Ask 10 people what marketing means and you’re certain to get a dozen or more definitions. In some ways, marketing is like that famous Supreme Court speech by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart who, in 1964, knew he could not adequately define pornography but said, “I know it when I see it.”
So, if few agree on marketing’s definition, how then, do so many it, professionally, no less—a full-time endeavor—and why do some do it so much better than others? More important from your perspective, how can you do it better so your business can thrive no matter the textbook definition? There are some fundamentals everyone agrees on; here’s your How Not to Suck at Marketing Cheat Sheet:
1. Marketing is ever-evolving. The best marketing is subtle, often second- or third-hand. Think of it this way: Walk up to someone at a nightclub and tell them you’re the best dancer in the place and you’re likely to be rebuffed and be perceived as an egotistical clod. Have your friend approach that person and tout your skills and your dancing desires, and you’ve got a better shot at success. Better still, have your friend, tell their friend, who in turn tells your intended dance partner that you’ve got all the right moves on the dance floor and suddenly you’ve got some street cred, as they say. You’re no longer full of yourself, someone else did the selling for you. Social media is a natural for this type of marketing. Get your message out there on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your company blog, and your fans and followers will spread the word for you—for free!
2. Honesty talks, B.S. walks. Why do people loath shopping for a new car? Because they know they’re going to need chest-high waders to navigate all the b.s., the salesperson is going to flood them with. If you’ve got a good product or service, good value for the money, backed up with a track record of taking care of your customers, you’ve got everything you need to succeed with your marketing. You’ve already got a good story—and marketing is a lot about telling your story—just tell it like it is. Prospects appreciate being treated honestly, fairly and intelligently.
3. We’ve got one more word for you: Metrics. The truth is, most people suck at marketing. But the smart ones know how to measure their efforts, learn from their mistakes and build on their successes to maximize their marketing ROI. This is where social media and digital marketing excel like no other form of marketing ever devised. Use the right marketing tools, such as those provided by HubSpot, and you’ll be able to track your spend, read the results, generate and capture critical leads and funnel them into a place where you can have that honest conversation with prospects about why your company is the right one for them and build a relationship that will last for years to come.
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