Why Marketing Fails #2: Follow-the-Herd Marketing

Posted by on Jun 17 2015

Do NOT follow the herd when it comes to choosing marketing techniques. Doing what everyone else does, or doing what’s the latest-and-greatest hot trend, is a sure path to marketing failure.

People tell me they want a marketing plan, but what they really mean is, “Tell me exactly which techniques to choose and when to do them.”

Guess what? There is no one single perfect, magic marketing plan that will guarantee results for every single business owner forever.

Why? Because everyone’s audience is different. Everyone’s marketing message is different. Everyone’s marketing goals are different. And everyone’s budget is different.

The last time I counted, there were over 100 marketing techniques available. How can a one-size-fits-all marketing plan come from 100 marketing technique choices?

It’s time to do your homework.

The place to do your homework is in crafting a Marketing Plan. A marketing plan takes you step-by-step through all the topics you need to consider when doing the marketing for your business, including:

  • define your target audiences and your niche
  • analyze your competition
  • determine your unique selling proposition
  • craft your core message
  • set your marketing goals and budget
  • set your prices
  • create a marketing campaign and calendar

Whatever you do, don’t just jump on the bandwagon of every new marketing technique that comes along. That kind of knee-jerk reaction will put you in the poor house faster than you can say, “shotgun approach to marketing!”

Let me give you a good example.

Social media marketing. Everyone says, “Oh, get a Facebook account!” But does your audience hang out on Facebook? Why would you market on Facebook if your target audience isn’t there. Know your audience and find out where they hang out…then get in front of them.

I know it takes time and effort to research and write a marketing plan. But only through marketing planning can you have the confidence of knowing you’ve chosen the best techniques from the 100+ available. And you’ll know that you will be executing the techniques in the correct order and at the right time of year.

I’d trade confident marketing for quick marketing any day. Would you?

Read the complete Why Marketing Fails blog series here:


15 comments for now

15 Responses to “Why Marketing Fails #2: Follow-the-Herd Marketing”

  1. Karyn:

    First as a fellow Redhead Entrepreneur let me tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog and website. I just wanted to add a note about Facebook.

    I am an ebook publisher (KnowledgeStar). If I was simply doing Social Marketing for the majority of my Readers and Customers you’re right, I would never even think about Facebook.

    In this particular case I’m selling an ebook for people on Social Security who want to increase their benefits. Online marketing guru Yanik Silver convinced me to use Facebook because they also sell incredibly well-targeted ads.

    These ads produced a much higher click-through rate for 58-70 year old Facebookers with time on their gnarled old hands than I ever thought were out there.

    Just wanted to let you know that there are a lot of Boomers on Facebook and other social networks that are too often only characterized as watering holes for the young.

    09 Feb 2009 at 9:16 pm

  2. Karyn Greenstreet

    That’s good information to know, David!

    10 Feb 2009 at 12:44 pm

  3. Hi Karyn –

    What is it about redheads=entrepreneurs? As a fellow redhead, also, your Tweets caught my eye so I had to visit your blog. Very astute observations re: different marketing strokes for different folks. In my particular case, intuition has played a fairly significant role as well. It’s pretty amazing how our instincts speak to us when we allow ourselves to listen. Then the research and the knowledge kick in and we’re off!
    Thanks for the wisdom…

    Mary Beth

    02 Jul 2010 at 2:06 pm

  4. Karyn Greenstreet

    Redheads rule, Mary Beth! LOL! Glad you liked the post. 🙂

    02 Jul 2010 at 2:29 pm

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Karyn Greenstreet. Karyn Greenstreet said: Why Marketing Fails #2: Knee Jerk Marketing — http://bit.ly/ddkQoB […]

    09 Jul 2010 at 5:53 pm

  6. Thanks for this information. The internet people I work with say what David said. I only wish it was true that I didn’t need FB. It takes so much time, maybe I just don’t know the best way to use it.

    12 Jul 2010 at 2:52 pm

  7. Karyn Greenstreet

    Hi, Marilyn. It’s entirely possible that you’re not using FB correctly as a relationship-building tool. It’s about having conversations with your clients and prospective clients, sharing ideas and tips, but not spending hours a day on it. Maybe you need to re-think exactly how you want to use FB and how much time a week you want to spend on it? (Also, are you getting any results from using it?)

    12 Jul 2010 at 2:55 pm

  8. Karyn Greenstreet

    There’s a lot of good reasons to be on FB and Twitter for accessibility and building relationships, but it depends on whether your audience not only has an account on these services but also if they actively use them. I’d love to see some stats about the number of people who have accounts but haven’t logged in for the past 3 months. 🙂

    13 Jul 2010 at 6:51 am

  9. Wow, 80 different ways to market our business. I have tried a little bit of this and that. I usually start with a plan- where future clients may be found and then end up doing what I like to do (web design, writing, etc).

    I know what works for me, and I haven’t tried FB yet for anything but connecting with friends and fmaily. Thanks for the reminder, the updated statistics, and interesting discussion.

    13 Jul 2010 at 3:35 pm

  10. Karyn Greenstreet

    Yeah, Marci, when I started to tally up all the different ways I know to market your business, I came up with over 100 ways. I think that’s a good thing, because it allows us to choose marketing techniques that match our personalities, skills, budget and time constraints.

    13 Jul 2010 at 6:14 pm

  11. Hi
    Just to let you know Martin, and any one who shares your beliefs, I am an avid user of Facebook but don’t have gnarled old hands despite being 68!

    16 Oct 2013 at 5:35 am

  12. Karyn Greenstreet

    Here’s a great place to find FB statistics, including age range: http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/

    16 Oct 2013 at 8:48 am

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