Everyone loves a good myth. It makes for entertaining dinner table conversation. But sometimes myths instill unnecessary fear into our otherwise tranquil existence pop rocks and Coca Cola, for example: Don’t drink Coke with those Pop Rocks! You’ll explode! and in the case of marketers, we sometimes use these marketing myths as an excuse not to perform certain duties. Let’s stop making excuses, marketers. Let’s bust these myths right now.
Sure, you want your content marketing to generate leads. Of course. But it’s about more than leads. It’s about influence. Branding. Thought leadership. Story-telling. Content marketing is often about building a relationship with an audience who may not become customers right away, but over an extended period of time develop a respect and trust for your brand that makes them an easy close later on. More than lead gen, content marketing is about positioning. When you, over time, establish yourself as the go-to brand for x expertise, closing deals in due time will be a piece of cake.
Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Buying space to relay a message is a whole different ballgame than the continued construction of a brand’s kingdom. Advertising is a tool of marketing amid the four P’s: promotion, price, product, and place. A billboard is awesome if it gets you leads, but you should also be email marketing, social media marketing, and more.
In the age of the Internet, customers are reaching out by email and social media, right? They don’t want to call! Wrong. According to a survey by IMShopping, 77% of online shoppers say they have wanted to talk to a live person before buying, and another study shows that 43% of all e-commerce transactions that begin with a web search end in a telephone call. It’s a fact that customers are still calling; the real myth is that all businesses are prepared to take these calls.
Let’s lay this one to rest once and for all. If you have a great product or service and a smart marketing department (plus a sharp sales team), sexy doesn’t even have to enter the equation: putting red lipstick on a mediocre product won’t get you far. Instead of trying to sexy up your marketing strategy, instead focus on being smart and original. It’s more memorable.
Don’t be silly. A 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project states that 52% of online boomers are using social networking sites. As social media continues to grow, this number is bound to grow with it. Don’t forget that many business owners are indeed older people: they have a business to run and are just as intent on experimenting with new tools as you are. If you’re shying away from social, it might be time to admit that it’s not that you don’t think social can generate leads, but that you don’t know how to use social for lead gen. (FYI: This white paper can help with that.)
A lack of communication between sales and marketing is at the root of many a problem businesses face. These two departments need to work together to decide what lead qualification looks like, which leads should be called back, what the qualification process looks like, etc. Choosing to believe that these two departments can exist separately without much communication means avoiding the work that is involved with aligning them, but the payoff is big.
Not everything is going to go viral. In fact, hardly anything will. The Internet is a fickle beast, especially when it comes to marketing material. If you have content that goes viral, fantastic. Try to do it again. But don’t think your marketing has failed if you fail to top the YouTube charts or don’t end up on Jimmy Kimmel. Good marketing is about consistency. Viral marketing is often a flash in the pan: you’d rather be a warm oven with heat you can count on.
Take these busted myths and cast them aside. You’re too good for myths: you’re ready to get into some real marketing. And while you’re at it, drink some Coke with a packet of Pop Rocks. You earned it.
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