What Will You Do When Your Marketing Fails?

How often do you find yourself looking at advertisements from the 1960s, 1970s, and other decades? Please tell me I am not alone . . . anyone?

I ask because I am a marketing nerd, it's a requirement since I have my own marketing business. How about you, do you stay up with the latest trends and examine how marketing has changed over the years? Maybe you are a marketing professional, looking to get into the field, or are in a position at your company where marketing is important. Whatever the case, we can agree the industry is fascinating because of how dynamic it is and how it touches almost every aspect of our life.

Wherever you are at this moment. Pause for a second and look up. Notice the items around you? Every product you see has a marketing team who desperately wants to sell to you. They follow the latest data, spend advertising dollars, and experiment all for the goal to increase revenue.

The industry has always had the same goal, yet how marketing is done changes from decade to decade. Now, it seems to alter from week to week.

Marketing in Flux

My specialty is digital marketing. Specifically, driving traffic to websites through blogs, social media, digital assets (e-books), and advertisements. Once on a page, I focus on user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) to guide individuals to the desired destination, usually a contact form or product to purchase. Most marketing follows a similar funnel.

Over time the medium changes, i.e. at times radio, print, and/or television were the primary ways to reach customers. Now digital rules the marketing world, yet fractures are appearing.

I am still relatively young, but have been marketing campaigns for years and remember when social media had fewer voices to compete against, e-newsletters had higher click-through-rates (CTR), and Google AdWords clicks were relatively inexpensive. Now, things are different. Specifically, within social media and e-newsletters.

  • Fake social media accounts are skewing advertising dollars, my favorite is the story of an account built with stock photos.
  • E-newsletter open rates and CTRs are down and keep falling (source).
  • Then there is Martin Sorrell, CEO of the “world’s largest ad firm,” essentially calling out Facebook.
“there are these issues like brand safety, like measurability, we've had Facebook admitting on three or four occasions recently that the statistics that they give for their audiences were inaccurate"

It appears the tools marketers rely on are changing rapidly. Social media is not going away, but what is the viability and ROI for advertising on various channels? E-newsletters are central strategies of most companies, what happens when nobody reads those emails?

Where Does Marketing Go?

What is the fundamental aspect or marketing? In essence, it’s to differentiate and produce a sale. You do this by showing the world your product or service is superior to others and needed by clients. There is never a bad time to quote David Ogilvy, the father of modern advertising, let’s see what he says about differentiating.

"There isn’t any significant difference between the various brands of whiskey, or cigarettes or beer. They are all about the same. And so are the cake mixes and the detergents, and the margarines… The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand will get the largest share of the market at the highest profit."

Here is the key. Social media, e-newsletters, and other channels will continue to change, yet defining a personality is a timeless technique. A unique brand with excellent quality can stand the test of time no matter where marketing goes.

Don’t rely on “hacks,” “trends,” or what others are doing. Continue to build a brand that lasts through a “defined personality.”

Defining a Company's Personality

This is actually less complicated than most people realize. Any company should be able to explain what they do and who they help in one sentence.

We are a ______ company who helps ______ with ______.

Elisha Consulting is a marketing company who helps small businesses build brands that sell.

That was simple, what about you? The one sentence test sets the stage for the personality. Knowing what I do, you won’t see me working on balance sheets (not marketing), working with Fortune 500 companies (not my expertise), or focusing on anything else outside my niche.

Once you know the basics, then the personality is continually refined and marketing simply enhances the brand. In my experience, one of the least understood aspects of brand personality is through a website.

Let me explain. Your website is your online storefront. It doesn’t matter the size of your business or your core offering, your website is one of the most valuable assets you can own.

Your website defines who you are, helps your customers with information, provides insights into your services, can be used as a resource hub, and is easily shared. When I work with clients, I push for a great website before any campaigns because the website is the centerpiece of most modern marketing efforts.

Your website should properly define your company. Don’t believe me? Go look at the websites of the largest companies in the world, you will immediately get a feel for the company simply from the home page. Small businesses might not have the same resources, but can have a similar UX and clearly articulate what they do and who they serve.

See some of the sites I have built as examples, if I did a good job you will quickly know what the business does and get a feel for their culture. If I didn't do a good job, feel free to troll me in the comment section below. 

Don’t neglect your website as you work to stand out in today’s crowded market.

TL; DR

Here is the short version of above.

  • Marketing is changing quickly, which is normal
  • Strategies that have worked for the past few years are being questioned as viable in the future, i.e. social media and e-newsletters
  • Companies must have a clearly defined personality to stand out and outlast any changes
  • One of the most important ways to have a defined personality is through a website which acts as your digital storefront
  • Elisha Consulting is an amazing marketing company you should hire for your digital marketing needs ← wait who slipped that in there!?!?

Matt Avery