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Beware Marketing SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome)

March 11, 2022 3:57 PM | Susan Gold
  • Voice search. Hyper targeting. Artificial intelligence. Geo-fencing. Data and marketing technology are exploding. There’s so much opportunity to augment our marketing toolbox these days, but so little time to step back and think about what we are really trying to accomplish. Most companies are drowning in data, confused by the myriad options to gather data, or are just plain frozen, possibly at risk of being passed by.

    Opportunity or Shiny Object?

    Whether your company is targeting consumers (B2C) or businesses (B2B), the world of digital marketing has become super-hot, but also super-specialized (and as a result, super-confusing). That’s created an enormous amount of what would seem to be opportunities. But are they really?  Or are they just “shiny objects”? How do we know whether something is a distracting shiny object or if it represents a real opportunity to gain more insights, be more efficient or create more prospect touch points? Balancing marketing innovation and keeping your eye on the prize is no small task, but it’s key to successfully reaching your most desirable clients. 

    Get Your Strategy Foundation in Place First

  • Before we adopt a new marketing technology, it’s important to address the basic foundation of our marketing strategy. Are we trying to be all things to all markets and decision makers? Who are our most “Ideal Customers”? When you “check in” on your customer list, reviewing who your customers are, how much do you actually know about them (demographics), where they came from (marketing or networking source), what have they purchased from you and how did that revenue rank among your customer mix? And it’s not just about top line revenue. It’s important to consider which customers have been profitable, and which ones haven't been. As the business saying goes, “if you are losing money on every sale, you can’t make it up in volume!” 

  • We seem to have the time to read the articles about the newest innovations in marketing our companies, ways to grow revenue and improve our customers’ journey, but we never seem to have the time to ask ourselves if we are clear on the three foundations of our strategy - the WHO, WHAT and WHERE? Equally important is what I call the “Fit Factor”: did they fit well with your company, not just were they happy customers, but was your team happy serving them? Were client interactions efficient and collaborative? In identifying your Ideal Customers, you’re looking for a high ranking for revenue and margin as well as the Fit Factor. And it’s important to look at aspirational customers: who fit the criteria of your Ideal Clients, but you haven’t been able to successfully attract, at least not yet?

  • The WHO, WHAT, WHERE Pillars

  • WHO are the Ideal Customers that value what you do, are a good fit for your company and are willing and able to pay for that value?
  • WHAT do you say to your Ideal Customers to engage them? Are your marketing messages focused on your company or on your target? Do you speak to their pain, struggles, challenges and worries they have right now? So much has changed in the past 2 years for your customers – is your messaging current? In this highly competitive environment, you can differentiate by adopting your customers’ mindset and speaking to their pain points, the impact you have on those pain points and the value you bring. (Not your process, your services or products or your credentials. Not yet – that comes later.)
  • WHERE does your marketing messaging appear? Are you using the right marketing channels? Where are your decision makers? Is the time, money and energy you’ve invested in building your marketing machine getting you in front of your key decision makers? Are you “in the room” with them, virtually, figuratively and literally? Do you belong to the Industry Associations that support your Ideal Clients’ markets? Do you share your expertise where they can hear you? Most marketing budgets regardless of company revenue size don’t have enough money to bring their customers to them. The key is to go where they are.

Once you have your WHO (Ideal Client), it’s easier to develop your WHAT (Messaging) to say to engage with them and ensure you are WHERE (Channel) they are to be seen and heard. If you have this strategic foundation in place, then you can consider what you need to know and do to expand further. The latest in marketing technology may help you get there but having a clear strategy foundation can minimize the distraction of shiny objects. Remember, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you may wind up somewhere else!”

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