Marketing ideas that answer to common marketing misconceptions
As a marketing director, I am constantly engaged in conversations about many different aspects of marketing. As someone who has been doing this for more than two decades (ouch!), my experience has spanned from the non-digital “cut and paste magic marker” world to all digital output for a variety of verticals. Regardless of the changes of media and medium, there are constants: ideas, plans, expectations, outcomes. Yet the questions and comments remain the same, just the subjects are a little different. Here are some of my Top 6 Favorite Short-Sighted Marketing Comments, Thoughts, and Misconceptions…and real marketing ideas that make sense!
1. “We did that [insert: Facebook, print advertising, SEO, etc], and it didn’t work.”
You did it what? When? Was there a plan behind it? What was the expectation of results? What does “didn’t work” mean exactly?
2. “Our customers aren’t on that [insert: social media, Facebook, etc.].”
Really? Do you have customer research to support that thinking?
3. “Someone from Google called and said they can make us #1.”
Was it Larry? Sergey? I got a call the other day from a recorded voice who said if I sent them $50 I can get a 7-day trip to Hawaii. Whoever that are, I’m sure they can make you #1 for something, but what? And what do you expect that to get you? There is no free lunch; you get what you pay for.
4. “We don’t need brochures. If someone asks you to send something or leave something behind, they’re blowing you off.”
Yea, maybe, then what’s your plan? Was the pitch to blame for the blow-off or were they truly busy and needed to address this at a later date? Do you just give up then?
5. “Facebook? Twitter? No, the last time I did that I had a bunch of people trying to be my friend.”
Wow, God forbid you should have some friends or followers! Did you think they could be customers or influencers?
6. “We don’t have a marketing plan. Our products/business changes too frequently. We like to respond to market needs as they come.”
So there’s no plan? How do you know things have changed and what the needs are? How do you know your clients needs? Who gets what done?
These are REAL comments from real business people. And I’m sure you’ve either heard or said at least one of them. They’re common misconceptions based in not knowing any better.
For those that think marketing is expensive, a waste of time, or not necessary for your business then just stop your efforts now and see what happens. (Note: It’s quite hard to do as marketing touches just about every aspect of your business, but go ahead and try.)
Instead of living in the land of marketing misconceptions, try these marketing ideas instead…
If previous efforts did not work…
Evaluate and quantify what you did: target, goals, consistency, frequency, distribution, messaging.
If you are unclear as to where and how to reach your customers…
Do your target customer demographic research. And simply ask your current customers if they use social media, prefer websites, calls, SMS. You’ll get a wealth of information if you just ask!
If you’ve gotten a call or email that sounds too good to be true…
It is. (I have not yet taken that $50 trip to Hawaii…) Ask questions, and do your homework. Being “#1” is a generic statement and a result that cannot be guaranteed. SEO (search engine optimization) should be part of an overall marketing effort. As an individual tactic it can be an expensive time-consuming effort that offers little or no results.
If you’re getting the “send me something” and it’s perceived to be a blow-off…
Examine your marketing and or sales outreach efforts. Maybe you’re not reaching out to the right person. Maybe what you said was not engaging or compelling. Or maybe they REALLY DO want you to send them something.
If you’re not a fan of social media…
Then hire someone to do it! Just because you’re reluctant to connect with old high school friends or see updates that include what I had for breakfast (yes, sorry, I do that, but I make some awesome breakfasts!), then get a social media expert on board to manage a business page with a consistent persona to engage customers and potential customers.
If you don’t have a marketing plan…
Sure, continue to wing it, however you’ll find yourself saying the same stupid things noted above. Learn about your customer and how your product or service can meet their needs. Find out how and where they communicate/get information and be there (hint: it may be good old school face-to-face events!). Make plans in 3- to 6-month increments and stick to it, then review results and modify as needed. So many people use the excuse of “our market changes so quickly” – that’s a bullshit and arrogant excuse and all the more reason to research and plan! If you are aware of that then you have some idea of the market space. That doesn’t mean don’t have a plan; it means you need to stick to reviewing it on a regular basis. Check out last week’s post for a tips on creating – and sticking to – a marketing plan…
This is all basic stuff yet I still hear it every day from people who should know better – people with seemingly successful businesses. And many will find a level of success despite a concerted marketing effort – however success isn’t forever; just ask Yahoo, AOL, RIM… Take your eye off the ball (customer), and you’ll get hit in the head with some very powerful news: you’ve been eclipsed by your competition.
So what’s your Plan C?
Marketing isn’t just pretty pictures; it’s a targeted effort to engage your customers, develop a relationship, and serve them forever. Make your Plan C recognition that MARKETING IS WICKEDLY IMPORTANT and should be treated that way. It’s even silly that you have to be reminded of that.
Let the thinking begin!™