In my work as a marketing consultant I tend to encounter two types of clients; those who are genuinely interested in progressively expanding their business, and what I refer to as “silver bullet” clients. The first client contacts a consultant because they understand their marketplace is evolving rapidly. They appreciate dialogue on ways to build a multi-dimensional approach to improve how they engage their audience. Silver bullet clients on the other hand are simply looking for the one thing they can do to sell more product/service.
One silver bullet prospect flew me to Miami and I spent several days with them outlining exciting ways to expand their marketing. They were traditionally an offline business and had a very small online presence and the corresponding data. The potential was tremendous. However, they shot down every idea I presented and constantly referred to their minuscule pool of existing data. They knew what their historical conversion was and only wanted to know how to get more visitors to their website to get more sales. They were not interested in laying the necessary foundation, they only wanted the silver bullet.
Marketing is rarely about simply increasing exposure. Positioning and messaging is essential. If you yell through a distorted megaphone, people will hear you but not understand what you say. Have a great invitation but a messy website and you will miss your one chance for conversion. It is vital to have a multi-dimensional approach that starts with your positioning, leads to your messaging, and ends with conversion. This process must be simple, relevant, and repeatable.
However, a silver bullet does exist, but as a marketing consultant, I’m not allowed to disclose it to clients. Want to know what it is?
Worry less about your marketing and focus on your product and customer service.
Too many companies expect marketing to make up for an inferior product and poor customer service. It’s the “lipstick on a pig” analogy. Research any successful business and you will find their success is the result of their product and/or customer service, nottheir marketing.
In today’s competitive marketplaces, building customer loyalty and advocacy will be your most effective marketing. This is only done through the actual customer experience. The investment made in your product and customer service will provide higher ROI than any marketing initiative.
There is a caveat to this secret; even with a silver bullet you need a gun to shoot it from and to know where to aim…this is marketing.