Organizations that are using new and new-ish marketing tools effectively have mastered them. If you’re like every other person trying to keep up with the flood of new marketing options it should come as a relief to know that your greatest success is going to come through mastering 2-4 tools, rather than trying to keep up with the 20+ that you think you should be using.
Very large organizations, like Target Corp., have the resources to fully leverage every marketing tool available, but the vast majority of businesses do not. In fact most of us spent a lot of time driving ourselves crazy by trying to incorporate every social, digital, direct, indirect, print/broadcast, automated, etc. tool available. We quickly learned that the strategy turned marketing efforts into a Swiss army knife (doing a lot of things, but none of them really well) rather than a real knife (only doing a couple of things, but doing them very effectively).
A good tactic is to choose 2-4 marketing tools that align well with goals. And then have the focus, discipline, dedication, and confidence to master those tools. Only after you’ve mastered those tools and you get to the point where they are no longer working does it make sense to move on to something else. Many marketing tools, particularly social and digital tools continue to evolve, so you mastery is an ongoing process.
For example, at Smart PR Communications, we are currently focused on the following (for both ourselves and our clients:
Digital Media Releases
Direct Mail (sometimes)
We chose these particular tools because they align well the goals and strategies of most of our science and technical clients and this is all we can handle…well. Mastering LinkedIn and SEO alone have proven to be Herculean tasks. We’ve had to make some hard choices. And the following is where we only have a toe in the water:
The sad truth is that we LOVE YouTube. It’s on our radar and we are convinced that it’s an extremely valuable tool for B2Bs, but we just don’t have the time and attention to fully leverage it right now. We also contact reporters, editors, and producers when we have a client with a great story, but we don’t have the time or leftover brain cells to regularly review editorial calendars.
What we do have time for is soliciting recommendations, posting articles, starting industry groups, initiating discussion, etc. for our clients on LinkedIn. We have time for setting up Google Analytics on our clients’ websites, reviewing the results every week, and adjusting marketing activities accordingly. We have time for creating media releases that are strategically structured and strategically distributed, and reviewing search results. We have time for planning the kinds of direct mail activities for our clients that we know will bring results (we like standard-size postcards right now) and tracking results.
We do all of these things well and they bring results, because we are unapologetic about what we don’t do. While we sometimes receive pressure from our clients do engage in the next big marketing thing, our clients are under pressure from administrators to try something that someone saw in an email. Fellow marketers: we know you have this pressure and we are here to tell you, stay strong. Keep doing a few things better and better.