Archive for July, 2015

Why Marketing Fails #7: Not Tracking Success and Failure

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You MUST have a way to measure the results of all your marketing. Tracking the success or failure of a marketing techniques solves the age-old question of “Which marketing techniques should I use?”

For instance:

  • When you posted an status update on Facebook, did it increase traffic to your website?
  • When you sent out your last email broadcast, did it produce sales?
  • When you wrote your last blog entry, did it produce comments, shares or link backs?
  • When you did SEO on your website, did it increase your rankings in the search engine results?
  • When you made your free offer, did people subscribe to your mailing list?

Never, never start a new marketing technique without having a clear idea of what result you want from that technique, and a way to measure those results.

And at the end of each month take a look at those results and compare them to the results you wanted. Just because something produced poor results doesn’t mean you should give it the heave-ho. The first thing you should do it see if there are tweaks you could make that would produce better marketing results. Only after repeated failure should you get rid of a technique that is not producing for you.

Read the complete Why Marketing Fails blog series here:

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Why Marketing Fails #6: Lack of Repetition

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One thing I know for sure: your customers are busy people. They see and hear your marketing message, and they may think, “Hey, that’s a great product!” Then a child (or the boss) starts to scream, or an ice storm knocks out power, or they run out of gas on the highway, and POOF! — Instant Distraction.

Placing just one advertising message and expecting miracle sales is a recipe for marketing disaster.  Marketing is a marathon not a sprint. It requires repetition to gain their attention. It requires repetition to RE-gain their attention. It requires repetition to gain their trust and respect. It requires repetition to get them to take action.

There is strength in repetition. Think about doing sit-ups. You don’t do just one…you do them over and over again, because the repetition of the exercise sends messages to your body to build specific muscles.

When planning your marketing campaign, common marketing wisdom tells us you need to get your message out to the customer at least seven times before they’ll really pay attention and act on it. If you have a mailing list of responsive clients, maybe two or three repetitions is enough.

Yes, there is such a thing as annoying people with too much marketing. Daily repetition of the exact same marketing message will cause people to exit quicker than a skunk in a movie theater. But a balanced pacing of marketing messages (say once a week or once every 10 days), plus a focus on what the benefit is to the customer, will reap rewards every time.

Whether you use email marketing, printed postcards, or Google Adwords, repetition of your marketing message is one of the key factors in getting people to really see and hear it. It ensures that, should they become distracted and forget about your message, that you give them another reminder. Plan your marketing campaigns accordingly.

Read the complete Why Marketing Fails blog series here:

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Clean Your Desk Before It Rebels – Accountability Day

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I’ve always procrastinated about organizing my office, and it’s even worse when you move to a NEW office and have to set it up from scratch.

Two weeks ago, we moved to a new house. Yay, right? Uh…no.

It was an utterly exhausting process, physically, emotionally and spiritually. By the time we got to the new house, all I cared about was three things:

  1. Did we have a place to sleep?
  2. Could we take showers?
  3. Could we cook meals?

That’s how tired we were! And it’s taken two weeks to simply set up the basics and recover from our long, arduous journey to our new home and new home offices. (Let’s just say that napping and ice cream became crucial pieces of our recovery process!)

Today I created an “accountability day” for myself, to set up my desk, unpack all my office boxes, organize my supply closets, and figure out how to make my office as efficient and pleasant as possible.

I hate doing this sort of thing alone, so I’m enlisting all of you, my friends on Twitter and Facebook, to hold me accountable.

Friday, July 17 is Clean Your Desk Before It Rebels accountability day. Want to join me?

We’ll have great conversation and encourage each other to tackle whichever part of your office that needs the most attention (you decide).

Plus, it’s a free Accountability Day. So you have no excuses! Let’s make our offices the perfect place to work and be creative!

Here’s what I propose:

  1. Pledge to clean your desk, declutter your office, file your paperwork on Friday, July 17. (If you can’t do it that day, pick another day close to that date so you can join in on the fun!)
  2. Choose a time you will begin and a time you will end. Setting clear goals will help you to focus.
  3. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, friend/follow me, so we can share our photos and progress reports with each other.

On July 17:

  1. Post your “before” photo on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t be shy or embarrassed by your “before” photo of your office…we’re all in this together. (Wait to you see my disaster area! Whew!) Either post your “before” photo on your own Timeline or on the Accountability Day Event Page on Facebook.
  2. Post a note to me on Facebook or Twitter so I can follow your activity on our Accountability Day. (Or just post your photos and updates on the Accountability Day Event Page on Facebook so everyone can see your progress!)
  3. Every 30 minutes or so during your day, post a tweet or message about your status: How are you doing? What have you gotten done so far? Where are you stuck?
  4. Post photos along the way so we can all celebrate and cheer you on!

C’mon, join in! It’s a wonderful opportunity to tackle a project and get it done with a little support from your friends!

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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business
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Why Marketing Fails #5: Niche Exhaustion

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When it comes to marketing to multiple niches, I have two words of advice:

1. Go ahead! There’s nothing wrong with targeting multiple niches. BUT…

2. Pick one and become a leader in it, then move on to the second one.

If you try to go after too many niches (target audiences) at the same time, you will wear yourself out. It’s exhausting and doesn’t use the “best of you.”

When you go after too many niches simultaneously, your marketing time and money is scattered too broadly. Say for example that you want to go after “salespeople in the pharmaceutical industry” and also want to go after “salespeople in the auto industry.”

Their appears to be a common denominator (salespeople), but the two industries and the two selling styles are dissimilar.  You would have to connect with both industries simultaneously, which means you can’t really focus all your time, energy and marketing money on just one target. Scattered focus equals scattered results.

In my article, The Problem With Niches, I said that the whole purpose of choosing a niche is so you can find a central place that potential clients congregate. Find ALL the places where auto industry sales people congregate: meetings, magazines, conferences, classes…especially those that are specifically focused on the niche you’re going after. Center your marketing attention on those areas first. Once you become known and recognized in that niche, then move on to other industries or other niches.

Read the complete Why Marketing Fails blog series here:

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Category: Marketing
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Tips on Moving Your Home Office

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Moving house is stressful enough; what do you do when you also have to move your home office and be up and running for business quickly?

Here are some tips to help (from someone who just did it a two weeks ago!):

  1. Work backwards. Start by packing the items that you won’t need immediately and label those boxes, “Unpack Later.” A few days before the move, pack items that you can live without for the first week and label those boxes, “Unpack Sooner.” Finally, the day before your move, pack the items you will need as soon as your office re-opens, and label those boxes, “Unpack First.” (Colored labels help to quickly identify the important boxes.)
  2. Choose “immediate” items carefully. What do you really need during the first few days of business? Some items to consider: client files, stapler, tape, pens, telephone, notepads, computer, printer, printer paper, and a clock.
  3. Give yourself time. After you move to a new home, you need time to unpack all your personal belongings as well as your business boxes. Give yourself a week or two after the move before you start up your business again, so that you have time to do all the tasks involved without stressing yourself, your family and your pets. The fact is that house buying and selling is stressful. Pushing yourself to unpack and get back to business in a few days after the move adds another layer of stress that’s avoidable.
  4. Notify your customers. About a month before the move, begin to notify your customers that you will be unavailable for the week of the move. It’s helpful to explain to them that you will be without phone or email during that time, but that you will pick up voicemail and email starting on your first day back. Also notify your customers of your new address, new telephone number and new fax number, as needed.
  5. Write down your new phone number and keep it handy. If you’re moving out of your region and have a landline phone, you may not be able to take your old office phone number with you. Trying to memorize your new office phone number when your brain is weary is crazy-making. Write down your new phone number on a Post-It note and attach it to your computer, your phone, and anywhere else you’ll need access to it immediately. Once the “fog of the move” lifts and your brain is back to normal, you’ll easily remember your new phone number. In the meantime, a little memory crutch is a good thing!
  6. Design the layout of your new home office…and be willing to change it. Before the move, get the dimensions of your new home office and the dimensions of your furniture, and lay out a plan for where the big furniture goes. Keep in mind things like access to windows, electrical outlets, heating vents, etc. Once you’re in your new space, live with it for a week before unpacking everything. You may find that your first choice of furniture arrangement doesn’t quite satisfy you, and it’s easier to move furniture if you haven’t unpacked all the other items yet.

The energy of a new home office feels great and it’s like a new beginning! Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. And try for a little humor and flexibility during your first month in your new place…you’ll need both.

P.S. Don’t forget to pack your “office cat!”  🙂

4 comments for now

Category: Business Strategy & Planning, Running a Strong & Efficient Business

Why Marketing Fails #4: Blindfold Marketing

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Remember the childhood game, Pin The Tail on the Donkey? You would be blindfolded, spun around three times, and a paper donkey tail would be put in your hand. Your job was to “find the donkey” and attach the tail to it, without raising the blindfold. Lots of fun!

(When you were 6 years old. Not so much today.)

In business and marketing, working blindfolded is a curse. And you’ve no one to blame but yourself. If you don’t have a business plan or a marketing plan, you haven’t answered the foundational questions, especially the ones that go like this:

  • Who is my ideal client?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • How can my audience be divided into segments?
  • Where can I find them?

If you feel like you’re running around in circles with your marketing, it’s because you ARE! Your prospects aren’t moving…but you can’t find them because you can’t see them. Pin the tail on the prospect.

Please don’t tell me that you have these marketing plans “all in your head.” Have you ever actually seen a business plan or marketing plan? These are sophisticated documents that takes several hours (sometimes several days) to really think through. It’s not something you keep in your head. Write it down.

And update it at least once a year. Times change, your customers’ needs and challenges change, technology changes. You’d better keep up or you’ll be left out.

If you do not have an up-to-date business plan and marketing plan, STOP marketing and get thee to thy writing desk! Learn how to write a business plan, and what belongs in a marketing plan. These are strategic documents that you can’t afford to be without.

You are capable of taking off your own blindfold. Make a commitment today to doing the homework necessary to building your business by building your foundation. It’s not as hard as you fear, but it takes a bit of thinking and pondering, and a little research. You’ll have a happier (and more prosperous) business once you get these documents under your belt.

Read the complete Why Marketing Fails blog series here:

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Category: Marketing
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