You’re not going to like this. Especially if you’re putting a good bit of money into your marketing – but I’m going to tell you the truth. All marketing is an experiment.
It’s not as much of an experiment as playing the lotto, but it’s definitely not a hard science. If it were, then you’d know exactly how to pump Google Adwords to return 10x your investment from Day One, and most of us would probably be incredibly rich. Our current 1% class would crumble fairly quickly under the weight of all our successes.
Marketing is an experiment because we’re all people. Some of us create crappy marketing because we don’t know what we’re doing. Some of us create incredible marketing that goes to – shocker – other people, who respond or don’t respond the way we think they’re going to. It’s always going to be a game and there’s never going to be any tried and true methodology aside from the things we see working in our own campaigns.
The only way to get to those things that work is to mess up. Trial and error. Educated guessing. It’s all we have.
I’m motivated to write this because I still encounter people in my career who view marketing campaigns, regardless of what platform they’re on, as a quick way to fund their dreams.
It’s just not, and no amount of hoping will make it so.
I’m not really speaking personally of clients of mine at the current time. The first thing I do when I get a new client is brief them on expectations and the importance of benchmarks. I’m talking about the folks I’ve worked with, befriended or gone to trainings with who are convinced that the right investment and a flick of the wrist is going to make it their business an overnight success. Those folks still exist.
It’s not going to happen overnight. Zappos and Amazon, the holy grails of digital business success stories, didn’t happen overnight. They happened because the people who run these businesses value customers and know that the people who buy are the only thing keeping the business open. You have to make people feel like they’re getting value for their investment.
Nobody owes you anything. Just because you want it. Just because you put money into it.
You have to figure out what customers want, and the only way to do that is to patiently try new things and meticulously track the way those things work.
I’m writing this because if you’re in the hope-against-hope camp, it is time to critically evaluate your marketing materials, your budget, your time and decide whether or not what you’re providing is a worthwhile value for your customers. So is it?