4 Myths and Mistakes in Marketing During a Crisis

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First, we wish everyone health and safety during through this COVID crisis.

I will outline 4 myths and mistakes in marketing during a crisis. And stick around until the end, I’ll share 3 takeaways you could implement right away.

Given our new paradigm, I’ll put a positive spin on the 4 myths and mistakes in marketing that i’ve seen. 

Not all businesses are suffering financially, but all businesses have changed in some way whether it’s a process or protocol of doing business to ensure safety. People are looking for new ways to connect including efficient ways to do conduct their business.

It’s more important than ever to stay in touch with people whether it’s email, a text or direct messenger in a social media platform.

The number one priority is reaching out to all of your clients to see how they are doing and a polite nudge to remind them that you’re available if they have any questions about anything during this overwhelming time.

We can call it marketing or we can call it staying connected in a meaningful, purposeful way. 

If you are looking to do more than just survive in your business, it’s more important now than ever to either level up your marketing or at the very least, START marketing if you’ve been putting it off or getting by with minimal efforts. 

If people don’t hear from you now when they need you the most, they will find another resource they feel can rely on. I’ve heard more than a few times, “I don’t hear from you all year and now you show up. It’s too late.

The best part is that because we’re in the digital age, the currency is time. You don’t need to invest in big advertising budgets like the Mad Men days. No magazines print ads, no billboards, no Super Bowl ads. 

Here are four myths and mistakes people make when it comes to marketing.

Myth #1 – I don’t know what to say.

There’s more to what you do every day than you realize that people would be interested to know. You know a lot more than someone who isn’t in your business but doesn’t business with you. Delivering value of what you can offer someone will help to show that you’re present in your business and available when they need you.

For people to know, like & trust you, it’s ok to show your personal side. I like to work in my yard so i’ll post projects in and around the house. It helps to show that you’re human. It will also help to show how people can relate to you.

YOU are a brand whether you own a business or work for a business. You do not need to sell your product or service every time you’re marketing. 

Myth #2 – I don’t have time.

Some people may not think they have the time because they may not have seen results worthy of scheduling the time for this task. If you carved out 10-30 minutes every day or every other day dedicated to intentional and meaningful engagement, you would see results in how people pay attention to you. 

The more you spend engaging on a platform, the more you get noticed even if you don’t think the metrics are displaying a lot views. 

Business is about relationships. People have to know how to relate to you but if you don’t exist online, then they won’t know how to find you or know how you can help them.

Myth #3 – I don’t have an audience.

If you didn’t have an audience you wouldn’t be in business. You have people all around you, but perhaps you didn’t think of them as an audience. With the INFLUENCER movement, if you don’t have a million followers or get a million views on a post, people think they’re doing it wrong or that it’s a waste of time because they’re not getting those results.

The flaw in this mentality is that we have to appreciate that for any number of views we get online is less time we have to be in our car driving to a meeting with just one person.

Don’t look at the views or the metrics if you’re just starting out. Focus on the practice of developing a new habit of scheduling time to devote to marketing. If you aren’t creating content, then curate quality content that you trust and that you find relevant to your business.

Myth #4 –There are too many platforms.

Who doesn’t like having choices? To be able to pick from Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, YouTube or any other platform you are familiar with means you get to enjoy however you feel most comfortable when delivering your content.

  • Maybe you want to practice with video so you may utilize Facebook Live because you’ve been on that platform longer or you save your videos to your Youtube playlist.
  • Maybe you want to be more business-like while extolling the virtues of your products and services, so you go to Linkedin. 
  • Maybe you like snapping photos and want to include a meaningful, inspiring message, so you go to Instagram or Pinterest.
  • Or the newest darling, maybe you want to bust a move or deliver a message with curated music in the background, you go to TikTok.

There are so many tools these days to help develop content. It’s a matter of EXECUTING.

And that is where people fail. Even if it means that you are going to pick one goal, but you’re not sure how to go about it, the RESEARCH is a form of execution. 

Research is learning and learning gives us more confidence with something new.

I think a formula for success can be described as follows:

Schedule + Research = (a higher probability of) Execution.

Here are 3 takeaways to ponder:

1. Cultivate your email list. it’s the only digital asset you own. The platforms own your content once you publish it on their site.

2. Do video. If you’re shy or you hate how you look on video, I will tell you from experience, no one is analyzing you the way you think they are. Video is so valuable and helps to deliver your message in such a powerful way. The statistics of how people connect with you is undeniable. Practice with one minute videos. It’s a great, safe start.

3. Repurpose your content. What do I mean by that? If you write a blog, do a one minute video on the topic of the blog you recently published. If you did a video about something important about your business, write a blog even if it’s only 200 words. Then, put the video on your website with the blog. Then grab a section of the blog and draft a post to Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, etc. about your blog and video.

Check out our Be GRAM-Tastic Instagram course.

If you want to find out more about it, Schedule a call with us by clicking on our online calendar here.

Prospecting Avoidance

Professional salespeople know when they wake in the morning they have to do the one thing that is sure to guarantee an income:

Prospect for new business.

In a way, salespeople begin everyday looking for a new “job”, don’t they? Because without a new client to purchase what they’re selling, how is there any any hope of a paycheck in the future? Even if that salesperson is a salaried professional, without showing results for their employer, there’s no guarantee the employer will continue to employ that salesperson.

I think therefore, we can agree that a professional salesperson, whether commissioned or salaried, knows that prospecting for new business is the number one priority for their days, each and every day.

That’s not to say they all follow through on the actions necessary to prospect. “Prospecting avoidance” is a commonly understood malady in the sales profession. Sales Managers everywhere constantly harangue their sales teams to hit the pavements, ring the doorbells, make the calls, set the appointments, to fulfill the promise of prospecting.

Avoidance of prospecting comes out of the simple psychological fear of rejection. We all have it. Besides, as simple as prospecting can often turn out to be when you actually do it, it can also be as difficult to initiate.

It’s no wonder then that business owners who are NOT professional salespeople may suffer from this very disease of prospecting avoidance. The creative excuses people come up with to avoid having to make prospecting calls are legendary. Yet, as the owner of your business, unless you have a professional salesperson or sales team working for you, you must must, must, Prospect for new business.
The only way to overcome your avoidance of your emotional pain about Prospecting is to simply attach a level of importance to this task.

We hear so often from Business Owners of being distracted with other important tasks: making payroll; attending to a malfunctioning machine on the shop floor; taking a call from the accountant/attorney/spouse/pesky customer/excellent customer/number one account/printer/fleet mechanic and on and on and on.

The Business Owner has attached a level of importance to each and every one of these tasks. Attach that same level of importance to Prospecting. You must. Absolutely must. Your business health, wealth and survival depends on you doing so.

Once you make Prospecting as important an activity as any other in running your business, all those other avoidance afflictions melt away into nothing. Fear of rejection disappears. Procrastination towards your Prospecting Plan converts to an optimistic sense of urgency.

And, yes, you may even like Prospecting.

Spice Up Your Marketing

Whether you are ready to stick a fork in your marketing plan or you’re cooking with gas, you may want to let this marinade for a bit.

I don’t ever brag about my cooking. Recipes terrify me because they are so precise. And well, one false move, will it be edible?

You can experiment with so many different flavors. What about an Indian dish with a flare of curry or an Italian dish with a pinch of oregano. Maybe you like a hot bowl of chili, extra cayenne please.

The possibilities are endless. However, if you don’t want to risk your guests’ taste buds to your creativity (or lack thereof), you may want to prepare ahead of time to test taste the dish. 

When you decide what cuisine you would like to serve and you’ve picked a recipe, you browse your pantry for the ingredients you need and may already have. If you are missing an ingredient, you must take a trip to the grocery store to purchase the rest.

Click here for your marketing shopping list.

You then assemble your ingredients on the counter so it’s all readily available as you maneuver in the kitchen between the refrigerator, counter, sink and stove. You’re utilizing all the tools (appliances) you have in order to prepare the dish.

With marketing, the possibilities are also endless with how you build your brand and execute your story. Similar to deciding on your meal, you have to decide how you’ll execute your marketing strategy.

Whether you are beating, chopping, mixing or grinding, there’s a process and each step of the recipe contributes to the ultimate goal which is a delicious meal you’re proud to serve.

Marketing is similar to this. The recipe to marketing is having a strategy.

The ingredients are the various outlets that will build your brand and build your business.

  • Are you blogging?
  • Branding your website so people “know” you before even meeting you?
  • Posting on social media? 
  • Hosting/speaking at an event?

This activity will help to sell more of your products and services to new and existing clients.

Get our FREE marketing checklist now. Click HERE.

If you prefer not to be the head chef in your marketing kitchen, consider hiring a sous-chef so you can do what you do best and delegate the rest. If you think your marketing is a bit bland for your taste, please give us a call and tell us how we can help you spice things up.

“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” – Thomas Keller

The ROI of Doing Nothing

Often, when a business-owner invests in marketing, they want to know when they will see a return on investment. It should be a question and a concern; it would be cavalier to dismiss otherwise.

However, when a business-owner finally realizes that marketing is key to new business development, some think that results rapidly occur. It doesn’t work that way.

Besides considering the cost of marketing, the time before profit is realized remains uncertain. In my experience of running a business and investing in marketing, a person skilled in sales considers budget, cost and equally as important, the confidence that the potential solution could be a cure to stagnation.

It’s hard to quantify the loss of income when nothing is being done to attract new business. It’s not unusual that, sometimes, we spend a lot of time rationalizing not investing a few dollar to make more dollars.

Did you ever go to a networking event, meet people, get business cards and never follow up? It happens! We spend money to attend the event, gas for the car and lose quality time with family and/or personal endeavors. The ROI of dong nothing equals nothing.

As a licensed insurance person, it would be tough to write insurance if I thought “that person doesn’t need insurance” especially when they have insurance because I know they own a car, a home, and a business. 

Do you like tea? If you do, you know that when you make tea, you don’t drink it immediately after pouring the hot water into the tea cup. You have to wait for the tea to steep so it maximizes the ingredients and flavor of the tea; otherwise it’s just hot water.

Marketing is like tea. it takes time. Besides needing money to invest in marketing, we need patience to develop a reputation. You know what costs money? A reduction in new business while overhead continues to increase.

Don’t be cheap, steep! Then, enjoy one sip at a time. 

Marketing Super Power: Justice League Style

Holy Metaphor Batman!

There are many Comic Book Super Heroes, but let’s start, FOR NOW, with the Justice League from DC Comics. If your marketing needs a super power punch, let’s review how these Super Hero members of Justice League come together with marketing inspiration!

Everyone has a favorite Super Hero and maybe even a favorite super power.

Let’s start with BATMAN. And not just because my partner Trevor Curran thinks, I mean wants to be, I mean strives, I mean believes he’s BATMAN.

Of all the Justice League Heroes, Batman might be the first, best choice. Why?

Well, Batman’s super power? Technically, he doesn’t have any. He’s rich; and he develops technology to conquer his missions. Oh, and he’s a detective, to figure out “sh(tuff”. (PG Blog)

That sounds awesome, right? A Super Hero with NO super powers!  Note, he bruises and bleeds, much like the rest of us humans. And doesn’t that happen occasionally when we’re trying to find new marketing techniques and we make the inevitable mistakes?

Batman doesn’t stop! “We have to try.” He asserts.

If you love, live, eat, breathe and sleep marketing and if you’re relentless to try new things to see how you can be more visible for your business, Batman may just be the Super Hero you want to be.

Robin: “You’re hit….”
Batman: “Flesh wound.”

As the Batman comic book reveals, sometimes you have to take a chance and switch gears to experiment with what gets you more traction, aka engagement. And, even if you find that the results aren’t what you expected, you can pivot to try something else. That’s the beauty of marketing. There are so many options!

Next, let’s get “technical” about another Justice League Super Hero: CYBORG. He’s half human, half machine. Interesting factoid is that this character was developed in 1980. Ironic, right? His character is described as, “Nowadays, everyone’s juggling an offline and online persona.” Ain’t that the truth?

Everyone talks about being authentic. Authenticity has credibility, BUT what happens when you’re faced with a 4D experience when you’re interacting with other humans who have only seen you online?

Transparency is the cousin to authenticity. Isn’t it a super power to be authentic and transparent?

Ah, then the beauty and strength of WONDER WOMAN. With her lasso and her shield, she’s always working. She is the “beating heart of the Justice league. She will fight to the death to defend it.” 

How does this relate to marketing?

“I’ve been reacting not leading!” ~ Wonder Woman

You have to want it! You must work to find the tools to go after it for your business, for your business goals. Whatever it takes for those goals, whatever they may be: paying for your kids’ college tuition, getting the pool in the backyard when it’s LAVAHOT degrees outside, crossing off a travel destination on your bucket list.

Let’s now swoon over SUPERMAN. He was a “beacon to the world”, said Batman.

What does this have to do with marketing? 

Superman makes us see the best part of ourselves to the world. That’s what marketing does. It helps people see what you do best and how they will fit your super power into their world.

Let’s keep moving on….How cool would it be to be able to do all of the marketing tasks it takes, in a split second, to reach as broad of an audience as possible? Well, the Well, the second fastest Justice League Super Hero, FLASH has the speed to take on anything not to mention multi-task in a split second. 

DC Comics describes the Flash: “…he can still lose track of everything else around him, leaving the fastest man alive constantly running a minute behind.”

Let’s take a plunge….Ever feel like you’re drowning in possibilities? If you were Justice League Super Hero AQUAMAN you would kick those possibilities into the vast open waters and let them float to the surface.

You have to research. You have to experiment. You have to try.

“You tried to warn me, Jim…so many times. You told me that I break too many of the important rules, that i made too many of the wrong enemies…that for all my tricks i’ve been getting by on luck…it’s all a game of odds you said….all it will take, is one bullet.” ~ BATMAN

Find your super power, then find your team. That’s what the Justice League did.

Reflections through the Drive-Thru Car Wash

SPRING is finally here, sort of! This past week marked my regularly-scheduled, yet overdue, visit to the car wash to rinse the winter grit and grime from my car, especially since the four recent and overwhelming Nor’easters delayed a much needed bath.

I drove to the drive-thru car wash, although a more thorough cleaning was necessary; this was a decent option in he meantime given how my visit was grossly overdue.

I put the car in neutral and onto the rails we went. i had a few minutes of quiet time to myself as we floated into the tunnel. This is where I decided that marketing could be a bit like a drive-thru car wash due to the different stations and variety of wash methods Sally and I were about to go through.

On average, a typical car wash facility has multiple stations:
• Pre-soak
• Mitter curtain
• Rinse arch
• Foam applicator
• Scrubbers
• High-pressure washer
• Undercarriage wash applicator
• Rinse arch
• Wax applicator
• Mitter curtain
• Scrubbers
• Rinse arch
• Dryer

As you can see, a couple of the stations repeat themselves. This isn’t surprising is it? This is no different for marketing.

There are various marketing activities that help with your efforts to achieve fruitful business development results depending on your budget, time and tools. Yes, it can be overwhelming, but you know there is light at the end of the “tunnel”. Let’s take a look at my quick journey through the wash tunnel and how it relates to marketing.

Car Wash:
First, a couple of guys doused Sally’s exterior with a power wash blast to prepare for the pre-soak phase. While the bay and various machines were about to swallow Sally whole, there were still humans tending to Sally’s curves and contours to ensure stubborn debris would be managed.

Marketing:
This is similar to initially hiring a marketing consultant who prepares you and your business with a “down and dirty” approach to produce a polished marketing strategy that suits the goals of your business.

Car Wash:
Then, you enter the mitter curtain. These sud-soaked fettuccine strips jounced the front hood and windshield with a head-on lather. The lengthy sponges slowly made it’s way to the top of the car and proceeded it’s rhythmic cleansing towards the back of the car.

Marketing:
This reminded me of the strategy soaked discussions a business-owner would entertain with an overall review of the myriad of marketing techniques and tactics available.

What are these myriad of marketing efforts?
• Referrals
• Existing clients – cross-selling, up-selling, account rounding
• Cold calling – yup, everyone hates it, but it’s on the list because it works.
• Strategic alliances – who compliments your business that needs your services for their clients?
• In-person Networking
• Social media
• Email Marketing
• Content marketing (webinars, podcasts, press releases)
• Internet marketing (Search engine Optimization – SEO)
• Community service (Volunteering, Boards of Directors)
• Direct mail
• Advertising

Back to the Car Wash:
Next, the scrubbers. These tall, rotating brushes glossed over the sides of Sally to remove loose debris and film from the power washing.

Marketing:
This is where you scrub what activities you think work best for you and for your business. You also want consider what activities you should handle and what could you delegate to another member of the team.

Car Wash:
The rinse arch followed. The spraying showers washed away the soapy suds.

Marketing:
It’s a time to “come clean” with focusing on what works and more importantly what doesn’t. This is your moment of reflection to understand what marketing activities you could be doing and perhaps have fun while doing it.
Finally, I enjoyed the high-powered heating vents that finished the cleaning process by blow drying Sally to remove blotches from soapy residue and streaks from spraying water.

This is the time to celebrate. Who doesn’t enjoy the refreshing feel of success when recommendations have been considered from a trusted marketing consultant. While this car wash journey was a mere five minutes of my time, it’s a start and a little bit of motivation to remember how she shines in the sun.

Cleaning any vehicle is a process and requires maintenance. So does marketing.

Start the process, embrace the progress. You know you need to do it, and you know a positive outcome is likely.

Your business is an adventure. Enjoy the ride…even if it’s for a five minutes of quiet through the car wash.