Be sure to read my personal note at the bottom of this weeks post. This is the last Marketing Mixer. See why down below.
As you know I’ve been experimenting with the layout and content in this newsletter. This time instead of covering the news or trends, I’d like to take a deeper dive into content marketing and 2021. Digital marketing has become vastly more important in the last six months and companies are more willing to invest in it. However, they’re imagining the path looks something like this:
Marketing content -> More sales
They’re picturing a direct line and attribution. This is going to be a particular challenge for marketers in 2021 because every expense will need to be associated directly with sales. Otherwise you’ll risk losing funding, staff, and the roadmap you’ve outlined beyond the current year.
I can hear you in your head, though. You’re screaming, “Its not a direct path! You need to explain how the system works.” How many of you have successfully described the marketing path from top of funnel content to full conversion? How many of you have the systems in place to be able to do that? Remember the people who are in charge of the money aren’t going to suddenly open up the pocket book for new people, tools, and allow for an extended period of time for your content plan to work.
We are also way beyond “build it and they will come” mindset for content, which has been our pitch for nearly a decade with the board. Give me people, a few tools, and time and eventually customers will find our content. Then the hockey stick growth will come. Right? Wrong. With so many people making great content, simply adding more good content to the pile won’t get you more customers.
So, what can you do?
This is typically where I’d say go on a ride-along with the sales team or listen to customer support calls to get a better understanding of your customers. I doubt you’ll have this kind of time, not including an ongoing pandemic that makes these types of activities more difficult.
The tactic you choose will vary depending on your industry, product, and the type of customer you serve. The key is narrowing your focus. The sales team always says their customer is anyone and the product is whatever the customer wants. For us in marketing to be successful we need to emphasize the direct customer and product and how they’re associated.
The biggest fight we will have to face is not succumbing to is scattershot marketing. Hitting all customer types for every product will create a lot of work, with fewer results. This will only create half-assed content that doesn’t help anyone. This strategy is similar to running into a room and throwing glitter in the air, then pointing out how many people have glitter on them to show how successful you were.
The first step is to narrow your focus. One customer type. One product. One platform. One CTA. This is the way will be able to show growth and have sales attribution. Additionally, you will be able focus your team on the singular objective. When everyone knows the exact customer, product, platform and call-to-action, they will be much more effective at delivering results.
Choosing the one
Time to talk to the sales team. If they had to reach their numbers by the end of the week, who would they call? Their bonus is on the line and only need to close out a few more sales. Who’s on the top of their list? What product are they selling?
One of the skills we have in marketing is noticing trends and extrapolating insight from datasets. Who is this customer? What other customers look like them? Why this product? What are the cross and upsell products?
The last point here is to pick a direct and don’t look back. If its not working, don’t think you’ve made a mistake. Just pivot and keep going. The key is to understand you’re doing the best you can with the info you have. Its not going to be perfect. But, you’ll be in the best possible position.
This is the 46th. DC Marketing Mixer newsletter and it has officially been a full calendar year since I published the first edition. I’m proud of the content I’ve created in this time and have accomplished my primary goal which was to become a better digital marketer by doing instead of reading. We’re in a great industry and we have the awesome ability to pick up any tool, tactic, or resource and practice without having to spend gobs of money. If you wanna get better at digital marketing, start doing it for yourself.
Along these lines, I think its time for me to work on some other skills. I appreciate each and every one of you that’s been subscribed to this newsletter or have read it on my website. Thank you so much.
So this is to say this newsletter is on indefinite hiatus.
We have the ability to learn anything and I have some skills I need to learn that I would like to focus my time on. I have a limited amount of time and with the shape of the world, my family, and other projects I’d like to work on, I need to step away from the newsletter and several other projects in my life. I will also be stepping away from social media for the remainder of 2020. Its better for me, my family, and my career to narrow my focus.
The final 3 months are already busy for me. All four of my children’s birthdays are in the next 73 days. Plus 3 major holidays, home/virtual schooling, and the Pacific Northwest winters, my focus needs to be on other things.
I’d love to hear from you. Stay subscribed as I’ll drop more newsletters similar to this one into the feed occasionally. Plus, this will be the first place to get any news on future plans.