Desperation Marketing

It's the type of marketing that we sadly see way too often and at increasingly alarming rate. It's what years ago was referred to as "Let's throw a lot of $&%# on the wall and see what sticks."

It was a bad way to run your business then and nothing has changed; it is still the most wasteful and counterproductive way to grow your business.

Let's roll back the clock about twenty years ago; no internet, no cell phones, no Facebook. What is it easier, or harder then to market? The answer may surprise you, but I believe it was much simpler. Here's why: "Noise."

Think about marketing, not from a business perspective but as a consumer; pre-internet business development was about TV ads,  junk mail, telemarketing calls, and the occasional door-to-door sales. This scene repeated itself on a daily basis; we sat in the comfort of our home or office, a giant wastebasket in front, and began tossing lots of stuff (think "unsubscribe" the old fashion way). "Marketing" was 'expensive' back then (TV ads, direct-mail) and many businesses self-selected out of marketing and stuck to "sales."

Connectivity changed everything. Nowadays, marketing is so 'inexpensive' anyone can do it, right? Who can't afford (free) email? Posting to social media costs nothing; websites are practically free (with only low-cost domain registration and hosting fees) - we can 'get' to anyone at any time. And that is exactly what I mean by "noise," marketing's worst enemy.

Yes, despite incredible technological advances, so many businesses continue to practice the "whatever sticks" mentality, or desperation marketing.

Here's the thing: It didn't work then, and it doesn't work now. Throwing everything you have on consumers is an artificial 'feel-good marketing'; you've conditioned yourself to believe that quantity trumps quality; you're skipping the real beauty and science of marketing that must take place way before you press the SEND button. Here's what this hard work is all about;  it starts by answering crucial questions like these:

What business are we in? Who is our ideal customer? How well do we know her? What differentiates us as a business? Is our differentiation real and convincing? What's our customer retention rate? What is the level of engagement with our clients? What is the ROI of our marketing spend?

Want to know the secret to growing your business? Get over the fear of investing in marketing.

Smart marketing delivers results. Desperation marketing is an illusion that 'marketing' activity is good enough.

Speak to business owners whose companies continue to grow and they'll tell you about the agonizing, soul-searching and tedious work that precedes marketing campaigns; when you answer some of the above questions (a very short sampler) you will significantly increase the probability of getting results. Real results are about 'conversions';  marketing leads that turn into paying customers, marketing leads that drive the type of engagement that builds your 'tribe' and loyal followers - not 'likes' but buyers that can't wait for your next blog post or new product.

Noise is just noise. It has no value or loyalty. Don't get tempted by desperation marketing tactics that promise you quick results like #1 Google ranking, the highest email open rate, etc. Marketing noise has conditioned consumers to be leery and question everything they hear or read. If you want attention (and conversions) then you must the take the time to truly understand your customers. You've got to think like them and emulate their decision-making process.

Replace desperation marketing with connection marketing. Do your homework, set a realistic budget that will allow you to test, measure and adjust based upon results. But most importantly, have patience. Good things come to those who take their time and follow a marketing road map. So here it is, the definition of marketing has never changed:

Identify customer needs Provide a product or service that offers a good value Deliver an experience that motivates customers to come back Never give customers a reason to look elsewhere Question everything and take nothing for granted Go back to the top and repeat

To illustrate my point, here's one of my old time favorite slogans by Smith Barney