In this week’s newsletter:
- The single best advice for your marketing strategy in 2021.
- The importance of planning, as a business owner and a leader.
A short newsletter this week. Sometimes the words flow; others its like pulling iron from rocks.
I’ve been making a more concerted effort to do more things I enjoy. Over the last couple of weeks, I realized I stopped doing my hobbies and instead am spending an excessive amount of time doing things for others. I finally took my advice this weekend and spent some time on a hobby.
I love working on old hardware, especially if it means it gives something new life. By the end of this project, I felt better. I felt lighter and can breathe easier. Take some time for yourself this week, and you deserve it.
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Strategy and planning are always first
I speak with so many people that their marketing plan is to just “get stuff out there and see what sticks.” Often, these are the same people I’ll hear from later that say they tried marketing, and it didn’t work. Instead, they are just focusing on sales. I’d like to point all these people to this tweet:
For a lot of companies, marketing is an emergency button you can hit when sales start to slide. Then, once sales get back on track, you can pull marketing and shift the budget elsewhere. This is how marketing is set up to fail. Without a plan and a clear vision of what success looks like, your efforts are never going to work. In order to be successful, you have to be laser-focused.
The folly in targeting everyone is that your message, value proposition, and uniqueness are lost. You come across as generic, bland, and insincere, which means that the only thing the customer has to evaluate you on is price. If a customer cannot determine why they should hire you, all they can go on is how your price compares to everyone else.
When a customer immediately goes to the bottom line of a quote and says you are too expensive and asks for a discount, they don’t see your value. They view you as just another cookie-cutter service. Sometimes this is the customer, there are plenty that want to know if they can get a deal. But if you are having these conversations regularly, you either:
A) The only customers that are contacting you are cheapskates
B) Don’t understand your business.
Both of these are a marketing problem. If you are consistently speaking with the wrong customer, you need to stop and find out how they are finding you and how you can re-target your messaging to the right customer. If your customers don’t understand your business, you need to re-evaluate your value proposition.
Every company has a particular customer-type they serve best, and the sales team can define them with perfect accuracy. So, why ask marketing to seek impressions over conversions? Why ask them to increase pageviews over engagement?
As I mentioned above, I think this is due to people expecting marketing to drum up interest immediately, then have the sales team start closing. This might work in the short-term, but it will quickly go off the rails because there is a disconnect between sales and marketing. Marketing is not a magic lever that you can pull at any time. It is an investment in both money and time. Consistently marketing to your core customer will pay massive dividends for years and years.
Just don’t fall into this trap.
I’ve created a lot of information around marketing planning and strategy. Here is my thorough guide to getting started with finding your target audience.
How are your goals going? | Get better every day
I was scrolling through my screenshots, and I found this
I don’t remember who originally shared this (might have been @deray?), but it hit home after thinking more about the tweet shown above.
Investing in planning is an investment in yourself. Take the time today to put some notes down.
Then, take some sort of action. When struggling to move on a goal, my process is to tell myself to do the absolute smallest thing I can do at the moment. Just write one word on a list. Do a quick Google search to see what others have done. You’ll be surprised at how often that one, little, tiny, baby step will turn into a serious movement.
Just get started.