In the 50’s……
Ahhh the good ol’ days… When one could hang a sign in their storefront window and word of mouth would take over, resulting in a foot race of people just aching to buy the latest and greatest thing of things that was late and great. Where a simple 3 x 3 inch ad space in the local newspaper was enough to cause a stir among the masses that pushed profits higher than expected. Times were simpler back then, and while advertising was in its infancy, it was effective and to the point.
Fast forward to today and you have things like analytics, search console, click through rate, cost per acquisition, meta tag data etc. etc. This is a very long and mind numbing list of marketing terms that while they have their own individual importance, can make anyone’s head spin.
What is marketing anyways?
The answer isn’t always as clear as the question itself. Often we hear small business owners ask “What is marketing?” and while it makes complete sense to ask this question, the answer often causes the look of confusion, head scratching and a flood of questions.
If you were asked “what is marketing?”, what would be your answer? For some, it’s publishing a website and for others, perhaps it’s running paid advertising. Whatever you may think, marketing has a special place in business that is now more important than ever.
In its most basic form, marketing is a means of promoting your business, goods and/or services or whatever you want to promote with the hopes of increasing traffic, revenue or whatever. It’s taking the thoughts that are in your head, and translating them into a series of messages, graphics and posts using various tools that are readily available at your disposal…. But here’s one of the problems…. What if you simply don’t know what to do or how to do it?
Get me the A535… this muscle is going to hurt!
Today’s marketing strategies take a ton of time, commitment and energy to truly understand how things work. Either on their own, or in conjunction with something else, marketing has taken on a life of its own and, when done properly, can yield significant rewards. However, on the flip side, if done incorrectly, can produce undesirable results that leave your wallet empty and your wheels spinning in the mud.
If I said to you… “Tailor your meta data to reflect search intent” or “Compound long tail keywords to capitalize on low volume searches” would you know what I mean? Perhaps, but for many, hearing things like that causes a knee jerk reaction to reach for the Alka-Seltzer which is completely understandable. From my experience, there’s two camps when it comes to marketing. Either people simply don’t have the time to get involved in marketing OR people simply don’t want to get involved because they don’t have the interest or it’s simply too complicated. Whatever camp you may find yourself in, know that it is completely normal and to be expected. After all, you have other things that require your attention.
Marketing, like martial arts, is a discipline that takes years and years of trial and error to truly understand how to apply it and even then, there’s always more to uncover. With its nuances and intricacies, proper marketing is a business essential that takes everything from your website, social media and imagery to create an impression you want people to have of you and your business and/or brand. It’s certainly not easy. It’s time consuming. And unless you really have a passion for it, you may not want to dive deeper into everything that makes up marketing because it’s confusing.
Hand me that wrench, we need to tweak this thing.
Can you imagine what it was like for the very first website to go online? How would people get to it? What would they do if they landed on it? And for God’s sake… What do you do with it?
Confusion ran high back then, but little did we know what it would amount to. In today’s digital age, where everyone is online and everyone has a smartphone, if you don’t have a website for your business, the challenges ahead could be daunting. One of the very first things consumers look for when deciding on a business is… you got it. Their website. But what if I told you that just having a website isn’t enough anymore? What if I told you that, much like your car, you need to add to it and maintain it for it to work. At this point I will apologize for any stomach drops that may have occurred from that.
The painful truth is, having a website is certainly a great start, but by no means is it the end. If you look at your website as a tool for your business, rather than the face of it, then you’re in a good spot to take the next steps. Like all tools, your website serves a purpose. And while individual needs for that purpose varies, in the end we all find ourselves asking the same question…. Now what?
Now what…. 2 words that are really at the heart and soul of marketing. It’s the 2 words that promote ideas which translate to actions which translates into another thing then another. If you find yourself asking “Now what?” then you’ll want to stick around.
What is marketing? What it is, is a good question because it means so many things. It’s a starting point for a conversation, it’s a starting point for a relationship. It’s the difference between success and challenges but in truth, when it works, it is a glorious series of events that move the needle forward.