Stuck in a Marketing Rut?
Are you stuck in a marketing rut? You have specific goals for your company’s success, and you know marketing is vital to the growth of your business. But lately you’ve been having some of these thoughts with regard to your unproductive marketing endeavors:
“I’ve tried everything and nothing is working.”
“My company has used ads, mailings, and SEO—and none have provided a return.”
“I am tired of wasting my time and money on methods that don’t work.”
You’ve tried multiple marketing approaches, hoping that one of them would work eventually. You’ve wasted money that could have been used more effectively in other areas. And yet, you have seen no return on your many investments. The truth is, you are in desperate need of a marketing strategy—a strategy shaped by the needs of your buyer.
If we’ve established one thing so far, it’s that your random acts of marketing just aren’t working.
Like many business owners, you’re probably experiencing frustration—that feeling that you’re doing your best, but all of your efforts seem fruitless. You’re probably losing your momentum because a few marketing failures have left you uncompelled to take a chance on new methods.
Perhaps you know your company needs change, but you’re cautious about discontinuing your unproductive methods because of the fear of losing business or being replaced by a competitor. Many companies even have some marketing approaches—such as direct-mail postcards, print advertisements in newspapers, email blasts, etc.—that they use out of habit rather than because these efforts are providing any significant ROI.
If you recognize yourself in these concerns, it means you are suffering from a pretty common problem among business owners. Luckily for you, this problem has a reasonable and attainable solution.
Read On—No Interruptions!
As you probably know, the buying process has been undergoing a continuous and rapid transformation. The Internet has empowered buyers to choose their own purchasing process and has become one of the key sources of information for consumers.
Take a moment to ask yourselves this question: How many times a day do you ignore an email, labeling it as “junk” and deleting it from your inbox without reading it? Today, there are so many products and services that were specifically developed to help you ignore or skip the content that you don’t want to see. TiVo, caller ID, email spam filters—all of these things help you watch only what you want to watch, talk to only the people you want to talk to, and read only the content that you want to read at any given time.
In the case of email spam filters, for instance, much of the content which people are now using technology to skip over and ignore can be categorized by something called “interruption marketing.”
What is Interruption Marketing?
Interruption marketing refers to the type of marketing methods that “interrupt” what people are doing in order to grab their attention. A few common examples of this type of marketing include TV or radio advertisements, mass emails, telemarketing, and direct mailings.
There’s a good chance you and your business have tried one or more of these methods of interruption marketing in the past. There’s also a good chance that these methods haven’t worked—which is why you’re reading this article, isn’t it?
Take a look at these statistics:
- 2/3 of United States citizens are on the “Do Not Call” list.
- 86% of people skip TV advertisements.
- 44% of direct mail pieces are never opened.
- 91% of people have unsubscribed from email lists that they previously voluntarily signed up for.
Interruption marketing can be ineffective for several reasons. For one thing, it’s just annoying—we don’t like to be interrupted, no matter what we’re doing. It is also, by nature, a widespread, broadcast-like method, meaning that there is no personalization and no target audience. With interruption marketing, your message might not even be reaching your target buyers because, like we said before, technology makes it so easy to ignore the things we don’t want to see—the things that interrupt us.
Rise from the Marketing Rut
As we said before, if you’re reading this post you’re probably among the many business owners, partners, and top decision-makers with a pretty common problem: you’ve lost your marketing momentum. But this problem has a solution—one you can be confident about pursuing.
Related article: 7 Tips to Jumpstart Your Marketing Program.
Strategy, Strategy, Strategy
Many of the marketing methods that your company has tried—SEO and pay per click, for instance—are very effective tools. So why haven’t they worked for you? Chances are, it’s because you’ve been using them individually when these tools are only successful when they work as a team.
SEO doesn’t convert traffic into leads. Social media won’t deliver customers. Blogs are not inherently useful either. But a strategy that involves the combination and collaboration of SEO, social media and blogging—that might get you somewhere.
Marketing Transformation: One Step at a Time
There are three main steps you should take toward transforming your marketing plan in order to grow your company.
Step 1: Know Your Buyer
We cannot stress enough just how important knowing your buyer is to the marketing process. None of your efforts will result in a successful strategy unless they are built around what your buyers need. One good way to do this is to develop a buyer persona (or several) in order to learn more about who exactly your buyers are and what they care about.
Step 2: Explore Your Options
Find out more about different combinations of marketing tools, as well as new marketing approaches. As you have read (and have probably experienced as well), interruption marketing is not always effective. That’s why we would like to encourage you to learn about, and perhaps implement, a new inbound method into your marketing strategy: permission marketing. Permission marketing occurs when you have the “permission” to provide personalized and relevant messages to buyers—and not just any buyers, YOUR buyers.
“Audiences everywhere are tough. They don’t have time to be bored or brow beaten by orthodox, old-fashioned advertising. We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and BE what people are interested in.”
– Craig Davis, Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson
Step 3: Develop Your Strategy
This starts with having a set of specific and measurable goals for what you wish to gain from your marketing endeavors. Once you have this, you can develop an appropriate budget in order to solve your particular problem. Remember: a marketing tool is NOT a marketing strategy in and of itself. A strategy is a combination of marketing tools which, when implemented, provides you with a definite ROI.
To learn more about how to transform your marketing strategy and your bottom line, get your copy of our free guide, Inbound Marketing: The Key To Accelerating Your Company’s Growth.