Marketing Insights Question: How are you building your marketing foundation?

December 20, 2011

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How are you building your marketing’s foundation?

Over the next few weeks, as we head towards 2012, I want to get you thinking about your business in a new/fresh way.  I’m going to ask a single question in each post — but I’m warning you, these aren’t slam dunk questions.

I’m hopeful that as you ponder my question — it will give you some ideas for making 2012 a break out year for your organization.  If nothing else — this exercise should fine tune some of your marketing efforts.

How are you building your marketing foundation? We’ve talked a lot about the know • like • trust model.  If you remember, the final leg of that equation is that consistency creates trust and trust leads to sales.

How do you generate that trust?  By building a marketing foundation.  And here’s how you go about that.

You do one thing on a regular (daily, weekly or monthly) basis that will add incredible value for your prospects and customers.  This is something that, if you stopped doing it or skipped a week — they’d not only notice the absence but they’d actually miss it.

What is the one thing?  It’s going to be different for every one of us — depending on our industry, our clientele, our position in the market place, our bandwidth and our organization’s culture.

It could be as simple as an enewsletter or as complex as a podcast where you interview leading experts in your field every week.  It might be a cartoon or an ongoing video series.

No matter what form it takes, it must meet these criteria to qualify:

  • It’s scaleable so as your audience grows, you can include many more people
  • You are 110% committed to honoring your consistency pledge
  • It is not a sales piece — this is you creating incredible value
  • It is shareable (people can pass it along to colleagues somehow, even if that means tacking it up on a bulletin board)
  • It should be unique to you.  Either no one else in your competitive set does something like it or you do it so differently that it stands out

This is going to require some creativity on your part. And some discipline.  As soon as an idea starts to sound at all like a sales tool or gimmick, smack yourself.  That’s the kiss of death.  And it is the mistake 90% of all organizations make.  They just can’t resist hinting at or outright asking for the sale.

If you truly adopt this effort — you will create long lasting relationships with clients and prospects.  You’ll also create a word of mouth marketing machine, as your audience shares your offerings far and wide.

Start with that first building block…and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ve built something worthwhile.

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Are you a speed and sputter marketer?

September 30, 2011

Are you guilty of speed and sputter marketing?

I do a lot of driving.  Between work, providing my mom (3.5 hours away) with computer support and fetching my daughter every so often at college (2 hours away) — I’m on the road quite a bit.

I found myself wondering if I’d make better time if I used my cruise control on those longer drives so I decided to experiment with it.  (I know, I’m a wild man!)

I set the cruise 5 miles over the speed limit, which if you’ve driven with me, you’ll know is a little slower than I tend to drive.  So I thought it would take me longer to get to my destination.

Long story short — I definitely shortened my drive time when I used the cruise as opposed to me manually controlling the speed of my vehicle.

It makes sense — it’s easy to get distracted by other cars, something along the side of the road, the book on CD I’m listening to, a phone conversation etc.  And if nothing else, no doubt my speed is varying throughout the journey.

But with the cruise on — I’m absolutely consistent and incredibly steady.  It turns out – that’s the winning combination in terms of making good time.

Since this isn’t a car blog, you’re probably wondering why I’m sharing.  Well — it occurred to me that the same is true of marketing.

Most companies are speed and sputter marketers.  They get a great idea, have a lot of energy around it and blast it off.  But then they get busy and things get stalled.  That monthly enewsletter becomes a sort of quarterly piece.  The print ad series never actually runs.  And the customer survey is drafted or even deployed but no one got around to crunching the numbers.

Their marketing success is very hit or miss and is greatly influenced by lots of outside factors.  There’s no consistency.  And as we’ve talked about before — consistency breeds trust which is what leads to a sale.  (I know, like and trust you)

But if your marketing is on cruise control — that is to say there’s a process that keeps chugging along no matter how busy you are — your consistency will speak volumes.  You will be able to take advantage of the DRIP method of marketing that allows you to just keep a nice, steady stream of connectivity and relevant communication out there — tethering you and your audience to each other.

I can hear you now — how can we do that?  If it was easy, we’d never speed and then sputter.  I’ve got some ideas around that so stay tuned next week.

But for today — think about how your marketing/company is perceived when you stop and start all the time.  Is that who you want to be?


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