Don’t Fall for Marketing Hype
The Sprocket Report
"My 5 Best Marketing Tips!"
"How I got on the First Page of Google!"
"If I Can Do It -- You Can, Too!
Your business needed marketing help so you read/watched/practiced their program faithfully. So why wasn’t your marketing campaign as wildly successful as that of the guru you followed? Here are a few of the reasons you fell short, only some of which were actually in your control.
"What is your platform?" is a question publishing houses use before putting a new author under contract, but it applies to marketing gurus as well. "Platform" is the audience already accumulated from previous endeavors. Just like the film celebrity who goes on to publish a book, some gurus gained their celebrity in another arena before focusing on marketing.
But while some bring celebrity status from previous careers, other marketing gurus develop a bigger-than-life personality that builds new celebrity, and in turn, fosters an extensive audience. If your personality is more of the life-sized variety, it may be a pretty uphill battle to create that kind of celebrity for yourself.
Then there is the financial platform. Gurus who boast that they "started with nothing" may be referring to their businesses while living expenses were supported by a spouse or parent. Others may have had nothing to lose, a freedom you yourself may not be willing to embrace.
Certainly a good marketing guru will have an extensive platform. But when evaluating a marketing program or coach and when comparing your success to theirs, take the time to figure out if the chicken or the egg came first, platform-wise.
Many people grab a soda from the fridge for the drive to work. They may choose another at an office meeting, order one at lunch and maybe even have one with a shot during after-work networking. And once they drink it up, they’ll need to buy more. Consumables prompt repeat business. If you aren’t selling a similar consumable, your marketing will necessarily look different.
The sales cycle is also a factor. Instead of buying four sodas every day, folks may be investing in your service once a year. Marketers have lots of opportunities to fine-tune their marketing techniques if they are working with frequent sales. If you have less frequent sales, realize that collecting and acting on marketing data will lag a little behind.
Also, let’s face it, some products and services are just more "sexy" than others. It will take greater effort to create and sustain a winning marketing campaign for the less sexy ones. Often the product or service that many marketing gurus sell is along the lines of “How to Be a Marketing Guru” rather than "How to Sell Rubber Bands." You can still pick up excellent tips, but check the testimonials to see what kind of industries are having the best success with a particular program.
While we do believe in the maxim that "the harder you work, the luckier you get," we all know that luck does play a part in success. Some marketing gurus had the luck/knowledge to be on the leading edge of a trend and they rode it well. Of course trends are fickle so you can’t possibly recreate the exact same ride. You’ll need to use your luck/knowledge to find the next trend to ride.
Remember, too, that it’s much easier to make great leaps in improvement at the beginning. If you start with 20 addresses on your email list and add 20 more in June, that’s 100% increase. How awesome! If you add another 20 in July, that’s only a 50% increase, even though it’s the same number that you found awesome the month before.
The important point is to plan your goals and know what success should look like in your specific industry, at your specific location, for your specific business.
Once you’ve followed a few marketing gurus or tried a few programs, you’ll start to see similarities. That's actually a good thing! That means you have internalized the fundamentals that all marketers know and teach, which was what you started out to learn in the first place. Even if you choose later to outsource your marketing, having that fundamental knowledge will help you work better with your marketing expert.
Marketing is all about telling a compelling story, but you owe it to yourself to look beyond the story and check the facts before you choose a guru or program to follow. Due diligence and realistic expectations will save you from disappointment and let you focus on moving your business forward toward success.
If you have crafted marketing goals and now need help to achieve them, consider one of our support packages. We’d be happy to work with you toward success! Call us now.