Back to the Future of Marketing.
Did we ever really leave?
While the evolution of marketing continues to reveal diverse iterations of how to best achieve our marketing objectives and win new business, the question is: have the core principles really changed that much?
The basics of
• identifying our target audience and
• creating the message to best reach, motivate, inspire and move to respond are still with us.
But one big difference between now and then is that back then we did not have digital tools to fully measure our efforts through to conversion. Fortunately, now we do. These are the differentiators that let us see source of traffic, time on site, and a myriad of other behavioral factors. We can even analyze comparable measurements to see which of our own messages outperform each other through:
• testing the message
• analyzing the message
• measuring the messag
As a result of all of this access to so much data, we can learn who is getting our message, why one approach works better for a particular audience , and further hone in on the emotional impact that prompts one response over another.
Tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and other dashboard minded platforms are great. These tools give us a solid sense of how our sites are performing technically, and how that translates to revenue. But we also need marketing analytics tools, so we can gain a big-picture view of our marketing efforts.
Moz captures the differentiators in KPIs for marketing analytics and web analytics in this graph:
The fact is you need both: web analytics and marketing analytics. If you spend time analyzing both your site’s performance and your efforts’ performance you will have a clear picture of what’s working, what needs help, and what demands a change.
As more tools and resources become available to us and marketing analytics continues to evolve, we should see a game plan emerge on how to make it a smoother, more repeatable process, helping us become more efficient, successful marketers.
Don’t Be a Brand Flake.
They’re soggy and sink to the bottom of the bowl – fast.
Nobody sets out to deliberately crush their brand, but it can happen so easily if you don’t stay on task. To keep your brand crisp, fresh with vitality no matter what the challenge – NEVER relax your branding efforts. It’s an evolving, unified process that never stops.
Following are ten things to avoid at all costs if you don’t want to become a ‘Brand Flake’. Don’t sink to the bottom of the bowl when you can rise to the top with a bit of healthy know-how and good taste.
A WISHY-WASHY BRAND IDENTITY
A fluctuating brand identity won’t cut it. Consistency is the key. Your name must be seen and heard often. Your name, logo, tag line, line and graphics must be the same everywhere – inside and outside. Explore marketing channels and spread the word. It takes time and repetition to be remembered.
HO HUM, BORING VISUALS
If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the impact the wrong visual can have! Go the distance here and if you can, avoid stock photography. Original makes a difference. Make your brand visuals an experience worth remembering many times over.
CLUELESS UNINSPIRED EMPLOYEES
Is there anything more pathetic than employees who don’t have a clue about their own company’s brand? And possibly, some don’t even care. These are the people who should be able to respond with a 15-second elevator speech if asked. They should be the company ambassadors. Motivate them and support their efforts.
OUTDATED TRACKING OR NONE AT ALL
Whether it’s a telephone call, an email response, an inquiry from a website or a trade show contact, if you’re not finding out how they came to contact your company, you’re missing a huge opportunity. This is data than can actually drive your marketing efforts, so put on your tracking hat and get busy.
IGNORING YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS
Take them for granted and watch the numbers decline. These people are gold mines. They can do more for you than a viral advertising campaign. Get their opinions and feedback. And definitely ask for permission to use their quotes and testimonials in your marketing materials.
MARKETING MATERIALS GONE BAD
It’s a common mistake and one made too often by small businesses. In the fervor of creating new marketing materials, when it comes time to print copies of collateral pieces, the order is humongous. Thousands of new brochures take up space in the storeroom and it takes years to use them up. Who can justify creating new ones?
Of course digital marketing has changed things to some extent, but it still happens. If you do online ads and video, the same rule applies. You will lose traction and customers, if you don’t keep them engaged, entertained and educated.
MISSING THE CORE MESSAGE
Your brand cannot be all things to all people all of the time. Know your core message and believe in it. It’s about your brand’s main value proposition; the differentiator that sets you apart from the crowd.
MAKING PROMISES YOU CANNOT KEEP
If customers come to you for a particular product or service and cannot find what you told them you sell – guess what? You lose. If your messaging doesn’t match the reality for your consumer, they will not believe and they will not return. Negative marketing word-of-mouth comments are killers.
A SOGGY TAG LINE THAT DOESN’T DELIVER
Your tag line is just as important as your logo. Short, sweet and deliverable. Usually four to eight words should get the point across, but be sure they match your core services in the most appealing way.
IGNORANCE OF YOUR BRANDING’S ORIGIN
You and your employees are the ones who know the company best. So the essence of who you are and what you do must come from inside your company. Talk with and listen to your customers and each other often. Nurture your brand. Provide the tools for your employees to spread the word and recognize them as brand ambassadors. Through collaboration, commitment and consistency, your brand can shine brightly.
After all, if you can do something about it, isn’t it better to be known as a fresh, crisp, tasteful brand rather than a tired, soggy, tasteless flake? Your call.
Website Content Development: Forever Fluid
Even when the fat lady sings, it’s still not over.
You’ve spent the last six months focused on website content development. You’ve enlisted the expertise of industry pros and tech heads from every realm.
You’re exhausted and exuberant.
You’re done – ready to unleash all of that robust web content development and creativity on the world.
If you think you’re finished, well, what can I say … you really are finished, but not in the way you might think.
It sounds harsh, cruel, and even fatalistic. But, it’s true.
A website is never finished. Well, that is, until it dies and falls away into oblivion where nobody even remembers it was there in the first place.
A website is a living, breathing, evolving, hard- working, fluctuating, ever-changing life form. And if you don’t believe that, you’d better prepare for a shock…or worse, failure.
A website is dynamic. [pertaining to or characterized by energy or effective action; vigorously active or forceful; energetic]
Life in a State of Flux.
That’s where you live if you support your company’s marketing efforts, manage your company website or have anything to do with website content development – you live in a state of flux. It’s unavoidable. Things change too often and too quickly in cyberspace.
It’s a universe roiling with information that feeds on itself and morphs into strange new perspectives, ideas, new ways to do things and, well, need I go one …?
Because we have the immediacy of access to untold volumes of data, knowledge, whatever topic we want to find about right then and there, our attention span seems to be shrinking proportionately.
If you expect new leads, customers and a decent ROI from your website, it must be relevant, relevant, relevant. That simply means new, fresh, more than mere regurgitated bits from other sources to continuously fill the pipeline of your website content development.
Do you have the resources, the know-how, the measure of intrepid stick-to-it-ive-ness it takes to make your website live well and prosper?
If not, you might as well, turn off the computer, go out the door and find a secluded place to kick back and think about what your Plan B will be about so you can generate new customers and grow your business.