We are living and conducting business in a new economy. In this economy many of the old rules just do not apply. But, far too often, I run into businesses or organizations that are stuck in the habit of doing things the old way. I'm not here to blame, because many of these organizations and many of the marketing professionals and firms out there are still practicing some very old principles. These principles are still taught in MBA level textbooks across the country. So today, I want to help you break out of that cycle and emerge into the new economy. But, first you have to learn what it is that you are doing wrong. Which is why, I am going to share to with you the top 4 things you should stop doing in your marketing right away.
1. Stop focusing SOLELY on the features and benefits.
For years we have been taught to market the features and benefits of your product or service. But, there are so many competent firms and companies that are also marketing or promoting their features and benefits. So, answer this question instead when creating your marketing messaging. What really differentiates me from the others? Why would a client choose me, my product or service over the other firm that offers similar products and services?
2. Stop trying to FIGURE it out all by yourself. There are so many resources and lots of people who know so much. Which means you don’t have to know or do everything yourself. Too often, I come across entrepreneurs or leaders in organizations thinking they must do it themselves and think this for many reasons. One, it’s because they don’t want to spend the money to hire someone else to do it. Two, it’s because they've done this way for a long time and they are afraid to change things up. Three, it’s because they feel a sense of competition and don’t want to let others in. All of these are bad reasons to go it alone. Ask yourself these questions: What is the true cost of doing this myself? What high value work should I be contributing to in my organization? How could my business grow if I brought in talented individuals to help?
3. Stop doing it the way you've ALWAYS done it.
This was sort of mentioned in number 2, but it warrants it's own section. This is probably the number one killer of marketing innovation and for innovation in general. Do you really want to solve the problems your clients have? Do you really want to provide them with the best solutions to their challenges? Then you have to stop doing things the way you've always done them going against the popular belief of “if it ain't broke then don’t fix it.” In this case you might not notice anything is broken until it’s too late and your business or organization starts declining fast. Instead of sticking to your guns and not budging, ask yourself: How can we do things differently to come up with new more effective solutions or programming for our customers or community? In what areas have we done things the same way for far too long and now could use a fresh perspective or new outlook? What new messaging or creative way can we communicate to our target audience?
4. Stop marketing as a REACTION to funding or revenue problems and without any sort of plan.
Chaos ensues when you operate without guidance. Without a map, you might get where you need to go, but, it takes longer and the people traveling with you could lose trust in you. This is what happens when marketing is done without a plan and from a very reactive place. You put an image of desperate out about your organization or business that things are chaotic for your organization, and you leave a feeling of distrust. Instead I urge clients to focus on answering the following questions about their marketing: What are all the marketing activities we've conducted over the period of a year? Of these activities do we have a sense of what really works? How can we systematize and measure our efforts?
The questions I offer at the end of each section will help guide you out your old habits around marketing into establishing new ones that are much more effective for the economy we are in today. Answering these questions will help you establish new marketing habits that will provide more favorable results for your business or organization.
Do you have questions about what I am teaching here? Feel free to post your questions below. I'd be happy to answer them.
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