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After taking a week off from the newsletter it feels weird to get back into a habit even though it was less than a 7 day break. Feels like that about a lot of things as we move through Q3 of 2020. What we started with and where we are now are so far away from each other the distance is immeasurable.
This has me thinking a lot about change. Change is happening at such a rapid pace right now its easy to just throw my hands up and coast. What I’m realizing is that on the otherside of this is a totally new world for us in digital marketing. For example, my oldest daughter will be 17 in a few short weeks. That means Gen Z isn’t coming, in a lot of ways they’re already here. How are you prepared for them? Versatile in Snapchat? Discord? How are you going to serve a generation that is coming out of school with extensive knowledge of remote work? By the time schools really do open, my kids will have more than a year of experience using Slack, Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, and project planning tools. Do you understand the world they’re coming from?
Second example, everyone is full steam ahead into digital marketing. We no longer have to convince companies its important, they all know and are figuring out how to get their business moving. The days of being the only person in the room pitching digital marketing are over and its time to deliver. Can you deliver? Or do you know just enough buzzwords to be left alone?
Things are different and we all need to be prepared to change.
Onto this weeks newsletter:
- Moar! local marketing and SEO. I will not stop talking about this topic as long as I breathe.
- The biggest threat to marketing in 2021… Money.
- Cut the bullshit emails and talk about the problems like an adult.
- A whole mess of hot links plus a request for all of you in this weeks Get Better Friday.
Local marketing is everything
I take this article is a grain of salt, but as a whole agree with the premise. My concern comes from the report being sponsored by SOCi, a company that has a vested interest in convincing marketers that local efforts are valuable.
However I strongly agree that local SEO and marketing is vital to businesses for the foreseeable future. We’re stuck in a never ending loop with national brands skipping local marketing and local businesses attempting to copy national brands thinking that’s the path to success. These tactics are why engagement with brand marketing is atrociously low. We make bland, sterile content that is attempting to appeal to as many people in as many places as possible. Why? Because we’re all reading the same guides on the same three websites for advice on how to scale digital marketing.
Local is everything and with the incredible boom in local ecommerce, its going to keep getting more and more important.
The biggest threat to marketing is 2021
My biggest business takeaway from this year? Stop annual planning. I have many other lessons learned from this catastrophic year and the list keeps growing. My mind on marketing and business, being so close to the holiday season, has me thinking about 2021 and the simple truth is we have zero idea what’s coming.
Here’s what I do know:
- Budgets are going to be tight for nearly all businesses. There won’t be a quick rebound and the C-Suite will use the period after the holidays to make significant cost-cutting moves.
- Economic worries and unemployment problems aren’t going anywhere for a long time. Even if the unemployment numbers go down it doesn’t mean people are making more money.
- Marketing is still seen as a cost center.
With tight budgets, a disastrous economy, and businesses looking to cut expenses, marketing departments will continue to be decimated. Long-term planning is nearly impossible at this point.
Which is a good thing. Attempting to map out an entire year of goals, objectives and tactics is a ridiculous task regardless of our current predicament. I once had a years worth of planning blown up two weeks after completing when serious staff changes were announced and the personnel to do it where all let go. As we head into planning season, make sure whatever you’re mapping is built with flexibility in mind. The framework needs to be agile and not be dependent on a single position, tool, service.
All of them should be a yes to this question, “Can you do it in-house with 50% less staff?”
No more fluff emails
I’m back and forth on email. It is the single most important tactic we have in marketing and nine times out of ten we waste it.
This article is good and has a classic list of ways to improve email marketing. But I think we need to stop this nonsense that we can convince people to buy something through tricks and hacks. We need to stop wasting people’s time.
This is your problem. This is how I can solve that problem.
Telling stories in marketing has been the advice for a long time. But, we’ve tricked ourselves into believing the lie. No one is waiting for a great story of how your brand worked with a factory that makes the same product for hundreds of businesses, but yours has your brand on it.
How do you sell more? Cut the bullshit.
- Outreach Tips (that are better than anything you’ll find searching Google) |
- 16 of the Biggest Threats to Content Marketing Success
- 15 Insanely Efficient Google Sheets Formulas for SEOs
- Evolution of Digital Transformation cartoon | Marketoonist
Empathy and productivity | Get Better Friday
In some corners the world feels like its heading closer to the way things were pre-pandemic. In some ways we’re going the opposite direction and things are more chaotic than ever. The simple truth is people are racing as fast as they can back to whatever they consider “normal”.
But, we’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons in the last 6 months that we can’t forget. Empathy for people being the most important. Everyone is going through different things at different times. Having the same expectations for everyone isn’t fair to anyone including yourself. What I’ve learned is that you can’t tell what someone is going through at any point. Because of this, we need to understand that giving permission is the most important thing we can do as leaders.
We need to give permission for people to work asynchronously. Give permission to work at the time and location that’s best for them. Develop systems, tools, services, and processes to allow people to have the flexibility they need to live their life and do their best work. Demanding everyone be on a Zoom call at a specific time just to “update you on things” isn’t just a waste of time any more, its harmful.
We can do better. With school open or starting soon, understand you and your priorities aren’t the same as everyone else in the room. Put your ego away and listen. Watch. Give permission.