There is no “magic bullet” in marketing. It requires hard work. Numbers can be missed. You may need to try hundreds of approaches, numerous iterations on your basic approach before you find what works for you and your customers.
Customers rarely make one clear path to an actual purchase. The truth of this is in your own buying decisions. When have you ever gone straight down every touch point expected of you before clicking buy on a website?
Say you’re considering buying a new car. You might see a Tweet about a certain model you fancy, then forget about it for a while. Next, read a review. Talk to your partner. A few weeks pass, you’ll click on their website during some downtime at lunch. It could be months before you pull into your driveway in that shiny new car you wanted, and at the end of the day it might be a similar model from another manufacturer for a better price. There is no certainty in how smoothly a customer moves through the sales funnel, because you’re a customer too, and you don’t behave as expected all the time either.
The antidote to this constant uncertainty: patience.
Drew Williams, in his book Feed the Startup Beast: A 7 Step Guide to Big, Hairy, Outrageous Sales Growth (McGraw-Hill 2013), talks about the math of a besieged buyer, which looks something like this:
In this scenario – which is the truth of every marketing professionals working life – patience is not only a virtue, but a necessity.
Which means not expecting every activity to generate results straight away. Everything should be measurable, but for every action the respective reaction (ROI) can and does take time. Some activities, like content or email, have a higher ROI than others, like social media.
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The second antidote is putting in effort. Real effort.
Which partly comes down to having time to be on the offensive, rather than defensive mode. Trying to take advantage of time sensitive events, like Super Bowl Sunday (see the image below), without doing so for good reason shows a lack of real thought and effort. Work like this is increasingly giving marketing a bad name.
Have time to plan real strategies around the needs and desires of your customers, and then follow through with the patience required to observe, analyze, test and improve upon what you have already done.
Attentive.ly is an easy to use tool for companies and organizations to send highly-targeted , triggered communications (email + social media) based on the digital body language of customers, supporters and prospects across the social web. Attentive.ly has been used to identify and track 5 million+ influencers on the social web by over 100 companies and organizations.