We’ve been dazzled by the lights, bamboozled by the screen, and sent into a state of confusion about marketing.
And it’s all happened very very quickly.
We’ve forgotten there is a real world populated by real people with real needs. Walking around on real streets, walking into real shops, buying real food and other things.
They should not be reduced to bits, bytes, ones and zeros.
And yet, this is what we are trying to do. We’re trying to communicate to them through the impersonal digital world. We’re trying to prevent them from speaking to us, calling us, complaining to us. We don’t really want the hassle of talking to our customers. But this is what we have to do to survive.
WELCOME BACK TO REAL WORLD MARKETING.
In the past ten years, we’ve been talking to business owners about the challenges they face in their marketing, and almost exclusively the conversation always comes around to online marketing – whether it be SEO, SEM, Social or some other technology based marketing – business owners are confused.
They tell us everyone said ‘you have to be online’ and so they’ve invested time, money and almost without exception have not got what was promised on the label.
‘Old School’ marketing such as promotions and advertising and direct mail and letterbox drops, which may well have been working for some have been dropped. All in the race to get online and reap the ‘inevitable’ golden cascade promised by Google, Facebook and the zillion and one digital marketing gurus who have sprung up in Australia in the last decade.
I’m not saying all these companies are bad or hopeless, but the good ones that can get results are very very hard to find.
IT’S TIME TO GET REAL ABOUT YOUR MARKETING.
But there is a solution that comes before worrying about who is going to implement your digital strategy. And that is relegating your digital marketing to the right importance for your business. Like any tactic, it must come AFTER strategy.
There is an avalanche of confusion and upset in the business owner world, so it’s time for a revolution in marketing. Taking a step back, before moving forward.
AND NOW FOR THE SOLUTION.
The solution I believe, is getting back to basics. It lies in getting back to strategy. It lies in remembering that to be able to market to someone you had better have had a conversation with them (and others like them) to understand their needs, wants and decision making process in regards to your product or service.
ASK THESE QUESTIONS.
Where do your potential customer’s research options? Who do they talk to you when making a decision on a brand? Do they talk to anyone at all? How long between the time they decide they need the product or service to when they buy it? How often do they change brands?
If business owners would talk and listen more to customers, and talk and listen less to Google, Facebook and vested interest marketers, they would be in a better less confused state about their marketing.
NOT ALL MARKETING NEEDS TO BE ONLINE, NOT ALL MARKETING WORKS; NOT ALL MARKETING IS 1’S AND 0’S.
Talk to your customers. Talk to lots of them. Discuss your product or service with them.
And soon enough, your marketing model will become clear and effective. It might end up being all offline, or all online, or a mix of both.
You won’t know until you do the strategic work to find out. And then pilot various tactics to find out what works. Research, Plan, Implement, Test, Refine, Begin Again.
Originally published on Smallville.