Well, my new year started with a walk in the hills.
I love the fresh air, the exercise and the company of like-minded friends.
As our group reached a landmark on the hill, we saw a steady stream of runners making their way up the slope and head off along the plateau.
You can see some of the amateur athletes in the picture I took on the day.
Rather them than me. I’m not into running or races.
The sight of the runners working hard up the steep slope and running along the tops was impressive. Fair play to them. They were putting in a lot of effort to keep going and get the best position they could.
But it did get me thinking about what they were doing and how it provides a metaphor for much of today’s business marketing.
The race is certainly on to land new customers and clients. Everybody wants them.
And there is a value in being first. Providing you, your products and services shine, of course.
Capture a new customer or client and they want to feel they have made the right choice. If they get that feeling there’s every chance they will come back to you for more.
Marketing is part of that structured effort to attract people.
Yet there is a lot of noise, confusion and certainty out there about the way to go about that.
There is much focus and attention on social media and social media ads.
Not always with the best results.
My observation is this. There are a lot of businesses out there running up the marketing hill. They are just following the next guy or girl up the slope. They are focussed more on where they put their feet than on the path ahead.
It’s a sheep mentality.
People following people because “that’s the way forward, isn’t it?”. If most people are doing it, it must be right. Right?
Maybe. Maybe not.
You might be the fastest runner. But if you run in the wrong direction you will not end up at your intended destination.
If you want athletic performance with your marketing, it takes time, preparation, focus and effort.
Keep it simple.
Who is your audience?
What do you offer them and what difference does it make to their life or business?
Where do your prospects hang out?
How do you get your message to them? (Hint: it may not be Adwords).
How do you tap into the buying mind of your prospects, customers or clients?
How are you positioned in the market? Are you positioning yourself correctly?
Are you talking too much about ‘I’ and ‘we’… and not enough about ‘you’ (the prospect)?
Are you testing your marketing to see how it is working (or even working at all)?
Are you trying to do it all yourself or have you considered hiring a specialist, such as a copywriter?
There is money being left on the table.
Are you putting too much time and money into attracting new customers or clients (when you already have ones you can tap into for easier, repeat business)?
Are you unable to see the hidden treasure in your database?
Do you know the DOZENS of alternatives (and complements) to social media to build your audience and bring new people through your sales funnel?
Do you understand that marketing HAS changed now? (The rise of the smartphone has made sure of that).
Do you think you are in the race?
If you would like some help with the answers to the questions, you know who to ask.