“The sheer volume of digital marketing options and all the noise and how to know what to focus on and OMG I don’t have the time or the headspace for all this but I know I can’t ignore it!”
This is the story I hear from my clients when they come to me. And this is problem I help them solve.
In doing so I have discovered a few little secrets along the way. Actually, they’re not really secrets, it’s just that while you’re busy running your business, you don’t have time to learn the arcane mysteries of web marketing!
Some of them are so fundamental that you really should know about them, so here’s 3 “marketing secrets” that can really change the game for you:
1 – Everything is Marketing
I believe it is a mistake to see marketing as something you just tack on after you’ve made your product – you know – a website, some ads, a free or cheap offer. It’s not actually that simple.
Marketing, at least the way I see it, is not a separate compartment distinct from sales, fulfilment and all the other operational facets of your business. In fact marketing is inherent in every touch point with your prospects and customers.
This makes it really hard actually (I absolutely struggle with this myself). Because what it means is that every time you or your people answer the phone to a customer, every time you deliver a service or product, every time you invoice a client, all of these events and even the more minor touch points along the way, they all either support or undermine your marketing efforts.
Some might call this branding, and they’d be right, but to me it’s all marketing.
2 – Email Marketing is King
There’s no doubt about it, digital marketers across the board view getting the prospect’s email address and permission to email them as the Holy Grail of marketing. This is because once you have someone’s email, and their consent to email them, you have a very direct method of communicating to the customer or prospect, one that you own (rather than Facebook or Google) but also one that the customer has a lot of control over. They can ignore you, save it for later, or delete/unsubscribe you at their own will. They know they gave you permission to be in their inbox and so you are not seen as an intruder (if you’re doing it right).
And more to point, metrics consistently show that email marketing drives results. So you need to start capturing email addresses at your website.
3 – Follow the Market
I learned this one from a very wise man: when things slow down for your business, perhaps due to seasonal trends, the impulse is to use that extra time to try harder to convince people to buy from you then. In essence however, what you are trying to do is to change people’s minds about what it is they want to do. This is never easy.
An easier thing is to recognise when “the market” is hot for what you sell, and give that snowball an extra push down the hill. By this I mean, if business gets busier in spring, then get marketing heavily in spring. Meanwhile spend winter (or whenever your slow season is) planning how you are going to capitalise on the busy months by engineering the capacity within your organisation to deal with increased demand.
How Digital Marketing is Like Colour TV
You’ll note only one of these is specifically about digital marketing, that’s because actually, “digital marketing” is really just “marketing”, but with a bunch of geeky technical stuff between the strategy and the execution.
Derek Sivers, of CD Baby fame, made a cool analogy about this. He compares “online marketing” to an old motel advertising colour TV, the point being these days we kind of assume that the TV will have colour!
Anyway – go execute and let me know if you’d like some help with any of this!