Have you ever noticed how businesses sometimes roll the dice on the wrong types of print, video, audio, or social media and marketing tools, often thinking (and mostly hoping) they will produce sales or profits when there’s little chance of that happening at all?
Why is this so common?
It’s as if there is a desperation to do something – ANYTHING and at least gamble with marketing or advertising instead of doing nothing. We agree that in many cases doing almost anything is better than nothing.
But if you don’t learn from it, if you don’t know where to take it after it produces less than you hoped for, you really are just throwing your money away.
When you gamble on your marketing and advertising you need to consider that first step as just that – the first step toward making it truly effective and profitable.
One of the saddest things in business is the desperation of business owners who want, want, want, and need, need, need more results from their marketing and advertising, but they don’t have the focus or desire to really understand what is going on.
Understandably, they just want to run their business – or they don’t have time to do anything else but that, even if they wanted to.
Obviously there are a lot of wasted dollars that could be better spent elsewhere, but how to avoid the waste to begin with?
The first step is to correctly estimate the potential impact of each media element you plan to use. Let’s look at a few different types of media and see what we come up with, but before we do, let’s first define what we are calling ‘media’.
For this example, ‘media’ is whatever you might be using to communicate a concept. That’s simple enough, right?
The primary categories of media per that definition are what we see and hear. In some cases we could include various senses (touch, smell, etc.) and even perceptions , but that starts getting into other more specific marketing – so let’s just keep it simple for now.
With a focus on visual and audio, the various types of media you might already be using or planning to use, are likely one or more of the following:
Online ‘real estate’ – Web sites, blogs, social media accounts, web 2.0 accounts, etc.
Content – the text, graphics, and photos that online real estate uses on their pages.
Print – Offline: brochures, fliers, postcards, business cards, posters, etc.
Display – Offline: signs, billboards, point-of-purchase displays, etc. Online: banners and other text/graphic ads.
Video – Offline: in-store/in office video displays and any variety of formats that can be put on CDs, DVDs, or memory sticks. Online: various video site likes YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
Audio – Offline: CDs, DVDs, or memory sticks. Online: podcasts, downloadable mp3 files, other formatted audio, etc.
Coupons – Offline and Online: print and digital whether distributed via postal mail, email, or text messaging.
While not a complete list, these various forms of media often get money thrown at them with very little understanding of how the end result will pay off.In most cases the supplier of the service is not accountable for producing ‘measurable’ results.
In many cases it is the blind leading the blind, where the person ‘selling’ the service convinces the person ‘buying’ the service it is needed, regardless of whether or not it will actually work to produce the desired results.
The buyer, seldom understanding the technology or specific processes needed for the media to actually work in their favor, often gets ‘taken’ and left with little more than excuses. They are left wondering why they spent so much and are still waiting to see the results that were not clearly defined by either side, but results the buyer still expected.
The mistake to avoid here is that “expectations” are seldom set correctly at the beginning. The seller has to make a sale to put food on the table. He can’t begin to cover all the details of how things will work in a brief sales meeting. Chances are, as a salesperson, he doesn’t really even know all the details to be able to explain if he wanted to.
Most salespeople focus more on trying to convince customers instead of educate them. Because they focus on convincing, they don’t learn enough about what the product or service is or does to even explain it clearly. They double-talk and confuse customers into a sale.
Even worse, a lot of fly-by-night marketers delivering the service honestly don’t know what they are doing. They may know how to go through the steps of a process, but don’t know how to work the details to make the process succeed.
As an example, video marketing can be very effective when done correctly. But many fly-by-nighters make a video, post it on Youtube, and then wait…and wait…and wait to see the results. If anything happens, it often doesn’t stick as long as it could because there were missing pieces of the process the person didn’t know to include.
The same concept of ‘missing pieces’ applies whether you are trying to get a better Google Local listing, get more Likes to your Facebook page, wanting more people to call you when they hit your web site (instead of leaving without doing anything), wanting more people to use your coupons, etc.
Any marketing you do incorrectly or poorly or with missing pieces, will not work as expected.
It doesn’t mean it won’t work at all. You might get lucky, but it’s not likely.
You just need the complete picture and with the right elements in place at the right time.
A business owner wants anything that will help them keep the doors open or grow their business. So both the buyer of the service and the person selling it just want to skip to the end and fast-forward through the details – when it’s the details that make all the difference.
We’ve all seen or heard or bought the ‘next greatest thing’, only to realize sooner rather than later that it’s worthless – it’s lost the fizzle and excitement – it’s no longer effective. It became widely used and overused and a common commodity.
Even worse, maybe you got to the show late and the effectiveness was actually gone long before you ever started using it – but the sales person didn’t remember to tell you that part.
And we’ve all seen how many businesses go from one hot idea to another, never really sustaining anything meaningful – just chasing the dream of getting a magic wand or a bag of fairy dust that is going to rocket their business past all competition and make them rich.
That right there is the primary media mistake to avoid. All others come after that one. As long as you are on a never-ending quest for the ‘thing’ that will give you an edge, you’ll continue to fall victim to the scams and the money sucks.
You’ll only hear what you want to hear, see what you want to see, regardless of how it really is.
Your solution requires taking some responsibility for making an intelligent decision
Doing that alone will improve your chances of success. And once you take that responsibility you increase your chances for getting even more results. The responsibility for the decision includes learning and understanding, not just giving a thumbs up and throwing some money at it.
You don’t have to master the actual work needing to be done. You just need to understand it better.
The Praxis Media Approach
The Praxis Media approach is to
- Research your competitive environment
- Evaluate your situation for threats and opportunities
- Formulate and present a plan that includes options and alternatives
- Produce the media elements needed
- Execute the plan per schedule
There must also be the inclusion of monitoring results, testing for improvements, and adjusting for results, too. Otherwise the results will inevitably be minimized to a greater or lesser degree. And from what we’ve seen over the years, it can mean the difference of hundreds of percent increases to your favor.
If you are ready to try a fresh, more effective approach that makes your marketing and advertising media accountable for producing real, measurable results, let’s discuss your needs and our solutions. When you understand our processes and procedures you’ll realize that you’ve finally found the solutions you’ve been searching for to increase sales and profits.