Marketers Are Addicted to the Wrong Tools

Are you using the right marketing tools? It matters.

If you find yourself frustrated with your marketing results, it might be time to take a step back and re-evaluate the tools you’re using to get what you want. Are they the right ones? In marketing, as in life, this matters.

Marketers are addicted to using the same old solutions, even as new tools emerge. As the American Addiction Centers blog shares, that just doesn’t make sense. “You wouldn’t use your forehead to hammer a nail into a wall, or force a door with your teeth instead of using a Halligan bar, would you? Tools make difficult jobs easier.” And marketers need to break that “same ol’” habit if they want better return on investment from their campaigns. Here’s how:

Identify the problem

Before you can fix anything, you have to know where the core issues lie. That requires getting into the specifics of failed campaigns to learn what you could have done differently. Get real about numbers and how they correlate to the goals you initially set.

Do you want more followers, greater engagement, higher conversions? Each problem begs a different solution. Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, pick a tool that addresses that concern.

Which tools best solve each problem?

Don’t assume that a single tool will solve everything, because it likely won’t. Instead look at all problems individually and pick the tool that works best for that exact issue.

For example, to gain followers you need to focus on content. Some things to look at are:

  • What you’re sharing, and whether it’s what your target audience cares about.
  • When you’re sharing–you want to be sure your content hits when your audience is active on any given social network.
  • Where you’re sharing–maybe you’ve been focusing on Facebook, but your most devoted fans are more active on Twitter.
  • How often you’re sharing–maybe you’re posting too much and people are tuning you out; or maybe you’re not sharing often enough and your posts are being lost in the shuffle.

The solution? Maybe you need different writers to capture the voice of your brand more effectively on your blog, or someone better able to curate content for your social feeds.

Meanwhile, to increase engagement, you need to analyze social posts for audience segments passionate about your brand and interact with them. To do this, you’d need sentiment analysis software.

And for higher conversions, you’d need yet another tool–perhaps one that optimizes your mobile site, or something that makes A/B testing easy, so you can discern what site design gets the best response from consumers.

The point is, there’s no one-size-fits-all option. You may find tools that have crossover potential, and that’s great. But if that doesn’t happen, don’t come at a problem halfway with the wrong tool just because it’s familiar and easy. Find the tool that will make the difference, and it will pay for itself in higher ROI.

People can be tools–in a good way!

You may not need new software to solve your problem–it might be a shift in thinking is the true culprit. If you don’t know what–or how–to change, consider bringing in a consultant to give you an outside perspective.

Or look to your team for fresh thoughts you’d never come up with on your own. Not only can you find innovative solutions, it’s also just good leadership. Being in charge doesn’t have to mean being the only voice in the department. If you’re open enough, you can learn a lot by embracing others’ ideas.

It’s easy to get stuck in old habits, worried that “experimenting” might lead to failure. But progress is a constant, and keeping up with new methods is a must. Even the tools working well should be periodically examined for updated features that might make them work even better for you. You should also keep an eye on new tools that might offer more for less.

Whatever you do, stop using a screwdriver to nail things into the wall. Hammers are widely available, and using them will free up your time for other tasks. That’s always a good thing.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.