Thursday, March 8, 2012

Is Your Marketing Strategy Stuck in 2010? WARNING! It is almost Q2 of 2012

At times, I feel like a broken record, “Follow the data. Follow the data. Follow the data.” However, recently, this became so clear to me that I not only need to keep repeating this but perhaps I need to get a megaphone and blast it from the rooftops! “FOLLOW THE DATA!”
While reading a few articles, I ran across an old one in the related articles section that is often underneath blog or article postings. The topic was Digital Marketing Trends for 2010. On the top five recommendations were:
<!>Paid Search
<!>Email Marketing
<!>Social Network Marketing
First of all, if it were only that easy... follow this recipe and you will be successful. I wish I could tell you it was that simple.
Secondly, not one word of the article referred to analytics on the front or back end of these activities. NOT ONE WORD!
Thirdly, I sadly realized that so many clients I talk to are STILL busy spending time, money and resources JUST STARTING to implement these strategies or at least becoming consistent with using them. And the DIY Email Marketing SaaS Providers make it look so easy, don’t they? Sigh….
So many caution alarms went off when I came to the realization of how prevalent and dated most businesses are in their Marketing. And, I am not bashing any of the above tactics as they all have their place and can be effective for some businesses. But they just ARE NOT a one-size-fits-all solution. Businesses continue doing them because of their perceived cost effectiveness. But, everyone wants an easy 1-2-3 Marketing Plan and Email Marketing and SM are deemed to be cheap - so a lot of focus is being spent on these two areas, regardless of whether or not it is currently producing results or not.
Please be warned that the above list is two years old and your customer, whether B2B or B2C, has become a lot more savvy and has much higher expectations today. Not to mention the C-Suite expects bottom line results – or else.
While poking around and doing research, I also read a fascinating article that offered information relaying that most buyers are 60-70% done with their buying research by the time they contact you. What does this mean? They are doing the DIY! They are looking through data, customer feedback, consumer reports, etc. before they decide who to contact to fulfill their needs.
So how do you influence this? Content and Data.  Provide content for the “DIYers” to devour about your product or service. Keep ON TOP of your SM outlets and take care of ANY negative comments/remarks as soon as they are posted. Praise and thank the positive posters.
Use the tactics above from 2010, there is nothing wrong with them; just be sure you are analyzing them and they are providing you the exposure, leverage, branding and ROI that they should.
It is almost Q2 of 2012 and you need to Market like it is. Are you stuck blindly following two year old advice and wondering why your sales are falling? Take charge and keep up with the current and upcoming trends in Marketing. Got mobile?  Never before have we lived in such an exciting time when technology can deliver us such exciting tools and possibilities. Embrace them - if the data shows they pay off ;)
Happy Marketing!

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