So, is your New Year’s Resolution to go on a diet? Lose weight? Shape up? It’s all too common at this time of year to start planning improvements and a fresh approach. There are a surprising number of parallels between dieting and marketing – especially when you’re looking for a new year’s blog topic! Are you guilty of any of the following?
- The latest ‘fad’ diet – You know the one, everyone is doing it. You’ve probably had a go at it. 5:2 anyone? It seems to get results for some people and those people are not shy in sharing their experience, so suddenly it feels like everyone is doing it. To me, this seems like content marketing last year. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon and added content marketing to their plans. I definitely think there is a place for a well thought out content strategy. But it does come with the ‘well thought out’ caveat. Just because it’s working for other people doesn’t mean it will work for you. And too many people are putting out ‘junk’ content, or just recycling content from their partners. Good content should be three things:
- Relevant – to your audience and your business
- Interesting and well written – it’s really surprising how much content is poorly written: too wordy, jargon-filled or just waffle!
- Timely – you need to keep being relevant and interesting.
- Adding a magic ingredient – Coconut oil or butter anyone? That’s right, those things you thought were evil saturated fats are actually good for us after all! In fact they’re so good for us you should eat with them, rub them into your skin, condition your hair with them….you get the picture. This one new, wonderful ingredient is going to solve all your problems. In marketing terms this is most often seen when there’s a sudden focus on a new area of marketing that as a business you’ve never done before. For example when the CEO or MD wakes up to the fact that social media isn’t just something his/her kids do, but actually serious businesses do it too. So therefore, all of a sudden there’s a Twitter feed, Facebook page and Instagram account to manage. But why? What is it actually doing or delivering for the business? And how does it fit into the strategy…ahh….the catch.
- Super complicated with loads of rules – like paleo dieting, this one for me is marketing automation. It promises so much but there is SO much to learn to do it properly that many people don’t get beyond the first stage. Proponents of this approach are nothing short of zealots, and I’m sure that’s because actually they’ve taken the time to investigate and find out what actually needs to happen to generate success, and then been one of the few that has actually done it! Most people see the huge amount that needs doing and suffer instant analysis paralysis.
So how about just ‘being sensible’? Ouch. So unsexy. Last year I came across a great online program called Rebelfit. It’s an online community for people who want to make the switch from being a dieter to being an athlete. It requires a mindset change as much as anything. It recommends that we stop being seduced by the latest ‘thing’, don’t obsess about the details and just apply good, solid principles, consistently. Liam Sartorius, the founder of Rebelfit is a sweary, Star Wars and Hobbit loving, regular guy who likes coffee and food. Aha…a male version of me I thought! He must be alright! Actually what Liam talks is just total sense. Don’t cut anything out. Just eat better, most of the time. Plan. Then just keep doing it. Results are always slower than you expect, but if you keep doing it right, over and over, they will come.
Now really, isn’t that what we should all be doing as marketers? We know we love to get excited by the ‘next big thing’ and want to innovate. However, we also know that actually what we should do is put together a comprehensive plan, that includes a mixture of everything. Not focusing too much on one aspect of the overall plan, but including a mixture of everything in sensible proportions. Then just keep doing it. The results WILL come.
Sounds pretty refreshing, huh? Now, pass the biscuits…
If you’d like help with your marketing plan for 2016, then please get in touch. We’d love to help!