Especially if you really are investing a lot of time, energy and money – and still failing to get the returns you feel you deserve. If you’re actually doing very little on the marketing front, well that’s another story.
But let’s assume that you have a fair amount of activity on the go – online and offline.
You’re out there networking, perhaps speaking or exhibiting at shows. You have a website and a blog, you’ve created some valuable content, you’re slowly building up an email list, you’re on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You think you’re ticking all the boxes … but things are still failing to take off.
Too few sales. Too little income.
It’s a fairly common story … for a fairly common reason.
And that’s failing to grasp the true nature of ‘joined up marketing’ – how all your separate activities come together to support the customer or client journey. That’s both the path they take and the experience they have along the way. It’s the very powerful process that allows a complete stranger to evolve into a valuable connection and ultimately a valuable customer or client.
Now this is an old concept and I’ve written about it many times.
But it seems that, as the number of marketing activities open to us expands, it’s easier for us to be dazzled by each new shiny tool or opportunity. We latch on to it – after all, maybe this is ‘the answer’.
And we lose sight of the most important thing … that it’s not really the tool or activity we choose that matters. It’s how we put them all together. It’s making sure we implement them in a way that is congruent with our business, our target audience, and what we stand for.
‘Joined up marketing’ is a principle as old as time. What’s changed is that today there’s just a whole lot more stuff to join up. And as consumers (whether B2B or B2C), we’re all much more sophisticated and demanding.
So, even if you’re a pretty good planner, it’s far easier to end up with gaps in your marketing process and more difficult to live up to customer expectations.
And the result? You fail to entice, engage and convert. You confuse, disappoint and lose people along the way.
Those who really make their marketing work do these 4 things consistently well:
- They chose tools and activities that best support their offering – and that they enjoy using and doing, or that they can outsource successfully
- They understand how to structure and map them – so that, when executed, they work well together
- They are prepared to pay attention to the detail – because frankly the devil really is in the detail. The way a link in the process is set up, choosing one word over another, making sure the right offer is made at the right time … many small things can make a huge difference.
- They invest the time to troubleshoot their results – because they know success comes from learning what happens and making changes as necessary (sometime all that’s needed is a little refinement).
And they also know when to ask for specialist help. Even just a little professional input can go a long way.
Dan Kennedy, one of the all-time marketing experts, once said that to be successful in business you must be willing to build complex solutions over the long term.
Which pretty much sums it up.