Marketing

Marketing to Your Own Beliefs

I get these sorts of questions frequently from new clients:

“Why aren’t my Facebook Page posts getting more likes?”

“Why isn’t my website getting more views?”

“How can I let more people know I’ve written / made / created / offer the best service / product in my area?”

“When will people start responding to the emails I’m sending them about our product / church service / nonprofit fundraising?”

“What is the best way to market this because what I’ve done hasn’t worked so far?”

After being in the marketing world for almost 20 years now, these are among the most common questions I get from people just beginning to take marketing seriously (and have hired me to help them realize that vision).

We’ve all asked ourselves similar questions after the initial excitement of an idea has faded away due to the lack of engagement from everyone else who didn’t respond the way we wanted.

But that’s the beauty of marketing… it’s a system of nuance and subtleness and not a blunt tool. It’s not meant to “convert” (that’s sales) as much as “persuade” … and that takes extra effort and thinking outside of our own heads. Some do that with data. Some do that with incredible gut instincts.

Nonetheless, don’t fall into the trap of letting your own perspectives dictate all of your marketing efforts…

The dilemma for my boss, for me and for you – as humans – is that it’s very difficult to admit that you were wrong, or even stupid. It’s is the last thing someone will admit. The alternative is, instead of believing the evidence, you double down on your initial belief – belief perseverance – and say it’s the other person who’s wrong.

Source: Cognitive dissonance, conmen and cults: The ways marketers delude themselves

The Economics of Mask Wearing

For the last 18 or so years that I’ve been in marketing, I’ve used “democratization” and “community focus” as consistent buzzwords in both my consulting work as well as speaking at conferences etc.

I don’t think there’s any better example as to why those terms are important than the experience of living through 2020. Specialization is everything as people are looking for a community in new ways online to replace the in-person human element we all miss.

Regardless of whether we are able to have in-person gatherings again soon and not have to worry about the virus, things have changed for many of us and there are new habits and norms (Zoom and hyper-special media isn’t going away) that will not be going away. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be wearing a mask for a while.

One key I’m pushing with all of my clients is the idea of specialization in community building. As marketers, we’ve generally done a poor job of handling “community building” correctly. There has been too much focus on affinity metrics, KPI’s and NPS (Net Promotor Score) that has resulted in insulting generic surveys when we happen to purchase anything from dog bowl from a pet’s store all the way to a car. “TELL US HOW WE DID!” is now one of the least clicked email subject lines in our inboxes.

Engagement, authentic presence, customer service, and democratization of the message are very important. But “generic” is a poison pill. Choose wisely in your messaging in 2021.

Philanthropy and Underserved Communities

The average person thinks, “Of course philanthropy is about helping the poor.” In fact, just one out of every three dollars is intended to benefit underserved or marginalized communities. Even with a very broad definition—low-income communities, communities of color, women and girls, LGBT communities, people with disabilities, the elderly—it’s a small percentage of philanthropic dollars.

In our last analysis, 90% of the 1,000 biggest foundations in the country direct less than half of their dollars to benefit underserved communities. It’s shocking.

via Yale Insights – How Can Philanthropy Do More Good

Your Domain and Your Home Address

I often shock potential small business or nonprofit clients by knowing their home address or cell phone number during our first or second call. It’s easy if they have already purchased a domain. I don’t do it as a scare tactic, but as an educational moment about the need to plan ahead and think through security issues.

By the time someone or a business or group has come to me with an idea for a new website or marketing strategy needs, they’ve purchased or at least thought about a domain name. There are copious services out there that will sell you a domain for a range of prices. GoDaddy is perhaps the most popular due to its marketing over the years. Unfortunately, GoDaddy has a reputation in the tech world of being the Monarch of UpSells. You can go there to buy a domain but you have to wade through the other options of website hosting, email addresses, security services, and a fee to protect your domain name privacy.

That last one is something that has irked me for a while about GoDaddy and similar domain name sellers (including Google) that don’t offer free domain privacy and private registration. Again, many of my clients are shocked when they find out their home addresses are now public records tied to their great idea for a domain or their business’ domain.

Before private individuals started buying domains and GoDaddy / Squarespace / Wix / Weebly (all who will sell you a domain) started marketing how “easy” it is to build a website, it made sense that domain information would and should be public. Most domains were bought by agencies or companies tied to specific interests. However, that has all changed and domains should include domain privacy when purchased in 2018.

People are more and more becoming interested in privacy and security matters, and this only makes sense for everyone. Stop upselling it.

Good move from Namecheap.

When you register a domain, ICANN requires registrars to provide them with your contact information (such as name, email, address, and phone number). This is then added to the Whois database. This database lists the owners of every domain name online, and it can be searched by anyone on the Internet.

— Read on www.namecheap.com/security/whoisguard.aspx

All these problems may just be inevitable teething…

“We haven’t had this kind of transformation since television came in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s,” says Marc Pritchard, the marketing boss at Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest advertiser. Grappling with these challenges, however, may spur a shift in the industry’s structure. There will always be startups, particularly because technology changes so quickly. But on the whole, power is likely to move to fewer, larger companies.”

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21695388-worries-about-fraud-and-fragmentation-may-prompt-shake-out-crowded-online-ad?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/ed/invisibleadsphantomreaders

Dealing with eComXpo eMail

No matter how many times I've asked to be unsubscribed from eComXpo's mailing lists, I always get redundant mail from them anytime there's a new "virtual event" taking place.  It makes me wonder just how much money eComXpo has spent in acquiring email lists of affiliate marketers, publishers or bloggers over the years because the various email aliases that get sent their messages are all directly correlated to specific affiliate networks or newsletters.  Whatever… just don't sell/rent your email lists.  It's really a bad practice (and an ineffectual one in 2009). 

So, instead of relying on the good graces of the folks behind eComXpo to actually follow through with unsubscribe requests, I've had to invoke the nuclear option.

Thank goodness for GMail's filters:

It does not bode well for your business when you make folks take actions such as this for what should (legally) be your own responsibility. 

Lame.

Marketing to Little Brothers and Sisters

Ever get scared that the marketing paradigm we operate within is just feeding a much bigger machine that isn’t a fan of human freedom?

I do.

Looking forward to reading Cory Doctorow’s new book:

Little Brother: “If you love freedom, if you think the human condition is dignified by privacy, by the right to be left alone, by the right to explore your weird ideas provided you don’t hurt others, then you have common cause with the kids whose web-browsers and cell phones are being used to lock them up and follow them around.

This book is meant to be part of the conversation about what an information society means: does it mean total control, or unheard-of liberty? It’s not just a noun, it’s a verb, it’s something you do.”

When I hear online (and offline) marketers talking about social media as a “channel,” my radar goes off. I suspect it will be even worse after I finish the book.

Am I creating a more freedom filled world technology wise for my daughter?

What do you think?

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