When Bad Marketing Happens to Good People
I don’t really understand why my electrician needs to be on Twitter. He’s on call 18 hours a day, has a family, and more work than he knows what to do with. But when he was here to fix some wires the other day, he heard what I did for a living and said, “Oh yeah, I need to get my business on Twitter and use social media.”
I found my electrician by searching online. He needs a better listing in Google Places. His website should stay modest but it could certainly use a software update and some optimization to help him stay up in the rankings. His logo is a bit hokey; if brand identity really matters to him, that could use a fresh pass.
Mostly, he just needs a day off.
What made me bonkers that day was the reminder that one size does not fit all when it comes to marketing strategy. Some business really benefit from deep sites with extensive copy, very visible and frequent social media integration. They experience noted increases in conversion rates from email campaigns and newsletters. There are still industries who thrive on direct mail, customer incentives, and street signage. Some people get on social media and actually harm their own interests. Or, they sign up and spend on ideas they can’t make come to fruition.
Trying to do it all, just because you think everyone is doing it and so should you, is random and wrong. It’s spreading yourself too thin. Bad marketing isn’t about the medium: it’s about the application. So here’s the prescription:
- Get a vision of what you want
- Think about your audience and what they need
- Create a plan to meet that need and engage their attention
- Keep is Simple Sweetheart
- Measure Your Progress.
If something isn’t working, you can always adjust. The catch is that you can’t measure progress if you don’t know where you started and where you want to be.
Case in point: A dentist wanted more customers. People need the dentist but they also hate going. Our city has tons to choose from too. So this marketing savvy dentist hatched a plan: make coming to the dentist more attractive. He had his vision, he knew his audience, and he started a plan.
To get attention he:
- has a great website that’s deep and easy to use.
- invested in a fantastic reminder system that syncs with calendars. Patients get reminders via text, email, and with a phone call.
- offers an incentive program that makes kids beg for their next appointment: free movie passes if you keep your scheduled 6 month appointment!
He kept it simple. His office is very busy actually handling patients and appointments. They don’t have time to maintain active social media profiles or write newsletters. They’ve seen marked customer increases through their incentives (there’s another one involving free dinners out for sharing a referral). Their website needed some improvements and they addressed that; I experienced their business model when they needed a series of internet articles written and published to increase their search rank. Their website comes out on top and they’re easy to reach. They have a good local reputation. They’re happy, their customers are happy.
One size doesn’t fit all, no matter what the salesman says.