A Golfer's Analogy for Today's Marketeers.
Whether you are a golfer or not, we all pretty much understand a few things about the game. Keep your eye on the ball, know the lay-of-the-land, and put it in the hole in as few strokes as possible. I'm certainly no golf pro, but I've played enough to know that the game requires skills and talent that comes with years of practice. The same can be said of marketing.
Over and over again, I see more "Pro" Marketers taking a blindfold approach to their methods, which relates back to a point I made on an earlier page—just because today's technology has broadened our marketing options, doesn't mean your efforts will be more effective. Imagine walking out on the course with a blindfold on and attempting to shoot eighteen holes of golf. Any golf pro would tell you that it would be next to impossible. Chances are, you'd never make it past the first hole. Once again, the same can be said of marketing.
The challenges today aren't what they use to be. The days of departing the Barcalounger to "turn the dial" to a new channel are long gone. Instead of nine channels to surf, there are hundreds-of-thousands. Yep, that includes Al Gore's invention, aka: the world wide web. Which, incidentally, has brought a whole new class of marketeers from all corners of the globe, who are eagerly lining up to tee off from your home turf.
At the end of the day, your potential customer has been saturated with media and is loosing patience—desensitized and wary of whom s/he should believe in. Here's some Marketing 101 advice, starting with the basics; KEEP IT SIMPLE. Throw away the blindfold, get your eye on the ball and focus on one hole at a time. (The "dial" is still there, it just looks different now). Focus on marketing tools that provide personal connections, instantaneous results and metrics to conclude your efforts. Build from there. Because of the internet, the world has gotten smaller, competition more fierce, but also along with the myriad of new challenges is a bag of new carbon-fiber marketing irons that are readily available—and a lot less expensive than running an old school newspaper Ad. Many of these nifty "new irons" will get you to the green in one stroke.
The days of "hit-n-miss" advertising are long gone. Today, with targeted email campaigns and web-based analytics such as those provided by Google or Alexa, your company's marketing efforts can be measured instantaneously. No really, instantly—as in; you can send out a targeted email campaign and literally watch when it's opened, by whom, and what links were clicked. Furthermore, you can dial in your customer by their first name and build campaigns based on their preferences—right down to the socks on their feet (argyles are still a favorite for golfers). Follow that with a personal "Thank You" note, and you've hit a hole in one!
Images courtesy ofThe Project Gutenberg EBook of The Complete Golfer , by Harry Vardon