You’re not really marketing if…
Well let’s back up a bit and start with who this is for.
This is written for business owners, presidents of companies, entrepreneurs and anyone else who is in charge of bringing in leads, customer acquisition, and retaining customers for their company.
It’s no secret that marketing is important. If you’ve ever written a business plan, you know that the largest part is the marketing plan.
In a recent marketing study by HubSpot they found that the two biggest challenges for businesses were
Why this post now?
Well, it seems that in this fast-paced world of social media marketing and online marketing, huge success stories and viral posts, people think that we can just bypass all of the fundamentals and go for one big win or that we can do less and get more results.
People are marketing to get these huge wins; and when they don’t get a huge outcome, they respond by saying marketing doesn’t work.
The truth is, people are going for these big wins and ultimately hurting their businesses by sending out bad messages or saying that things don’t work because it didn’t work for them.
Example: We had a friend create a landing page for a special offer. They promoted the landing page for a day on Facebook.
When only a handful of people filled out the form on the landing page, they got frustrated and the following day did a Facebook post saying reply in the comments to get the special offer.
They told us that landing pages didn’t work. The truth was it did work. They were just looking for a huge result, in an extremely short amount of time and without enough effort, then out of frustration undercut the landing page.
Huge results can certainly happen, but more often than not those huge success stories are one-offs, not the normal outcome, and happen by chance more than they are designed.
Trust me, most people (marketers included) hope that everything they post on social goes viral. The difference is that marketers don’t build our strategy around going viral, we build it around (the likelihood that nothing will go viral) a predetermined reachable goal.
We like to refer to this as a SMART goal. SMART goal stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
We build towards the long game; connecting with your audience and building relationships over time. While we want quick wins, and people to buy right now, we work so that we develop raving fans and lifetime customers.
So what sparked my burning need to write this post on this day? A few recent encounters that had a similar theme. It seems that people have put unbalanced expectations on digital marketing agencies and marketing as a whole.
Recently, I’ve had several people say something along the lines of;
“Since you’re in the industry, I want to push back and say that marketing doesn’t work, because I built a website, created a Facebook page, designed a brochure and no one has called me from them yet.”
Now this statement (and ones like it) leads to a similar series of questions on my part. Most of which provide a clear, concrete outcome. The people saying things like this are not graphic designers or marketers, nor have they ever studied to become one or worked in the field.
I promise I’m not trying to be a jerk. I’m just trying to determine the basis they have for their push back which also determines my next set of questions.
It’s difficult to help someone if I don’t first understand where they are, what experience they’ve had and where they are trying to go. A GPS works best when you give it a specific address to start from and another address as a final destination.
While marketers and designers work closely together, and well I might add, they are not the same. They are in very different roles with very different skillsets.
With that in mind, design could very well be the issue with your marketing; but I’m going to assume you have a great designer, and talk about the 3 things that will kill your marketing efforts, run through your budget and cause you to feel like marketing is just a HUGE waste of time.
The truth is marketing is a HUGE part of the success of every successful business. If done properly, you will fall in love with marketing. If not the process, certainly the results.
So, you’re not really marketing if…
Reason #1: You’re Mistaking Assets For Marketing
So, the most recent offender told me that they built their website and designed their brochures, but they weren’t getting any sales from them.
Quick Disclaimer: I’m not sure how much traffic they were getting or if either was designed to convert their audience. I do however know that they had no prior experience in design or marketing.
Websites, brochures and items like business cards and mailers are all assets. They are not marketing. They are tools we use in marketing. These are not things we can create and expect a return from just by them existing.
It’s like calling a hammer construction or like saying I bought a hammer, nails and wood; built a house (I’ve never worked in construction and I’m certainly not an architect), but no one wants to live in it.
Those are tools; things we use to build a house, but they themselves are not a house, nor can they produce a house on their own. You need a blueprint, and professionals to begin construction.
Without specific training, you really shouldn’t even build a house on your own. It wouldn’t pass inspection and would likely be considered a safety hazard.
So why do we think it’s okay to do marketing, or design, without any training. It can be a safety hazard for your business.
Pro tip: Audit all of your assets. Keep a list of everything that you create, why you created it, who you created it for, where it should be used and how, and what result you want from it.
In the same way construction has requirements, websites, brochures, and business cards also need things to make them work effectively. They need strategy and they need to be measured. They need to be promoted or distributed properly.
Who did you tell about your website? Where did you put your brochures? Did you check to see if anyone was visiting your site? Did you go back and check to see if anyone was taking your brochures?
These are all things that should be considered when you’re judging the effectiveness of your marketing assets. We’ll get into that a bit more in the next section.
Let’s wrap this up by giving you a quick way to figure out if what you are doing is creating or purchasing a tool versus executing marketing. Simply ask this…
Do I need to promote it for people to find out about it?
If the answer is yes, then it’s more likely that it’s a tool for marketing and not marketing.
Bonus: Are you looking for a few ways to promote your website? Well here are 47 ways to promote your website. Get ready to shoot your traffic through the roof with this free eBook!
Reason #2: You’re Not Tracking Anything
Marketing must be measured. Do you have Google analytics installed on your website? Do you keep track of where you leave your brochures and how many people take each month? How much those brochures cost versus the revenue a client will bring in from them?
If you don’t track it, how do you know if it’s working? Even if you have 10,000 people visit your site each month or each day… Is that good? Only if they are the right people!
Pro tip: Look at more than just traffic, and the time people spend on your site. You should check who is coming to your site and compare that to your personas.
If you sell peanut oil online; and you attract 10,000 visitors, but 99% of your website visitors have peanut allergies... that’s not good.
You will only see this if you are tracking who is coming to your site and where they are coming from. There are several ways to accurately track where people are coming from and who they are.
You may want to try only marketing to restaurants that cook with peanut oil or to grocery stores that carry it and figure out how to exclude people who are looking for peanut oil alternatives.
Keep in mind that this is just an example to show that getting high traffic numbers does not equal good traffic or mean you should expect an increase in sales. If the wrong people are visiting, then the traffic is bad and you may not see any increase in sales..
Tracking will help you determine what is and is not working, where to spend more or less of your time, where to spend or not to spend your money. This is where you can determine what is a good return on your investment.
Tracking will show you the best place, or places, to spend your marketing dollars so that you get the most bang for your buck.
Pro tip: When you audit your assets, also list how often you’ve used them, how much you paid for them and how much money they have made you or time they have saved you.
If you don’t have concrete numbers to support this, guess as realistically as possible.
If you’re tracking properly you will know if you are reaching the right people, in the right place, at the right time, in the right way. You will know what strategies, tactics and assets are performing best and providing the most return.
Nobody wants to just throw their dollars to the wind. You want to know where you money is going and if it’s actually working for you.
Tracking will help you determine your cost per new customer, how long it takes to convert your ideal customers, and your best conversion paths. Getting new customers will look like a simple math equation.
Reason #3: You Don’t Have A Strategy
While I saved this for last, it is the primary reason why most marketing fails. You must have a strategy.
Jumping back to the building a house analogy, you wouldn’t build one without a blueprint and a construction schedule. That would be one scary house, you’d never want to live in, if you ever finish it.
Most people just try a bunch of things and they are all done separately, almost desperate efforts to increase leads, sales, or brand awareness.
The truth is your strategy should have a set goal and all of your tactics and assets should be built around achieving that one goal.
Most businesses are not large enough to start with a brand awareness campaign alone. It needs to be combined with lead generation and customer acquisition.
Your strategy should include very specific information. Who you are targeting, what you want them to do, how many people you need to do it, by when you need them to do it, and why you need them to do it.
Pro tip: This is super critical. You should have a well-defined target audience and even better, a buyer persona. What is a buyer persona?
You should build your marketing strategies with the intent of attracting, converting, closing, and delighting your personas. Yes, you can have more than one persona.
Once you have this, you can get more granular with who you are trying to reach so that you can better communicate with your target audience. This is extremely important! You want to make sure that you are talking to the right people, in the right place, at the right time, AND in the right way.
Consider this: What if you are marketing to the right people and saying all the wrong things? How many first impressions have gone wrong? How many of those people are now potentially never coming back? How many opportunities have you missed?
Having a strategy will help you plan and create content specifically for your target audience. I always say it’s the difference between speaking to a stadium of 20,000 random people at once versus having 20,000 simultaneous one-on-one conversations with who you know are the right people.
Conversion should be a part of your strategy. You want to make sure that everything is optimized to convert your target audience. You even want to have secondary and tertiary goals incase they are not ready to buy from you immediately.
Those secondary and tertiary goals should have a lead nurturing strategy behind them, with some marketing automation and personalization.
Pro Tip: Make sure that you have a well-defined and specific sales process and that your marketing and sales are aligned to the same goals.
If you don’t have a CRM; I recommend getting one immediately. This will ensure that when marketing brings you leads, sales can convert them.
Finally, once you have all that in place you can start to target and attract the right people. Having a well-defined and written strategy will help you get more of the customers you’re looking for much faster than the shotgun approach… You know, spraying a bunch of bullets at once and hoping you hit what you were aiming for.
The funny part about that analogy is that shotguns, like any other gun, work best when they are pointing at a specific target.
Even funnier is that most people approach marketing like shooting a shotgun in the dark. You can waste a lot of time and ammunition shooting in the dark.
Strategy is the light you need to make sure you’re aiming at the right targets. Strategy tells you how many targets, what they look like, where they go, how often they go there, the best times to find them there and the best way to make sure you hit them.
Now I don’t like how this post turned into an analogy about a tactical strike, but we are in Virginia Beach, VA next door to Norfolk Naval Station, (the largest naval base on the planet), so I guess it makes sense.
I think you get the point though. Strategy is important.
If You Want Your Marketing To Work…
You need to do it well. I know I said, “you’re not really marketing if”; but the truth is you’re not marketing well if you're making one of those marketing mistakes. These three points are so critical that you could potentially be wasting your time, marketing dollars, and even creating a negative brand.
You need to get (or hire people with) the right skillset; find people who understand how to target, and reach, the right audience for you. People who know when, where, and why to use each asset.
You need to understand that your website is a marketing tool, a hub for generating leads, and acquiring customers. You must have a strategy to get people to your website and convert them once they are there.
You need a strategy to get people to visit (and call) your office, or visit your stores. These things should not be left to chance. Growth should be measurable, predictable, and repeatable.
You need to track everything that you do, making sure that it’s performing at its best and providing you with a positive return on your investment. You should know how much you need to spend to get a new customer.
Finally, as I’ve said over and over, you need to have a marketing strategy for your business. Marketing is planning, executing, measuring, and adjusting.
Just like your GPS tells you how to reach your destination, how long it will take, and the shortest route, your marketing should tell you the same for your business.
Much like a GPS, in marketing, there may be some hazards not on the map that will cause you to reroute or adjust the timeline so that you still reach your destination as quickly as possible. In the same way; you should look at the data and determine the adjustments you need, to make to your marketing, for your business.
Challenge: I want you to try something. Just humor me on this. If you are not doing any of the 3 things above, I challenge you to do at least, one of them.
If you are treating your website like it’s marketing on its own, I challenge you to use it to target one specific persona (target audience). Rewrite the content for that one audience or add one page that’s just for that audience. Use this free persona tool to create your personas
If you’re not tracking your marketing; I challenge you to track it for the next 30 to 90 days. Install Google analytics on your site. Audit your marketing. If you don’t know how, sign up for a free marketing audit with us here. No strings attached and you won’t be obligated to do anything.
If you don’t have a strategy, write one and work everything around hitting that SMART goal, If you need help with creating SMART goals, check this out. How To Set SMART Marketing Goals [Free Template]
Do You Need Help?
If you believe that marketing is critically important to the growth and life of your business; but you don’t have enough time, you find it overwhelming, you lack the skills needed, you’re not getting the results you want, or you simply need a few extra hands… Let us be your GPS, the strategist for your tactical strike, let Eternal Works be your marketing partner. We’ll help you reach your destination and hit the right targets.
We help businesses just like yours. We work with companies that are great at closing sales, but just need help getting more opportunities. They’ve typically made an investment in their website and marketing, but are not getting the results they hoped for.
Eternal Works helps with lead generation, customer acquisition, and customer retention. Because of how our team is structured we are very agile, can plan and execute the entire strategy, or work as a supplemental resource for your in-house team.
What makes us unique is that we help companies bring alignment to branding, marketing, and sales through strategy to increase revenue.
Let’s chat. We can help you increase traffic to your website, and convert more leads to customers.
Are you ready to jump start your lead generation and customer acquisition? Have you considered inbound marketing?
Written by Tim Jones
As the founder of E-W, this comic artist has always held a passion for entrepreneurship and helping people—this grew into helping small business compete with larger competitors through branding and online marketing.
Eternal Works has found success under Tim's unique leadership in the creative industry and a strong focus on accountability.
"My goal is always to develop long term relationships with our clients that are built on blunt honesty, transparency and accountability. When it comes down to it, our clients have to know we are in their corner first."
Tim's hobbies include hanging with family and friends, watching NBA games, eating good food, music and drawing.