What Marketing IS/n’t
It’s one of those things you do when you’re in business. You’ve probably done lots of it, some of it successful, some of it not so much; although that “success” might depend on how you define “marketing”. This is important because, being clear about what marketing is and isn’t (is/n’t) is key to making your marketing efforts really count.
Here’s the scenario…
You decide to do some “marketing”. You settle on a wine tasting, inviting a couple key clients and asking them to bring along friends, so you have a group of no more than eight individuals. You hope to invite 2 client couples and have them bring another couple each.
You set it all up, do the inviting, and execute the event. At the event, both the clients and their friends show up. They all were very nice, the evening was engaging, and you felt like you connected with everyone pretty well. Your clients even bragged on you a bit, which was unexpected, but very cool. You also made arrangements to send each person a bottle of wine after the event as a follow-up and thank you. A week or so later, you even received thank you cards from both prospect couples who each said how deeply they appreciated the evening.
And as the weeks go by, you occasionally remind yourself how surprised you were that the prospects at your wine tasting never met with you. You might even have called the clients to inquire and hear nothing but raves about the night. But, what you really wanted was for those prospects to call and set an appointment so you could really see if you could help them. But you were never able to connect with them. And this is especially frustrating because they were really qualified prospects. They fit squarely into your preferred client model.
As time goes on, and you think about doing additional marketing, you consistently axe the thought of doing more wine tastings. Why? Because they don’t work, and you’re not going to waste your time, effort and money on marketing that doesn’t work.
This can be so frustrating! But was it really the marketing that failed? What if it wasn’t the marketing, but something else that went “wrong”? Would that change your perspective? Here is, perhaps, a new thought…
Marketing is not the same as client acquisition.
So, if marketing is not client acquisition, what is it?
Marketing is the act of sharing your message to a qualified audience so that, when they hear it, they feel connected, like you’re speaking their name.
Marketing is connection.
If you share your message with a prospect that is in your target market in a meaningful way – your marketing is successful.
So, in our example before… the marketing was extremely successful. There were qualified prospects, the evening made an impact, and you (or in this case, your clients) were able to share your message. There’s nothing wrong with this marketing event. If connection is the goal… goal achieved.
The challenge in the scenario above, is identifying what needs to happen next time so that the connection causes action.
Time after time, professionals do marketing activity that is getting them in front of all the right people, and because the people aren’t taking action, they stop the marketing. This is a case of changing the wrong thing. It’s like getting a flat tire while driving down the road, and then stopping to change the oil, thinking that will cause a smoother ride.
Some key questions to ask yourself:
- How have you been measuring your marketing success?
- Are you really connecting during your marketing? And how do you know?
- If you’re not connecting? What could you do differently to make a difference?
And the final question….
What will you do now?
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