Have you ever had a hot date, only to realize that you’re out of toothpaste at the last moment and that garlic bread from today’s lunch is taunting you? I’m sure you quickly jumped in your car and sped to the nearest store. Once there, did you notice the inordinate amount of choices of toothpaste? So now you start panicking, “which is the toothpaste I usually use? Should I try a new one? I wonder if my date likes cinnamon better than mint. Do I want whiter teeth or fresher breath? Can’t I have both!?” Ok. Maybe this story is a bit of an exaggeration but you get my drift.
We all face the same challenges most businesses face these days – too many choices and not enough results. There are so many choices that it’s almost paralyzing.
Barry Schwartz wrote a great book called The Paradox of Choice. In it, he describes a strategy for most good decisions that involve these steps (which I will translate into modern digital marketing strategies):
First: Figure out your goals. What is the outcome you are seeking? And be specific. Does your business need to grow its email list? Do you need more on-line inquiries for quotes? Ask yourself this question: “In 6 months from now, what outcome do I want to see from my marketing efforts”
Second: Evaluate the importance of each goal. What’s more important to your business? More hits to your website? Brand awareness? More leads/inquiries?
Third: Evaluate your options. Frame the choice around the goal and determine what factors are important. For example, assuming you have already identified your target market, if your goal is to get them interested in your services and perhaps submit a request for more information, then perhaps inbound marketing would work for you. (Disclaimer: Keep in mind that an SEO company is going to tell you that you need SEO. An inbound marketing company will tell you that you need to do inbound marketing. A Yellow Pages salesperson will tell you that you need an ad in the Yellow Pages…etc.)
Fourth: Evaluate how likely each of the options is to meet your goals. Take your past experiences and your current experiences, then figure out which option is most likely to meet your goals. (You might even take into consideration what’s working for competitors)
Fifth: Pick the winning option. Go forth with confidence.
One thing I can tell you with absolute certainty is that if all you have is a website that you spent thousands of dollars building; you have nothing but a billboard in the desert that nobody sees.
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To your continued success,