Is OLD Marketing Holding Back Your Growth? Here Are The Top 10 Out Of Date Marketing Mistakes Many Are Making Today? (Along With How Your Marketing Efforts Can Easily Become Effective Again?)

How Many Of The 10 OLD Marketing Crimes Are You Guilty Of?

With the rampaging march of technology, social media and ever diminishing audience attention spans, it pays now, more than at anytime in the last 20 years, to keep on top of your marketing output. We are all competing with more suppliers over a greater area and need to stay ahead of the, “Not them again” fatigue that causes poverty through customer irritation.

In no particular order here are the TOP 10 MARKETING CRIMES – Do keep score of how many old habits you are guilty of as you read and check your results at the end. Be honest now. Good luck…

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1) A Newsletter carved in stone. You stressed and worried about the first one you launched to 50 people all those years ago and were so proud at receiving your first pleasant response. Do you remember? You may have even received an order for business from your first few issues! Wow.

But

Several years later, you have fallen into a routine. You haven’t updated your format. And, the content is all about you. The text is repetitive and tired and you are going around the block for the umpteenth time giving out educational advice that, in your heart of hearts, you know most people either already know, are not interested in, or, think is slightly quaint and, itself, out-dated.

Action – Start again. Ask, “Who will be my paying customers over the next 2-3 years?” Where are they? What do they read / listen to / watch? What channel works for them? And, where is the GAP today in their knowledge or wisdom that I can fill with insights and service?

(More on this in a moment)

2) The Repeating Repeating event. Again, do you remember feeling like you had just discovered penicillin when you held your first Breakfast Briefing, Monthly Mixer or Multi-Speaker Do? And, good for you. You put your all into inviting senior decision making people to a high value demonstration of your wisdom and originality and it was probably lapped up by your audience and generated a healthy return on your invested time and money.

But

Times have moved on. Now everyone seems time scarce, attention scare and oh, so cynical. Your prospects now send juniors who spend too much time looking at their phone. Your venue costs have gone up and your returns have all but disappeared. And the quality of speaker you can attract to help you out has diminished too.

Action – Once more – Is it time to think again? – Do you need a physical event? If so, what about partnering with a complimentary service or product provider and splitting the cost whilst enlarging your potential base? Who could dove-tail with you and bring a wider and fresh audience? As customers become more scattered around the globe, is a remote version of this event a good idea – A webinar or filmed demonstration? It is definitely time to change your whole approach?

3) Your Dusty Flat Website – It was so exciting when you updated your old 5 page brochure site to include rotating pictures, a call me back button, or even added a news feed. Wow – Nosebleed territory.

Hill Networks Marketing

But

Your returns on the website peaked many moons ago and people are finding you through other means now. As you read through your site today, you realise it all about you you you. It is overly factual and your copy fails to engage the customer or prospect. It does not interrupt them and take them on a journey. There is no story, no insight and no call to action that is compelling enough for them to – CALL YOU. And, you have a list of teaser happenings to lure new customers in that makes two assumptions –– That you have enough traffic to make this work for you, and, that they don’t mind the thin content you are providing as bait.

Action – Let us get real. Unless you are going to spend real bucks on getting something web-tastic with a shopping cart, then we are probably wasting our time here putting all our eggs in the website basket. Whilst websites are no longer number one, why not think about an intelligent strategy to proceed with. There are cheaper and more flexible versions of websites via WordPress that incorporate blogs, measure responses and allow for far more interactivity. And ones that allow opt ins for joining your list that can be connected to your newsletter via an autosponder sequence to take new joiners on a relevant and escalating journey of engagement, and, with a proportion of them, will lead to an initial sale – an automated journey that does not require human intervention and the salary that accompanies it.

4) Words Words Words – Not SuperCopy – It still amazes me that plenty of otherwise bright company executives (over performing in their core areas of expertise), continue to operate with a complete blind spot to accepting that persuasive and well written copy actually generates action, a response and represents a return on time and the marketing money you spend! Instead we see 1000s of words about me me me, facts, features and detail that bore readers, turn away needy customers and fail to promote the company’s best assets – Their product / service, the quality of your interaction, or, your unique selling advantage.

So

The answers are out there enabling you to learn about key influencing copy devices that will move your observer prospects up to an energy level where they take action; that will shift those passive but needy customers to reach out and get in touch with you. And, with automated systems, they will do more than half of this whist you are getting on with delivery.

Action – If you can’t wait until number 10) then do call me (Matthew Hill 07540 65 9995) with your details and we can talk through the immediate actions you would be wise to contemplate, decide to do and get started on.

5) Non Selling Sales People – When you employed that merry band of brothers and sisters in your sales department, you did not realise just how sales-phobic they would become and how quickly they would chose to grow cosy and cosseted in that comfortable office you provide, making nice warm calls to already warm connections whilst failing to break new ground and look for new players on the block.

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And

Given a chance to change, you find that they defend their cosy “keeping in touch” non-selling version of communication… to the death, and, resist your pleas for them to step up their game and do something challenging and relevant.

Action – Is it time to challenge your whole sales and marketing process and simplifying it down to something that works?!?! Your new successful process will emerge as you study the sales decision making process of your median customer? Where do they begin, enquire, question? And, What do they need? What assurances work? What demonstration and proofs convert? What words work? And, What is the quickest or optimum route from “Don’t know you” to “Know you, like you, trust you and let’s buy from you on multiple occasions”? When would now be an excellent time to start asking these questions?

6) E Mailed to sleep – Whilst E Mail has been around for 25 years, it’s abuse and massive overuse has lead to GDPR, spam screening and a vast decrease in the power of any single E Mail.

And

The average marketing executive still thinks they know how to write a compelling and hip message that will work. OMG.

ActionIf there is one thing to commit to doing in the next 12 months, make it be this – Find out how to write compelling, sincere and action inducing E Mails that work. Please, pretty please and please with a cherry on the top do this one thing.

7) Brochures – There was a time when having your own bespoke, designed and professionally printed brochure was a sign of status and kudos. With studio package shots and agency copy, they were a thing of beauty and value.

But

Now everything moves quickly, is on-line and uses realistic looking E mock ups of printed books and boxes, making your product look even better than it does in real life. So, what is the point of a brochure? And how much does it cost to print and send out one copy? And, does anyone read them anymore?

Action – Break that habit. Add up the real cost and ask yourself if it is the way to go? Dan Kennedy, the undisputed king of marketing, would advice moving that budget into flyers, newsletters and offers. And, who is to say he is wrong?

8) Trade fairs – Do you remember 2 or 3 recessions ago, how much fun trade fairs were? We had gift bags that contained things we wanted! Alcohol flowed freely. There were gimmicks and gadgets and, the pace of change in some industries was so fast you HAD to be there, to get the education and new contacts you needed, just to keep up.

Matthew Hill culture author leadership

But

All of that has gone. The budgets are slashed, the attendees are now juniors and not decision makers, the speeches are pat and less inspiring, and, the gifts are not worth collecting.

Action – Let’s get back some of the magic of the olden days with a bit of pizzazz, some energy and humour and a speech that has a CTA – Call to Action at the end of it. And, let us make it super-professional. Save money by designing your communication pathway to qualify out the time wasters and tire kickers. And, actively qualify in your real prospects, engage with them, warm them up, and, follow up proactively, professionally and with purpose. Have them remember that first meeting with you at the trade fair as the start of something exciting and exceptional.

9) Social Media

Do you remember your first brave steps on Facebook and LinkedIn? And do you remember your first successes? Oh, treasured memories.

But

Oh dear – If there were just one Crime Sheet area that had to be pointed out, this would be it. – A litany of FB and LI groups with 72 members. Me Me Me posts that singularly fail to connect with your customers. Twitter accounts with 17 followers. I could go on…

Action – Stop your awkward half-hearted presence campaigns on social media now before you embarrass yourself. And, start the whole thing again. Curate meaningful content, test your text, write from the perspective of the reader and not your company, and, don’t just scatter your seed to the wind – Ask for opt ins and exchange a small meaningful product for your target’s contact details and permission to communicate with them.

10) Database – My regular readers will now be mouthing my following sentence – “If you don’t have a database, you don’t have a business”. And by database, today, we do not mean a list typed in from that dusty collection of business cards kept in each marketing employee’s desk. And, we don’t mean the list you call a database that the Trade Fair gave you – That is a spam list of people who actively don’t know you and are becoming increasingly irritated at getting random offers and interruptions just because they visited the Excel centre once and came away a some lousy bag full of pointless brochures and low quality gifts.

And,

All data was not created equal – The undifferentiated pile of contacts!!! – Are they hot, warm or cold? How old are they? Are they prospects, suspects, peers or competitors? What contact have you had with them? Do you have permission to contact them? Have you qualified them IN or OUT? – NOBODY KNOWS.

Action – Start again – Use your intelligence to start a completely new database with a big set of doors on it. Only let in warms and hots. Qualify and examine each dataset on the way in. Have one plan for the warms, and a more energetic one for the hots. Automate the generation of new enquiries and spend some time working with each one to get those all-important first encounter touch points right.

Go back and ask, “Who do you best serve?” Who will benefit most from your wisdom and experience? And, build a funnel to contact and develop all warms and hots in an intelligent, legal and optimally effective way.

Do forward this post please to someone who urgently needs to get with the programme.

Add up your score – How did you do? Any sweaty moments? (Have you been totally honest?) – Where are you falling short or finding yourself stuck in bad old habits and the past? Please now read on about what to do next, based on your results…

Score – So, what is your Crime Sheet number?

***3 or Less – You are in the modern era. You are keeping yourself abreast of modern methods, investing in knowledge and marketing. You are on the ball – We know you will do well this year and next. Good for you.

***4 – 7 – OMG – Call this emergency hot line now! – Matthew Hill 07540 65 9995 – You are at the edge of the cliff and it could crumble under your feet sooner than you think. Growth is by no means assured for this year or next. Now is the time to take action.

***8 – 10 – Don’t worry – Whilst you are beyond help, you will have hopefully bagged enough cash when your old marketing delivered cash and peaked in a bygone era and you do not need to be competitive in the modern era. We wish you well in your hobby company and upcoming retirement.

About the Author

Matthew Hill helps organisations and solopreneurs spruce up their marketing efforts to quickly, cleanly and effectively leap into short sequence, copy driven and ethical marketing endeavours that seek out active customers, interrupt prospects respectfully and exchange value-for-access to allow for a speedy and dignified accent from “Who the hell are you?” to “Ah, great to hear from you. I am looking forward to learn more about how you will be helping me this year”

Matthew has worked with some of the largest companies in the world and now concentrates on small and medium sized training services businesses that wish to turn around their “survival” mode of existence and start to grow top line income, the quality of their target customers, and, begin to create super-fan clients that are happy to rave about you, advocate for you and help you become positively busy, happy and successful.

For a f’ree conversation with zero obligation, do take action now and call me – Leave your details with Matthew Hill on 07540 65 9995. Thanks and speak to you soon.

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10 Presentation Crimes That Your Audience Will Not Forgive – and What YOU can do to stay F-R-R-E-E-E by Matthew Hill

Be Arresting. Don’t Get Arrested!

Having sat through 20+ presentations and talked to fellow audience members at a Congress the other week, I thought I would turn the sometimes tortuous challenge of staying calm sitting in the audience into a What Not To Do List and provide better ways of catering for your audience’s basic Human Rights.

Presentation Skills Course Matthew Hill

Sorry, Urh, hang on a minute…

Normally – More than 65% of the presenters are good and about 10% are excellent – However (always a warning word) however, some seem to be living in the ‘90’s before TED and all those great YouTube videos that clearly spell out how to get audience engagement and knowledge transfer RIGHT.

10 Crimes – The Charge Sheet

1, The Presenter Panics and Runs – Whether thrown off balance by technical issues, a late start of not having rehearsed against the clock, many presenters, including Key Note Speakers manage to get into a sweaty nervous panic during their talks. When you speed up at the end of your slot, your audience know something is amiss. When you admit that time has got away from you and then do not adjust, the audience become anxious on your behalf and when you say, “I will stop now!” 4 times without finishing, the audience will condemn you to presenter hell in your presence. The cost to you of presenter panic is having an audience close their minds with a slamming sound as the barriers drop preventing any further transfer of value. What a pity. What a waste. What a misspending of all that preparation time.

ANSWER

If you rehearse against the clock you can measure your content against the allocated time and therefore regain control. Additionally you may have a section that you can jettison if you experience a time scare. Not right at the end but 50 or 60% of the way through. Also, keep your piece simple enough for the time allocated. A 90 minute monologue simply doesn’t work in 2018 and 20 minutes is not enough time to outline splitting the atom or finding a cure for world hunger.

When you feel scarcity – SLOW DOWN – This will give you time to think, look cool in front of your audience and present the appearance of being in control. We will repeat this later – Your Audience wants you to SUCCEED.

2, Voice Crime. There is nothing worse for the speaker or the audience than someone sat at the back shouting, “We can’t hear you”, ”Please speak up” or, “We can’t hear you at the back.” Beside thinking that they should have turned up earlier and found a better seat, this will distract you from your delivery, dilute your message and divide the audience into those who join in the bullying and those that start to pity you. Both groups are not doing you any favours. Add to the crime sheet the monotone presenter, the mutterer or the huddled script reader and you have a case ready for prosecution.

ANSWER

Singing lessons – Yes, I am serious. If you wish to project your voice, if you wish to raise your volume, if you wish never to loose your voice again during a presentation, join a choir or take individual singing lessons. It will do wonders for your voice quality, your confidence and your connection with the audience.

3, Technical Failure To Appear – In today’s halls and venues, we were treated to the latest and the best equipment but – the presenters with older computers will not always have an HDMI slot, not all corporate trainers have worked with touch screens before and  new Prezi users do not all have enough practice with the application (presumably because they had spent all of their allocated tech time figuring out how to MAKE their first Prezi presentation and had not left enough to practice their show in realistic conditions.) The results were PREDICTABLE. Embarrassing faffing, asking the tech crew for help, delaying the start of the show and demonstrating the presenter’s flaws to the audience before they had managed to accumulate enough credit to afford to appear vulnerable.

ANSWER

Keep your technical level of presentation one level below your technical level of competence. Have a Plan B and back up your data. And don’t expect your venue to have usable WiFi, don’t expect to run YouTube clips live – record them and load them as MP4’s. That way they will run on just about anything. It is the most inexperienced presenters that tend to be the most technically ambitious. Those that have given a few webinars know to expect the unexpected and are able to manage the disruption in technical service with a cool head, an even voice and a smooth transition to the next section of the show.

presentation skills coach matthew hill

Too many words… take him away.

  1. Murder by Slides. The Geneva Convention states that PowerPoint slides must not have more than 20 words on them. Despite this, we see endlessly wordy, small font decks with no visuals, no colour and no useful transfer potential to them. The audience can either ignore the slides or ignore the presenter and start reading the slides for themselves. A lose-lose.

ANSWER

Separate out the desire to present and the need to transfer data and make some tough decisions before you get to the venue – What will you project with your voice and what data will you MAKE AVAILABLE AFTERWARDS in the form of a hand-out / appendix or further reference materials? Understand that slides can be pretty placeholders, a mechanism to reinforce your message with visual people and a good place for graphics, a pie charge or a simple model. However…nobody wants to multi-task during the show so STOP torturing them and plan your information flow more considerately.

  1. Methodology Overdose – Closely related to the point above, in a non- academic context there is ZERO need to reveal the statistical significance of your raw research. The audience have one question for you; WIIFT? What is in it for THEM? How can they apply your experience for their benefit? END of.

ANSWER

As above – offer an appendix, a data hand out or a lab session demonstrating your methods, approach, analysis and technical findings. AND – in your short presentation tell them the interesting bits. How it worked, what the conclusions are and how it can be applied for gain.

  1. The Presenter Got High – Audience Altitude – Finding their Level. There are two crimes here – going too high or staying too low. Both ways will crash your presentation vehicle. If you pitch it too low for too long, you will build up an irritation in your audience that will result in people leaving your talk with a noisy banging of doors or firing sarcastic questions at you that interrupt you and undermine your credibility.

It you pitch it too high the crowd will turn into a Zombie Apocalypse before your very eyes. Take this as natural feedback telling you that you failed to do your homework, identify your audience segment and that you omitted to refine your message enough to hit the target.

ANSWER

Do your homework, speak to some people, interview the organisers and don’t take general answers for the truth. Your job is to engage, inform and entertain. Your job is to tell a story. Your job is to move people intellectually and emotionally. Your job is to prevent suicidal thoughts rippling through the front row.

  1. If It Pleases Your Honour – Time Management – We have dealt with the panic of starting late, not checking the length of your presentation and of lying about when it will end. This aspect is more about the cultural differences in the perception of the flow of time and gaining explicit permission to tell your story. At the beginning of your talk you have 30 seconds to win the hearts and minds of your audience! If you fail, then the rest of your talk can only do damage – to the hopes and dreams of your audience and to your REPUTATION. When you win their support quickly, you will be given 5 minutes grace … to win their enthusiasm for the next 15 minutes! Do you see how it works?

ANSWER

Hit them hard at the beginning – fire a big gun – a moral question, a challenging fact or a brutal prediction – engage your audience and ask, “Do you want to hear more?” They will then award you explicit permission to continue. Really. This psychological contract will become stronger the more they engage with you – the great presenter.

  1. Straying From The Straight And Narrow – There are two ways to leave the path here – audience drift and speaker drift. The former consists of being caught out or taking a side bar because of an audience intervention – through being nice and respecting the audience or the influence of a strong personality sat in the second row, you drift off and ANNOY everyone else. Pleasing a strong personality is not a winning strategy for the whole audience. OR, you get on to your pet subject, leave your own path and start busking (the phrase for making it up as you go along) much to the irritation of the linear focussed listeners in front of you. When you start entertaining yourself, you automatically disrespect the sensibilities of your audience.

ANSWER

Learn to assert yourself and police your audience – Putting a hand up and saying, “Let’s get back on track” is normally enough. If you are likely to wander away from your presentation pathway, build in milestones to remind yourself of the key points that you must make. If you find yourself drifting too wide of those marks, apologise and return to the point.

 

presentation crimes matthew hill

Out of Date Material – Arrest that presenter!

  1. Criminal Exhibit A – Old Material – The older your material, the greater the chance that the audience will have encountered it before or, and worse still, they will have encountered you before, saying the same thing. There is a famous Dutch expert who basically has one keynote speech. Whatever you engage him to speak about, out he will come with his one keynote speech – And it is difficult to get a refund sometimes.

ANSWER

Read, listen and watch. Be present to developments. Watch out for shifts in the direction of your specialist subject and keep your presentation approach fresh, present and alive. It is not a crime to renew your perspective, challenge YOUR OWN beliefs and treat your audience to something EXCITING and challenging.

  1. Old Lag – You Are Not Enjoying It. The voice in your head starts to unsettle you, “Are they really listening to me?”, “ Do they believe a word I am saying?”, “Do they think I look pretty / handsome?” We can develop all sorts of complexes or simply become bored with our own style or topic when we have been presenting too long and need an upgrade – even the best can suffer from imposter syndrome, delusions of paranoia or become completely immune to the charm of their own material and begin to doubt its power to impress.

And. If you are not enjoying the show as a presenter, you can GUARANTEE that the audience are suffering too. Is it time to hand yourself in to the authorities?

ANSWER

At the beginning of any performance it is a safe bet to assume that the audience want you to DO WELL. They are actively looking for signs that you are relaxed, comfortable and up for this. They want to you to win. At the beginning you can assume that most of them LOVE you. All you have to do is not let them down (too badly.)

It is time to work on your material, work out who your ideal and appreciative audience will be and to work on your delivery, presence and voice so that YOU enjoy the show and THEY benefit from listening to you? Is this the time to seek professional help – a presentation advocate to defend your actions and get you off the charge of being a criminal presenter so that you can walk into your next speech a Free Person?

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I sentence you…

The Judge’s Summation

With a little planning, anticipation and rehearsal, you can avoid cabbages and rotten eggs flying through the air, the tarnishing of your reputation as a speaker or hearing negative mumblings as you leave the building.

Remember, presenting represents the single most powerful opportunity to engage with and impress people that you have never met before. Please respect the audience’s patience, attention span, their need for structure, their appreciation of a good story AND their desire for a confident performance from you – THE SPEAKER (defendant.)

I wish you well with you next presentation…

I sentence you to 10 hours Community Presentation Practice – You are free to go…

 

About the Author – Matthew Hill is a Presentation Skills Coach (amongst other things) He works with ambitious professionals who need to impress and desire to be better. Feel free to contact Matthew on; 07540 65 9996.