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Five Reasons Why Your Marketing Approach Will Fall To Pieces In 2016


If you don’t evolve your marketing approach at some point in the near future it’s going to crumble.

It’s the equivalent of having the smartest looking barbeque grill in your neighbourhood.

Given enough time, any piece of iron will change to rust and disintegrate. If you don’t maintain the barbeque, it becomes worthless.

You can’t stick resolutely to the same old tactics that you were using five years ago. I won’t go into full detail here but you can read my list of eight marketing tools that can’t have a place in 2016.

You can’t start letting your business turn from a glisten piece of kit that you are proud of to a rusty mess that you hide from.

Here are five challenges you perhaps need to get over or you will turn into a rust bucket before the end of 2016.


1) Chuck Everything Into The Marketing Funnel And Call It Marketing

Everything is being thrown into the top of the marketing funnel with the expectation of a return.

Whether it’s a thinly veiled informative piece presented as a 20 page PDF or the email that tells everyone that they need to buy now, as consumers we have become tired and pessimistic of a poorly constructed and considered approach when it isn’t relevant.

There has to be a consideration for the audience and at what stage they want to interact with you. A business that sees an audience as a field that needs cropping straight away (meaning the quickest route to a sale) is an approach that doesn’t work.

This is the way that I now approach and visualise what I do.

  • Top Of My Funnel – At the top of the funnel are the articles that I write every week and share on my blog. They are readily available and for people to understand what I stand for and what I believe in.
  • Near The Top Of My Funnel – Those who are on board my approach, have the option to move to the audio side and listen to the Marketing Homebrew podcast.
  • Halfway Point Of My Funnel – This is when people make a further commitment by subscribing to the weekly You Are The Media newsletter. The link isn’t shared on any social channel, just a digest from me every week.
  • Bottom Half Of My Funnel- This is when people come to the events that I am part of and invest half a day of their time at the Once Upon A Time event.
    • Bottom Of My Funnel – This is where it becomes personal. These are the in-person events (the Content Revolution Workshops) or the one to one projects that I am asked to be part of.


2) Tweeting Links Every Day Does Not Represent Part Of A Strategy

A company that doesn’t have a strategy in place for why they exist and the role that they play within a marketplace is like playing pin the tail on the donkey where you are blindfolded in one room and the A3 drawing of the donkey is upstairs.

Have a read of this article from Fast Company, Rebecca Lieb (VP of content at Teradata Marketing and a Talking Content Marketing participant) states that 70% of businesses operate without a documented content strategy.

A strategy represents having a responsibility. To many companies it’s a case of, ‘we need to tell everyone how good we are.’ That’s ok, this is the way that has been drummed into us since children and the messages around us where we have to prove to everyone that they are missing out and you are having a better time than them (all you need to do is look at your Facebook timeline to prove that point).

This is what you need to consider…

Write on a piece of paper the words, ‘WE ARE…’ and respond.

Underneath that ask yourself, ‘WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?’

You need to find the most fitting audience with the best stories for them. To do this it’s time to ask: who should you be targeting?; is there a niche that would be receptive?; what is your differentiating value; can you entertain, guide and inform others?


3) Recognising A Target Audience As ‘Those Who Breathe’

One size doesn’t fit everyone. Following on from point one, you can’t throw something out there and see what hits.

Lets look at it this way, you are not your target audience for the content you produce. You live, breath and hopefully believe implicitly in what you produce. There are people out there who have no clue what you do and how you can potentially make their lives better.

This is what you need to consider…

It is your role to educate and inform an audience, so depending on your business goals you can target a number of audiences.

To keep everything simple, start with one target audience persona. So, what do you need to know? I think we have to go deeper than what are a person’s current pain points and the knowledge gaps they may have, but to find people who share a mindset.


4) Trying Content Marketing For Three Months And Then Giving Up

Running out of steam and not being ready for the long game, I believe, is the biggest reason why efforts turn into rust. To many businesses the responsibility of creating content does not fit a part of a job description (or it becomes part of a campaign).

The ability to create ongoing content to many people becomes an addition to the initial objectives from a job description that was originally formulated from a past generation.

Writing an article on a blog that showcases a different point of view, taking the reigns by creating a podcast or ongoing video content (by the way apart from Jay Baer’s Jay Today does anyone use YouTube on a consistent basis), takes time and has to be a persistent approach.

This is what you need to consider…

You have to get in a frame of mind where you allocate time. You also have to achieve buy-in from those who work with you.

I have found that blocking time to write has been one of the best ways to concentrate and switch off. I also make sure I use Evernote to collect my thoughts in an ‘ideas’ folder.

I have lost hundreds of good ideas to potentially develop and explore over the past few years because I never noted anything down. Thinking that good idea in the shower will still be with you at lunchtime, I promise you, it won’t, and something else will have jumped the queue.

In order to create assets of work (be it written, audio or visual) you have to become more disciplined and the equivalent of making sure you go to the gym not just the first three weeks of January but well into summer too. You can create a rhythm where you don’t lose momentum.


5) Business Is Transactional Not Relational

You put everyone into a funnel, you have no strategy, everyone is treated the same and creating content is seen as an hindrance not an opportunity. These are all ways where an approach to business is purely transactional.

I have seen many businesses over the years take whatever means necessary to make a sale ie. we do the work, you pay the invoice.

This is what you need to consider…

The relationships that develop become the crux for your ongoing success. Why do businesses constantly look for new customers and do whatever means necessary (such allocating a significant amount of marketing budget on Google Adwords) to try and convert a stranger to someone who will pay for a product or service.

Doesn’t it make sense that once someone has bought into an ethos, it becomes easier to continue a relationship built on trust and the ability to consistently deliver value that goes beyond the thing that you do?

Image at the top courtesy of Graham Milldrum


To Round Up

You have to stand back and assess where you are to get to where you want to go. We are all in a period where we have to evolve our practices and approach.

Investing time and effort to perhaps become slightly uncomfortable, is how you begin to stand proud knowing that you are relevant to a marketplace. The thought of anything turning to rust doesn’t even enter the vocabulary when an approach is continually maintained.

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