I was really taken back at how the poll information leading up to the National Election did not really show the true story. (It showed the result of the popular vote, but it really missed out on everything else, like who the true customer was)
I have been looking at this topic very closely. Are marketing efforts really making a difference? How can I become more effective with respect to meeting client needs and determining if my message is being heard and resonates in the heart of others?
Who would have thought I would be talking about a person’s heart? Yet, that is where I am at today. I have been so frustrated over the years trying to figure out numbers. Google analytics, google updates like Penguin, keyword ranking, page visitations. When it comes down to it, have these numbers helped me? I think numbers played a huge role in assisting marketers 8-10 years ago. I could actually provide reports which showed a return on investment. Today, it is much harder to show these type of returns.
Reasons for rethinking marketing
- The landscape is changing much quicker today and many items are affecting it. Google wants people to use search for local
- Google wants people to use search for local transactions. They’ve changed the rules and continue to change rules with respect to ad ranking and website ranking.
- People are using their mobile phones for different information. How many apps do you use? I have a lot on my phone, but I typically look at email, weather, news, sports, and social media. Other apps I try out once or twice, but only use on a rare occasion.
- People are not going to websites as often as they used to.
- People are spending more time on their phones than ever.
- People are watching less TV and Sports
- Subscriptions to magazines and newspapers are down
- Sales of books, overall are down
- Trade show attendance is going up a lot or down a lot depending on the show
My thoughts on the list of reasons
I could really dig into the data and see if I could find some answers to these reasons and look closer and closer at the data, but what will this information really tell me. Will I be better for all the research I could find in these areas? I really believe this type of research may take me to a path that I already know the answer, but I am just delaying it a bit.
This list is indicating to me a need for my company to get out there like never before and connect with clients and prospective clients. I need to really get out and campaign more. Even with all the technology out there, it doesn’t mean anything if people have no idea who I am and what my company does. Think about how many places we have today to find information. I believe people are looking for a change, (Did you get that feeling from the election?). People are really tired of the same, old information and content.
Prospective clients are looking for companies to connect with that are growing and innovating. (Being boring is not an option) I need a better, faster, value-added website that actually works for them and is not just a site with content on it.
Current clients want to see a company growing and adding new services and providing added value. Today, people will pay more for extra value. Look at subscription services. (Would you pay more for a service like Youtube with no advertisements or an extra membership fee for more discounts and reduced shipping rates, Amazon? )
As far as analytics, I am beginning to think it is a bit overvalued and the numbers may not be reflecting true numbers. I really like visitors who come directly to our site. These clients have bookmarked our site and come back on a regular basis. In addition, a number of clients ask questions and I need to make sure we do a better job of following up with these clients to make sure they know who we are and what our capabilities are. In return, we can also tke this information and find out what potential clients are looking for and see if we can be a resource in the future.
New account forms – I am in the process of developing a better form which asks more information about the client connection between their needs and our services. I think this area is huge and I need to look closer at this information.
It is campaign time and it is time for us to reevaluate our campaign and look for the best way to engage our employees and closest advocate in a way that gets our message out to our clients and potential clients. Too often I have looked at marketing as a series of checkboxes, but today if I am going to be effective I need to look for ways that generate momentum that is sustaining and continues to look at this process as something bigger then a set of numbers or names in a database. It must become more real and less technical. It is about relationship building.
The last election I came away with these leading messages
- How people connect to our message and how they act on that message are critical.
- I need to look closer at people’s real needs, (their heart)
- Integrity, transparency, and willingness to work together are critical.
- Marketing and Sales must come together to measure overall effectiveness.
- Building stronger connections with people should be the focus. Less focus on terms like social media, inbound, tradeshows etc. Focus on action not places, terms or platforms.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. In my book, it is always important to get ideas down in writing and share this information with others to get their feedback. If you have some ideas, please feel free to share these with me on Linkedin.