Social media tools and social networks aren’t the salvation of all marketing. They don’t replace the most important parts of marketing: knowing where your client is, and knowing what they need. Yes, your client may be using a social network, but that’s just the start. You have to engage them in a way that helps them find their way to your needs, while still respecting and enforcing their interests. Further, you have to find them where they are, not where you’re using your tools.
Recently, I’ve been reading some older books by Dan Kennedy. He advocates a lot of oldschool marketing, like sales letters, series of sales letters, lead generation tools, etc. The more I’m reading, the more I’m realizing just how lazy we get when we stick to the tools we know. I’m not necessarily going to run some ads in trade publications, but I’m most definitely not doing enough to market beyond the realm of my social media audience. Here’s more on that.
Why We Get Lazy
First, we get lazy because we think we’ve done a great job of building up a community (or at the very least, an audience). I’m lazy because I get around 200,000 unique visitors to my site, plus I have almost that many Twitter followers, plus 11K in my email newsletter, plus 13K on LinkedIn. That SHOULD be a lot of people. If I pitch 200,000 people for a sale, then I should get 200 buyers. Right? Never happens. Because my audience is very diverse. I have 200,000 very very diverse people. And yet, when I look at those kinds of numbers, I get lazy and think that I have enough people in my “list” to promote a product or service.
Untrue. But that’s why I get lazy.
How to Wake Up And Re-Learn
First, you can’t overlook methods and approaches just because they’re not your favorite. This came crashing into me, partly from reading what Kennedy was up to, partially from a few interesting conversations. My friend, Ed, mentioned that he thought StumbleUpon was really warming up again. I’m not a giant user, but if Ed says it, I’ll try it. My friend, Chris Penn asked if welcome popups work (those popups that obscure your view of someone’s site). The thing is, the stats say yes. Absolutely. And yet, I bristle when I think about using them. Which will win in the long run? Do you need a hint?
Relearning requires that you look at the basics, the core, the guts of marketing, and ask yourself what you’re doing or not doing. For instance, if you’re not using email marketing, you’re missing a huge opportunity that continues to close more and more business for people who do it well. If you’re not doing any direct mail marketing, you might be missing another opportunity (note: I’m very seriously considering some testing of direct mail marketing for Kitchen Table Companies, because the buyer there is small business types).
Measurements Instead of Gut Feel
If you’re not tracking conversions, then you’re not even marketing. You’re hoping. You’re talking about stuff. If you’re not finding measurements that match your efforts and explain your sales cycle, then you’re fairly much pretending to market. Sure there are parts that you can look at like “awareness” and “sentiment,” but while those are helpful to the larger story, they don’t put money in the bank (instantly).
One really interesting point that Dan Kennedy made about small business versus big business: you can’t afford to market like a big business if you’re a small business. You have to pay attention to sales conversion and cost of acquisition, and not nearly as much to branding and the like. Make sense?
Where are You Lazy?
What parts of marketing aren’t you doing? What could you improve? What will change your business? What could you do tomorrow to grow your business even more?
Two things that I’ve decided to stop being lazy about, so far:
- Facebook Marketing
- Google Adwords
I know nothing much about either thing yet. I’m just doodling and noodling at present. But I promise you, once I know a bit more, I’ll share with folks at Third Tribe, where we work constantly to develop even more effective marketing. Maybe you’ll share, too.