While you might be tempted to see marketing in terms of projects, to develop a competitive strategy you need to think of it as an ongoing process.
Here are some common questions prospective marketing clients ask us:
- Do you guarantee your work?
- How long before I start making money?
- Why do you have a 6 month contract?
- When will the SEO work be finished?
- When can I turn-off paid ads and just use SEO?
- What’s the point of social media marketing?
- At what point can I stop your services and take over for myself?
- Shouldn’t my marketing get cheaper after awhile?
- Why should I put all my eggs in one basket? Why not use different vendors for different tactics?
- When will this marketing project be finished?
You’ll rarely find a more complete list of red herrings. These questions all show a mindset problem. People think digital marketing is some kind of project that has a beginning and end. Once it’s done right, it will work indefinitely.
Some of this comes from the idea of “website marketing”. The website, developed as a central tool, is completed in a design project.
Yet it isn’t complete. Still and static, it’s not likely to generate many conversions. So you start a process of testing and refinement, comparing content, ads, and target audiences to find your best opportunities.
Years ago, search engine optimization seemed like more of a project. You’d do your keyword research, optimize your website’s metadata and content, then give it time. Some blogging and link building. You’d hope to get to page one and stay there.
Today this is totally unrealistic. SEO is no more an encapsulated project that life itself. Rather, it’s like blood flow to the heart of your marketing. The ways you express yourself, the people you choose to connect with, the way you tell your story, and the methods you use to teach others all interplay to affect you SEO.
Perhaps the easiest place to understand the process of marketing is social media. These platforms are not places for speeches, but rather ongoing dialogue. You must learn to speak the language of the medium, engage with its users, and build their habits into your marketing idea. What you’re doing will scarcely seem like a traditional marketing project at all. Instead, it’s more like a conversation where you respond to what’s being talked about today – right now.
At Marketing 360®, we ask new clients to work with us for a minimum of six months. But six months is not a project time-frame. It’s an initial benchmark to determine the course of your marketing process. You wonder when you could take over the marketing and put it in cruise control. The answer is never. With the changing road and traffic of internet marketing, you never get the chance to just sit back.
This is not to say you don’t run campaigns or develop work that doesn’t have project scopes. Of course you do. It doesn’t mean that when you find a strong lead-flow funnel that it won’t – to a certain extent – flow on its own. It will.
But complacency with success is almost as much of a problem as limited thinking when you’re starting. Because with digital marketing, even when you do everything right you’re not finished.
The digital world of today is very much like a living entity. It’s ongoing evolution is, in fact, pretty obvious (how many people in coffee shops were staring into hand-held screens 10 years ago?).
Your marketing works within that entity. The technology changes, and so do the behaviors of the people using it. People you want to turn into customers.
With marketing today, don’t just plan for a single success goal. Plan for a process that lasts as long as you’re in business.
If you have that mindset in your approach, it will have a huge impact on your strategy. Instead of rigid thinking framed by beginning and end, you’ll see the way you market as a flow of ongoing communication. Instead of a single meeting with a finite objective, you think in terms of connections and relationships that last a lifetime.
You want your business to have a long, successful life. Marketing is the nutrient that keeps it alive. Staying healthy is a process, one that requires a proactive strategy, smart tactics, and intelligent execution.
That’s what you get with Marketing 360®