dollar budgets. Not really the game most of our clients play in.

But there was an interesting story I thought I’d share with you…

The story is about the battle between Burger King and their National Franchisee Organization.

The two organizations are fighting over pricing and promotion plans, including the chain’s $340 million dollar ad budget!!

Over the last year the new ad campaign had been working marvelously. Same-store sales rose 6.8% last year, the best performance in over a decade for the burger giant. But last quarter numbers weren’t as good, only a 1.1% same-store sales gain.

So now franchisees are starting to voice their displeasure. What’s their main beef?? - no pun intended.

Is the campaign too narrowly focused??

Most of Burger King’s profit comes from the target, Male Teens. So the agency built the Crazy King, Dr. Angus, Subservient Chicken, Coq Roq and all the other wild campaigns round them.

The campaigns have gotten massive attention in this demographic but some franchisees are concerned that they are missing out on other segments of the population, like the women market that McDonalds is focusing their efforts on right now.

So the question I pose you all of you is…Are the franchisees right?

Is focusing your $340 million dollar ad budget on specifically the portion of the population that represents the largest profit center for your company a smart move?

I would have to say absolutely YES!

It doesn’t surprise me that the non-marketing educated franchisees would want to be all things to all people. That is a common mistake among stupid business owners that don’t take the time to learn even the most basic fundamentals of the most important part of their business – marketing.

They are also being resistant to run the specials and promotions that corporate suggests.

You must pick a target and stick to it. Be absolutely for them. Make them love you. Identify them and follow them, grow with them and change as they do. Be fast and agile. Burger King is doing that and it has proved successful for them for the first time in a decade.

None of the franchisees are in the target demographic – so none of them “get" the commercials. So they don’t like them. The funny thing is – they’re not supposed to like them. The commercials aren’t for them.

But their ego is getting in the way. They want to like the commercials. They want to give them their stamp of approval. They think they know everything.

A lot of business owners are this way. Entrepreneurs have big egos. It’s part of being an entrepreneur. But the ones that find true success and wealth are the ones that can put their ego aside and surround themselves with people who know more about all the subjects that they themselves aren’t uniquely and 100% qualified to do.

For every point of ego you add to your marketing you subtract one point of effectiveness. Many small business owner’s ads are 100% ego driven and they 100% fail.

Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are the authors of "The Ten Tall Tales Of Traditional Advertising That Cost You Tons" and their newest release, "The Small Business Owner’s Guide To The Galaxy: Jim & Travis’s Super-Stellar, Out Of This World, Step-By-Step Guide To Generating Leads, Attracting Customers and Making Sales. " Get FREE small business marketing tips, shortcuts and secrets - RIGHT NOW - at


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