“This is the way it is done in our industry” and “We’re doing great, we’re not changing anything” are the two most dangerous thoughts any business can have when it comes to their marketing. We’ve entered an era where legacy thinking like that will destroy your business. (Just ask Blockbuster Video or any newspaper publisher)
This is partially because consumer awareness is at all time highs. Your target market has more data now, before even speaking to anyone involved in your business. They’ve visited your website, checked online reviews and asked friends on social media about you. The individual is now in control.
That’s our current reality and a lot of businesses will only understand this new reality when it becomes personal. You’ll only keep thinking, “This is the way it’s done. We’re doing great” until it becomes too painful to ignore.
So what is optimal marketing and the “right way” to think?
If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
That’s a legitimate point. I’m not suggesting you change everything and stop marketing tactics that are working. I’m suggesting you shift the way you think about marketing from the “end result” mentality to a relationship driven mentality. Shift your focus from tactics to the relationship.
Take a senior living community as an example. If direct mail and newspaper advertising get you results, keep doing it. The problem is that results end. Your newspaper ad goes out, people see it, and then it’s over. They’re not continuous and thus aren’t efficient. That kind of legacy thinking forces you into a never-ending (and expensive) cycle of chasing sales.
If you’re resistant to change because “it’s the way our industry does it” and you keep doing what you’ve always done, trouble is not far behind.
The Client is Not the King – the Relationship is
Optimal marketing is focusing on the relationship with your prospects and clients. When you anoint the relationship as king, you stop chasing sales and begin chasing trust. This way of thinking will set your business up for continuous success.
How To Make the Relationship King
Give your prospects a chance to explore your business and be available to them when they’re ready. The days of pushing people to choose you are over (pushing = legacy thinking = newspaper ads, direct mail, etc.). The individual is now in control and that’s fine if you focus on the relationship.
Content: Provide the content that your target market needs to make an informed decision.
- Website: The content on your website should show the benefits to your target market. It’s a great opportunity to display your values and begin the conversation with your prospects.
- Blog: Blogging is the place where you can provide useful information that your prospects need.
- Email Marketing: Email marketing allows you to follow up with the right content at the right time.
- Social Media: Social media is all about community and relationships. Share your useful content here and interact with your prospects and clients.
Context: Provide the right content at the right time. Let’s use the senior living community as an example again. Choosing a community is a very difficult decision for families. Say a family is in the early stages of making a decision and tours your community. Legacy thinking would be to follow up with them immediately with a “move-in special” or “limited time discount offer.” Here are two quick ways to focus on the relationship:
- Make yourself available – email or call them and give them a chance to explore. Be available to answer questions so they can become comfortable with and make a decision on their own terms.
- Follow up with an email that gives them the “Top 5 Most Important Factors in Picking a Senior Living Community”
What’s in it for You?
Continued success. The speed of change has made it nearly impossible to control successful marketing tactics. It used to be easy to get results with Google ads and get noticed on Facebook. Now it’s hard. When you discover one successful tactic, it changes or becomes too expensive.
The good news is that you can always control the relationship. Your target market feels it when you give them what they need and make yourself available. When you open yourself to a mutually beneficial relationship, whom do you think they will choose when they’re ready to make a decision?
When was the last time you reviewed your online marketing assets (website, social media, email) to make sure they are effectively delivering your message? Maybe it would benefit your business to get an outsiders perspective. There are two ways you can quickly find out:
- Share your website in the comments below and see what people think (Tip: give people an incentive to take their valuable time and go to your website)
- Get your free Website Analysis done by our team of experienced online marketing professionals
To your continued success,