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Quicker Marketing Routes To Mediocrity


Just because we are presented with ways to make our lives easier, doesn’t necessarily mean we become successful.

The relentless endeavours presented to us in the shape of apps, offers and software will never substitute understanding a channel or platform to become a stronger tool to our armoury.

Buying For Better Results

Last week I received two calls from ‘marketing automation’ companies (as a result from subscribing to webinars over the past few weeks), aiming to make my whole marketing delivery slicker (just think of those lovely automated tweets I’d be throwing out when I’m asleep). It made me think that the products that are available to all of us are growing at a relentless rate, aimed with making our route to market quicker and achieve better results (bigger audiences, new customers and further credibility). When we are armed with Evernote, Hootsuite, Vimeo, Eventbrite and a host of other virtually free tools to become organised and make an impact on a marketplace, we are being spoilt.

The thing that I have an issue with is that to many businesses, these tools serve as a shortcut to apply an aged mentality within new practices. By this I mean a 20th century mindset that is reliant on boasting and disruption within spaces such as Mailchimp to broadcast and self promote (at a far greater rate). Mailchimp now has over 7 million subscribers using this email tool, if you take the sponsored intro on 2014’s stamp of the digital age, Serial podcast to go by.

Take, Take, Take

Businesses are far to quick to take what is presented to them and execute, rather than get to the heart of what will encourage an audience to become part of what you stand for.

Rather than starting at a place where we are rubbish and our knowledge is quite limited, we are encouraged to purchase products and services that are here to flatter us. These are aimed to present us differently to others, without businesses having a firm grasp of the methodology that is being applied. Lets look at when I started blogging. My first months can be described in technical terms as ‘awful’ (I can now do this looking back). Nothing looked to stand for something and could fit into the generic box of ‘poorly explained ways of marketing.’ I now look back on my early articles with a sense of ‘awww…bless’ and want to be as open as I can for anyone to click on the right of the screen to read every article and go back to month one. Enjoy the overriding messages of someone looking to be something to everyone.

Becoming Better Educated

Over time I have gradually built an audience and maybe if I had invested in more focused inbound marketing software such as HubSpot, Marketo and Eloqua, then it could have grown at a faster rate. Everything that has been built has been a mix of commitment, time investment and keeping with it (this is by no means a way to self congratulate). The end result is being better prepared and educated to know how an owned media strategy can work and also build relationships with others that I could never have imagined two years ago. What this now allows is the opportunity to share with others to learn from what worked and what failed. At least it sounds better when hearing from someone who is committed to blogging, rather than from a person who tried it and got busy with other commitments last winter.

The investment of time to make something work is a huge commitment.  Rather than allocating our own resources to delve deeper, we can become afraid to try and resort to old ways of communication (from a bygone age). The sales email that was used two years comes back out the drawer, the LinkedIn non-descript message goes out to all connections to buy from you and the local Twitter hour becomes a cattle market of pleas, false hope and fingers crossed. These are all ways to reduce our fear and to merely acknowledge that we are doing something, no matter how uneducated we are to the unwritten etiquette of the channels we immerse ourselves.

The Shortest Route Possible

The investment of time and effort to learn is replaced by purchasing from somewhere else to make the shortest route possible in the hope to build an audience. Tweet this

This has been drummed into the British psyche of the shortest route possible since the introduction of Pop Idol in 2001, or the year before when Big Brother was introduced to our TV screens. The belief of a better way of life via the shortest route possible often results in empty outcomes. For every One Direction, there is a Steve Brookstein, for every Susan Boyle there is a Joe McElderry. From automated software to a Britain’s Got Talent contestant, the end product is the wish to achieve success and adulation with minimal effort. Being quicker does not equate to accomplishment. In the words of Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl (2013):

“Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy an old fucking drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in and they’ll suck too. And then they’ll fucking start playing and they’ll have the best time they’ve ever had in their lives and all of a sudden they’ll become Nirvana. That can happen again! You don’t need a fucking computer or the internet or The Voice or American Idol.”

Technology has provided us better tools, better reach, better access but it also delivers an even quicker route to normality. Being normal is where many businesses sit today because it’s easier. A ready-made path by someone else is very tempting to follow. On the opposite side when we take the approach to understand the role we play and get to know better the channels that can become a vital part of our communication tool-kit, we can become the equivalent of Nirvana in our marketplaces.

Getting Better At What We Have

When we get better at the tools we use, we can organise people to subscribe to our newsletters, we can publish work that people want to consumer, we can get people to come to an event we curate (without relying on any advertising or any other paid form of media), we can encourage the sales process and we can get to know people within our brand community better. When we learn to become better with the work we create, we matter to an audience who are receptive. I’ll Tweet This

Shortcuts can pay-off, short term. Then again, if it were easy then everyone would be doing it now. We didn’t sign-up to run our businesses because it was simple. No matter how tempting the free trials are or the app to make us more organised, they really don’t. If we want to become better, we need to roll up our sleeves, appreciate that we can be mediocre at the beginning, but noted change can happen.

Image at the top of courtesy of Wonderlane

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