Old School Mixes are cool but old rules of marketing are not.
By Steve Parry
Opportunity can be defined as, “A favorable combination of circumstances.” In the business world this usually involves the exploitation of trends favorable to the endeavor. As the saying goes, “An idiot in a straight-up trend defeats an expert in a flat one every time!” Further, it has been said that success happens when opportunity and preparedness meet. We hope to help prepare you and show you not only the tools but the why behind social media with these post. Even if you’re not interested in computers it is difficult to ignore the impact the internet and electronic commerce has had on our society in the past few years with social media.
John R Levine, author of The Internet for Dummies, “…we gave to say the internet is totally mainstream and you’re falling further behind the curve if you haven’t gotten started.” Michael Dell, billionaire founder of Dell Computer Corporation, said “I believed – and still believe – that the Internet will become as pervasive and invaluable as the telephone.
In a USA today article with Emily White director of Facebook’s Local who works with business on Facebook tools she was asked: Many small businesses are concerned about taking on another project – social networking. Why should they take the time? White says, “the web is changing from an information web to a social web. The way people are interacting with online materials is really starting to mimic what they’re doing offline. A small business not on Facebook is missing a ton of opportunity. People are already talking about them, but all the positive things they’re saying are going off into the ether – and not getting shared broadly. Your page becomes a living breathing representation of your business.”
Now that you see that your online business is a “breathing representation of your business” what does that mean? Let me ask you when was the last time you looked in the yellow pages for a service and you had no clue who or where you were going to start? Have you even thought about or used the yellow pages in the past six months? If you’re not using them why would you expect others to call you from that same ad that you have had in there for years? It’s the normal thing to do, everyone else is doing it……really it’s just one of the old rules that you could be wasting money on. With so many of the old rules there is no way to measure its effectiveness. How often do people get a new phone book every six months to a year, maybe. It could be 3-4 years and different yellow page ads to find the right and effective one. While online you can see something is not working and change it on the hour if needed.
Thinking in real time is the key, as a Dj, for example you do this all the time. A song is being played but no one is dancing and you still have 4 minutes left. Do you let it keep playing? I didn’t think so…..with marketing you have to think in real time as well. People all over are wrestling with the challenge, and most are not at all comfortable with adopting a real time thinking process. It’s not something you learned in school or read in the best seller business book when you started your business. When the notion is put in front of them, many dismiss quick response to opportunities and threats as “reckless” or “risky” but like the opening statement of this post opportunity can be defined as, “A favorable combination of circumstances.”
Attitudes are so ingrained that even when confronted with an iceberg off the bow, companies persist in choosing slow and cautious over quick and nimble. Way too much time is spent checking, getting permission, researching, and running it past “experts” by the time decision is finally reached its time to call in the rescue team and abandon ship.
What have we been taught in the past:
Wait to make certain.
Work from checklist.
Make five year business plans.
Measure results quarterly.
Get yellow page ads.
Mail out flyers.
Post ads on billboards.
Run all decisions by staff.
Do all your research.
Aim for perfection before the public has the release.
Respond to customers on YOUR time frame.
Make newspaper and magazine ads stand out.
Nothing on this list is wrong. Clearly research, planning and working as a team are important. The problem is that speed and agility are all too often sacrificed for the sake of process. Testing ads, the plans and checking things on that quarterly level have a problem when it comes to trying to find out the results that work and the ones that don’t. To overcome that you need to consciously and proactively adopt a real time thinking process.
Now that the gears are turning in your head and thinking about you’re marketing plan. What do you have in place? Yellow page ad vs ads on the internet (new rule, by the way), TV ad vs you tube channel, article in the local wedding publication vs your own blog. I think you can see where I’m going with the end of this post. So now after your done reading I have something that I want you to do. Call it a small challenge. Take a sheet of paper (or make a new document on your computer) and write out all of your marketing and public relations and on the top make a T down the middle writing OLD RULES on one side and NEW RULES on the other. Write them all out and if you think they are old or new. Think about it, if you don’t know write them in the middle. If your thinking they are new write them on that side, keep the paper for in the next post we will start going over the New Rules of Marketing in the next and following post.
Steve Parry and Justin Williams are the owners of Socially Xcepted a social media management and coaching company to help you with your needs on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Visit them at www.SociallyXcepted.com or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
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