How do you know when a new marketing strategy is a good fit for your business? In this post, I’ll break down how I help clients wade through the myriad options of new marketing strategies to find which are worth trying and which they should turn down with a firm “no”.
First, Some Definitions
Before we dive in, let’s break down what I mean by “good marketing” since that could mean so many different things to different people, and even in different settings. Here is the definition we’ll use in this blog post:
Good Marketing is marketing that’s a good fit for you, your ideal clients, and your business based on the amount of time and funds you put into it measured against the return on investment (ROI) you get from it with increased revenue, reputation, or social proof.
Here are three ways good marketing can benefit your business:
- Increased Revenue: You’re pulling in more money by the year and/or by the month than before, ideally in alignment with your quarterly and annual goals.
- Increased Reputation: You’re getting your name in front of a greater audience by the number of your ideal clients.
- Increased Social Proof: You’re helping more people who are your ideal clients which also results in getting additional testimonials and reviews of your work.
So, with this set of definitions in mind, let’s now look at you can determine whether a new marketing opportunity is good marketing for your unique situation using some examples of how you discover a new marketing idea or strategy.
Scenarios in Which New Marketing is Not Good Marketing
You receive a call from a marketing representative for an agency that has an opening on a hot spot on a local news website that you recognize. They’re calling you to offer you a low rate to advertise through them on the site and they’ll create the marketing collateral (video, copy, images) for you based on your current info. They offer you pricing for a year at a specific monthly rate with a reach of 10,000 viewers on the site.
What factors do you weigh when you’re considering if this is good marketing for your business?
Here is what I’d ask my clients to consider in order of importance. For your use today, attempt to use a “yes” or “no” answer to the following, classifying any answer you hesitate on as a “no”:
- Have you heard of this marketing agency before and are you able to verify from a third party that they work with this local website?
- Does this align with a website that your ideal clients visit and would actually read an ad from you on?
- Would you have considered this marketing opportunity before they reached out to you?
If you’ve answered “no” to any of the above, this may not be good marketing for your specific business.
This leads me to a rule of thumb that I’ve shared with clients often over the years: If this agency is reaching out to you with a cold call to make an offer, they need your “yes” more than you do. They’re paying their rep to call you, and many other businesses, so the return on investment will be much higher for them on a sale than it will be for your business.
This marketing opportunity may have the potential to increase your reputation in your local market but it also may decrease your reputation as a business that’s targeting site visitors with unwanted ads.
You see an ad on a social media network that’s super enticing from a competitor’s business. It has a flashy photo of the business owner and it speaks directly to you with urgency about their program that’s closing enrollment in 24 hours.
You feel compelled to do something so you follow the link in the ad, landing on a long page on their site that’s filled with reviews of their program. That’s when you start to feel like she’s so much further ahead with her business than you are, and you begin to wonder if this is the type of marketing you’ve been missing from your business.
Here is another set of questions I ask my clients to see if this is good marketing for them:
- Do you have the same business model as this person, running a program that has a limited enrollment period?
- How do your ideal clients respond to an ad of this tone and with this level of urgency?
- Does this feel like marketing that’s true to you, the results you get for your ideal clients, and the values you hold as a business owner?
As with the first example, if you answer “no” to any of the questions above, this is not going to be good marketing for you. You also do not know if this is a good marketing strategy for your competitor! She could have started this on a whim without increased revenue or reputation. Although she appears to have increased her stock of social proof, there is no way to be sure that this is a result of this particular type of marketing.
You’re at an in-person networking event and see someone who’s on a sales team at a local business working the room. He’s shaking hands, joking with everyone he meets, patting others on the back, and he’s loud: really loud. In fact, he’s so loud that you notice other people turning toward him as he speaks.
You’ve never been that type of person but you wonder if he’s getting the level of sales that you want for your business and may take it even further to wonder: “Should I be more like him?”.
First off, before we dive into questions about good marketing for you, I’ll tell it to you straight: No, you shouldn’t be more like him. You should be more like yourself. Do a gut-check with the questions below to see if some part of this would be good marketing for you.
- Is this how you’d even talk with people?
- Has this way of interacting with others ever felt natural to you?
- Do you feel comfortable with someone acting like this toward you?
As with the previous examples, if you’ve answered “no” at all, then this one isn’t for you, either. How you network within a group is a component of your marketing strategy. For your marketing strategy to be sustainable AND effective, you’ll need to work with how you best connect with others. If this isn’t one of the ways you best connect with others then this certainly will not get you the results you want for your business.
As with the second example, you also do not know the results he gets from this marketing strategy, so implementing it in your business will not guarantee the results you imagine. This may increase his reputation but it also may decrease the likelihood that he is approached by anyone who is turned off by disingenuous sales-y conversations.
Good Marketing = Revenue, Reputation, and/or Social Proof
At this point, you may be wondering how you’ll find good marketing that works for you. Now that we’ve looked at what others are doing and how to know if it is right for you, let’s weigh some questions that apply to good marketing.
You’ll want to do marketing that accomplishes a few important details every time:
- Is authentic to your style of connecting with others
- Is honest about the results your ideal clients can expect from working with you
- Is repeatable for consistent interactions with prospects over the long-term
- Builds your reputation so people draw peers to you as a resource
- Creates fans who are happy to share testimonials and reviews (social proof)
After reading this list of five points, finding good marketing may seem like a tall order but there are simple strategies that I’ve found work time and again with clients. They include:
- Reaching out to a former client or contact in a personal email to invite them back to work with you and what your current offer is including a link to more information.
- Serving as a guest on a podcast in a related field where you can answer questions on topics that are important to your ideal clients.
- Hosting a live online event within your community of prospects to answer their questions without pitching each person.
Since every audience involved in the above scenarios has warmed to you through either working with you before, listening to a podcast in a related field, or joining your community, they’re already prepped to hear what you have to share.
The key is to discover how you can connect with others in a meaningful way that’s authentic to your natural style of communication AND that is also genuine about the work that you do AND the results you get for your ideal clients.
With that set of criteria, you’ll automatically begin to build your reputation which in turn brings in more examples of social proof that then also increases your revenue. It’s a triple win!