Just when you thought you had marketing all figured out, sales are flat or trending down. Your website has been redesigned You’re spending money on SEO and PPC You frequently post to social media You’re firing emails each week
The ‘data’ looks good, for a ‘marketing minute’, then things slow down and die off. The gurus tell you to keep at it; fire away, stay visible, “people are busy”, “it takes seven touches to make a connection. “
Here’s the thing: It is true that you have to keep at it, the marketing activities that is. What’s not realistic is to think or believe that we’ve got human behavior all figured out. We don’t, and likely never will, which makes marketing so exciting.
While the science of marketing is getting better, so are customers’ ability to adapt. It isn’t as though buyers don’t want to buy; they’re just tired of being sold. All of us want a good deal, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell a good deal from the same-old disguised teaser.
Yes, the consuming team has learned the sellers’ offensive plays.
Data and analytics gurus love clicks, likes and shares because they 'prove' the return on investment in marketing tools that generate the data. As Seth Godinbrilliantly points out, "Actually, more data might not be what you're hoping for." Real value for sellers is an authentic engagement, the type that is formed by enabling an emotional connection with a buyer. Cutesy subject lines, teasing invitation to uncover marketing secrets tempt some but don’t fool most of us. Marketing (I should say pseud-marketing) designed to outsmart the increasingly smarter consumer are a waste of time and money. Abraham Lincoln was right.
Customers are complex beings and just because we’ve got the genome mapped out doesn’t mean we’ve got humans figured out too.
We can make one assumption though; because emotions drive buying behaviors, a purchase takes place only when sellers establish a meaningful connection; meaningful from a customer's standpoint, "yes, you get me."
So many businesses skip over the difficult and time-consuming work of getting to know their customers; it’s far harder than assuming we’re all alike and so much easier to just press “send” and blast away. How about calling each customer and asking “how may I help you" instead?
The ‘easy button’ is a myth; nothing is easy, humans are erratic, adaptable, and they are desperately seeking someone who has nothing to sell and everything to share.
So when you see a spike in sales, enjoy the moment but don’t fall prey to the illusion that you’ve got it figured out. You haven’ and you’ll do much better in the long run if you allow your business to be guided by gutsy and differentiating marketing.
Let's agree to stop making assumptions or latch on to the latest in lazy marketing tricks or tips. Instead, buy a mirror, take a seat answer a few tough questions:
Why should you buy from me? Can any of my competitors say the same about their business? How well do I know my customers? Based on what? Am I following the herd or I carving my own path? Am I truly invested in the art of marketing or am I shooting from the hip? Who is guiding me about the direction and future of my business?
There's nothing futuristic about marketing. Nothing. Marketing is about the present and what matters now to those who seek your product or service.