I have all sorts of practical advice for your 2018 marketing plans:
- Audit your marketing for 2017. Check your ROI and where it’s greatest. What went right and what could improve?
- Reach out to your customers. Offer gift cards in exchange for feedback.
- Survey your almost-customers. Ask what you could do better.
But none of those will do you much good if you miss the bigger picture, the greater message, the whole point of your marketing: the people who will pay for your product. Your people.
Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, thought leader, blogger, author and the Internet’s resident marketing guru. The Internet has lots of great thought leaders in marketing, but I think that Seth Godin is the most insightful. He did a Q&A on Tim Ferriss’ podcast and was asked what most marketers do wrong.
Here is part of his response:
Nike did not invent the running tribe. There were already runners before Nike showed up. What we do when we lead a tribe often is we find people who are already connected and we merely show up to lead them.
For most businesses, we don’t even lead them. We merely service a tribe that already exists so that when you find a group of people who share an instinct, an interest, a connection, a leader, a goal, you give that group of people something with which they can take action.
The way I abbreviate that long sentence is “people like us do things like this.”
People like us do things like this.
It’s easy to get stuck thinking about marketing tactics and platforms. How should you tweak your Facebook strategy to get more engagement? What influencers do you tap for your next campaign? Should you post 3 times a day on 5 networks? Or do 5 times a day on 2? Which should those be?
None of those questions do you any good if you don’t know the who. Who are you trying to reach? And why do they care about seeing your posts?
Your job as marketer is to answer these questions. Answering these questions will help you tap into the tribe that will buy your product.
Study your market. Understand them better than anyone else. Get why they do things the way they do.
Then, craft your marketing strategy.
Prove That You Get It
I wrote a post last month about the eggs that understood me. They could have a more expensive business model because they could charge a high price for eggs. And they could charge a high price because the company understood that people like me would pay for them.
As you craft your marketing strategy for the coming year, audit your 2017 marketing, survey your customers and almost-customers, find which social media platforms your audience hangs out on and which influencers they rely on for product advice. Then, craft your strategy around them.
Not around platforms, but around people.
Our Founder & CEO Daniel Griggs was featured in Forbes this week speaking about some of the Common Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Should Watch Out For. #12 – Doing What Looks Good Instead of What Works.
For nearly 15 years, marketers have been relying on product display ads to boost advertising campaigns. A few short years ago targeting capabilities, advanced analytics, and product ads opportunities, weren’t available. It’s time to carry these results over to other marketing channels, get your marketers excited and improve advertising. How can you do that? Simple, with Product-Feed-based advertising.
Product-feed advertising on social media may be your solution for delivering highly targeted personalized ads to your audience. We have listed four advantages that product–feed advertising has to offer that you may want to consider.
1. Boost Ad-Performance
No one enjoys seeing ads they care nothing about. In all honesty, reaching the right people with the right message isn’t always easy but by automating the process, feed-based advertising creates efficiencies. It will boost ad performance in ways that truly move the needle.
Feed-based advertising allows you to reach your audience with relevant products at the right time. Consistency is important not only as consumers return to your website, but also in the ads they view. Although people move from device to device they are almost always logged in as themselves on social channels. Which means, you have access to a personalized and authenticated data.
3. Accelerate the Process
The purpose of programmatic feed advertising is to addresses the issue by accelerating the development process. This makes things easier for marketers. Rather than rely on a creative agency or in house team to put them together, assemble ads from the product feed itself. It will not only save you save time but money.
4. Ability to Scale
Feed-based advertising streamlines the process so that you can combine the right ad and or destination with the data you have. You can effectively manage and optimize social ad campaigns on Instagram and or Facebook at scale.
If you want a simple strategy that can be personalized, boost performance and retargeted for maximum impact, then get feed based advertising!
It will not only deliver consistent customer experiences but it will accelerate the creative development process.
In November, the New York Times reported what was maybe the most shocking story they’ve done all year.
An old, damaged painting was sold at auction, among a fierce and lengthy bidding process–let that sink in for a moment before you continue reading–for a hefty sum.
Hm, no. Law school debt is a hefty sum. A mansion in Beverly Hills is a hefty sum.
Sold! To the highest bidder for $450.3 million.
$450.3 million! I’m not even sure how one person–never mind 4!–can produce that kind of check and not have it be for a small island, or at least some sweet Manhattan digs. A painting?
Here’s what (also) caught my attention, though, and why I’m sharing this here today, emphasis my own:
Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” considered either the most important old master work to be auctioned in a generation or a damaged painting hyped by savvy marketing, sold on Wednesday night for $450.3 million with fees, a record for any work of art sold at auction. It far surpassed the sale of Picasso’s “Women of Algiers,” which fetched $179.4 million at Christie’s in May 2015.
Now that’s an interesting line. A painting beat out Picasso–by a lot–and it might not even be a master work by Da Vinci? Is it really fair to put this on the marketers?
But Christie’s marketing campaign was perhaps unprecedented in the art world; it was the first time the auction house went so far as to enlist an outside agency to advertise the work,
creating a video that includes top executives pitching the painting to Hong Kong clients as “the holy grail of our business” and likening it to “the discovery of a new planet.”
A new planet? Are you even kidding me? Savvy does not even begin to cover the savviness of this marketing team. How on Earth did they pull that off?
I’ll tell you how: they knew their market! They knew that if there was any chance at all that this could be a real Da Vinci, then it was virtually invaluable–there would be almost no limit to what a serious art collector would pay to have it in his or her collection.
They pulled out all the stops.
They told a story that resonated with that audience.
They pulled off one of art’s most successful marketing campaigns in history.
I love this story!
When we talk about knowing your audience, this is what we mean. Price doesn’t matter. If you have something that someone wants, and you communicate its value to them, there is no limit to what you can do with that.
I mean, don’t be an ass about it. Don’t run the great name of marketing through the mud by manipulating your audiences just so you can go swimming in your piles of money.
But if you have an amazing product, it deserves an amazing story. Tell it. Because your customers want it.
Business owners love a sexy website. They tell us to make their website look cool. They want their users to be impressed by it, to spend time (and money) on it.
What they don’t usually think about are the really practical but crucial elements of a website that we don’t notice until they’re not there–or, worse, done poorly.
1. User Experience
Each website has its own purposes and objectives. None of them can be achieved if it isn’t stupid-easy to navigate the site. I think this is the single most important element of any and every site because I have no patience for websites that confuse me or present me with broken links or missing pages.
As we always say: know your target audience. Know why they’re there. Know what they want. Know how to get them to what they want.
The key to nailing this part? Test, test, test, then test some more. It doesn’t matter what’s on your site or how good it looks if people can’t get what they need, or leave out of frustration.
2. Mobile response
Do I need to say this? 80% of internet users own a smartphone. Hell, you’re probably reading this from yours! Make it mobile responsive.
Installing Google analytics is so easy that I’m sure you already have it on your site. The question is: are you using it?
It’s the end of the year and you’re planning your marketing for next year (right?). Your analytics will tell you almost everything you need to craft the web site piece of your marketing strategy. How are people finding your site? What keywords are they using? How long do they spend? How many pages do they visit? Which pages to they visit?
You want to know traffic sources, keywords, and user behavior so you can audit your marketing, determine your ROI, and craft growth strategies for the future.
I hate when I got to a website and can’t figure out what the company does or what their product is for. Have you had this? You go to the about page and it says a bunch of lofty things about how the company has been utilizing innovative technology since 1986 and is a leader in its industry. What does that even mean?
Just one sentence somewhere on the site about what you actually do would be very helpful to the lost visitors who wander to your website from a social media link and wonder, What the hell am I doing here?
Point ‘em in the right direction. Send ‘em home.
5. Social Media Links
It may be a Millennial thing, but I always check out social media links when I visit a new website. It’s a great way to get a feel for the business. I want to know if they’re posting funny memes or if I can see Instagram updates on their Facebook feeds. Do people like them? Is there a new product coming out? Is it a cool company?
Put your social media links up and invite people along (it’s an easy way to grow your following–and effortlessly generate more leads).