I could hide behind this picture, become a Dear Abby, or a mystery commentator, but honestly – I think you should know who I am to understand why I’m so cranky.
- I’ve worked with some of the leading software publishers and their VAR, ISV and services channels.
- I’ve managed multi-million budgets, but I mostly work with companies that have less than $100K to spend (in some cases – a lot less).
- I’ve been talking about marketing since the days when database marketing was the new “strategy” and custom postcards were the “big thing”.
- My “free” time is spent reading hundreds of marketing blogs, eBooks, case studies, infographics and pretty much every other email offering up tips and tricks that crosses my desk.
So why am I so cranky? About half of the discovery calls I have with prospective clients includes one (or too often – all) of these questions that we – and every marketing expert we speak with seems to answer over and over.
- What’s new? a/k/a Bright Shiny Objects. This is the marketer (or more likely the non-marketer) who wants to know about that NEW thing they just heard about. Re-marketing was the last big one everyone asked about. Staying current is good. The problem is that these questions are typically coming from people who have not done any of the “old shiny” objects (you know, like create buyer personas, compelling content, and a strategy?)
- How can I get leads by next month? a/k/a Silver Bullets. There is no secret weapon for getting a bunch of leads real quickly. There’s nothing else to say on this subject. Except if someone tells you they can do it – get it in writing and get a money-back guarantee. Better still – run away and save your time.
- Can’t I do that myself? a/k/a Do It Yourselfer’s. I’m all for DIY. I’m also all about knowing my limits. I’ll paint but I’m not going to do any re-wiring. I don’t have time to do it all either. You CAN save money by bringing in some of your marketing work in-house but unless you have a marketing department (let’s say at least 3 people), you are going to need outside help. Some things are just better done by an expert too – such as search-engine marketing.
Are you guilty of asking any of these questions? If so – time to stop and START focusing on what DOES work. I’ll be talking about that in my future curmudgeon posts.