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Communication Coach: Why marketing is hard and how to fix it

April 30, 2019 -  By
Viewing laptop (Photo: iStock.com/ZoneCreative)

Photo: iStock.com/ZoneCreative

Marketing touches every aspect of your company.

This was scary when there were only a few ways to promote your business. Nowadays there are hundreds of marketing channels, and that’s only counting those that are completely or nearly free.

The time comes when a key marketing channel is neglected. This could be your website, social media profiles, search directories or review sites.

This is when your marketing starts to unravel, slowly at first, then quickly as it fails to keep pace with marketplace changes. Day-by-day, click-by-click, it seems like your marketing is running out of control — because it is.

Stop right there and face the truth. You have to rebuild from the core.

Start with your core marketing message

We can assume that your website is the mothership of your marketing. It communicates who you are by sharing important details about what you do, including:

  • How you onboard new clients
  • How you work together
  • What you expect from clients
  • What clients expect from you
  • How exactly you ensure great results

To accomplish all of the above, your website needs strategic content designed to give customers what they need and want. That content must be optimized for search and promoted with branded social media and email marketing.

If anything is outdated or confusing, your mothership is a leaky boat. Forget about bringing on more technology until you fix what’s broken. Rebuild that foundation to get that core message and its supporting elements working well together.

Respect the marketing maturity stages

The next step after securing your foundation is making it stronger with practice. Marketing is hard when you prematurely leap into higher marketing maturity stages without first perfecting the necessary skills to do so.

Think of your business as a professional athlete. They all have big goals and aspirations, but few rise to the level of their expectations. Most fall back to the level of their training and experience.

You will too because marketing mastery is a progression. This is represented by three marketing maturity stages, and a few marketing activities generally associated with each of them.

  1. Build: Website, social media, email marketing
  2. Grow: Paid advertising, customer experience, reputation management
  3. Accelerate: Marketing automation, lead conversion, remarketing

The greatest challenge all marketers face today is content. This is what powers websites, social media, and email marketing. This is not content for the sake of filling up pages; it’s crafted messaging and stories that are optimized with keywords for search, and with trust signals for human beings.

Taking marketing to the next level prematurely places a heavy burden on a weak foundation. The more advanced marketing stages employ strategies and tools that will stress weaknesses until they break.

Make your marketing work for you by giving it an honest reality check. Instead of polishing up your website to make it prettier, take it down to basic messaging, branding and on-page SEO and build it back up from there.

Marketing isn’t a race, but if you see it that way, run it like a marathon and it will take your business where it wants to go.

Jeff Korhan

About the Author:

Jeff Korhan is the author of Built-In Social, founder of Landscape Digital Institute, and a Duct Tape Marketing Certified consultant. He helps green industry owners, marketers and sales teams craft and communicate branded customer experiences that sell. Learn more at www.landscapedigitalinstitute.com

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