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