Blind marketing is probably an ironic term to use since most people don’t think they are blindly marketing, so let me shed some light on this supposed oxymoron.
Marketing is something all the marketing companies tell us we have to do. They tell us we have to “get our brand out there,” “be on social media,” and we have to “be creative.” That is supposedly the magical formula to reach your audience. However, while you DO have to market in someway, shape, or form… “branding,” social media, or some wonderfully creative ad campaign may be the exact WRONG way to do it!
If you have spent umpteen dollars on marketing over the years and have no idea if it worked or you KNOW it didn’t so you kept TRYING new things, you are the victim of BLIND MARKETING.
What’s the Problem?
There are two problems actually:
Creativity – Everyone knows, and either likes or dislikes, large companies such as Pepsi and Ford, so all they have to do is simply remind people of their existence. This is where CREATIVITY comes into play. Wendy’s “Where the beef?” campaign, the GEICO Gecko, Flo from Progressive Insurance… these are all creative ads to remind you of something you already know about and need/want.
The problem is the majority of small and medium businesses can’t afford this creative branding! Everybody doesn’t know them and trying to win market share from another behemoth corporation is nearly impossible when unknown. They need something that actually drives business to them. They need marketing that gives them a return on their investment.
Research – This should actually be “lack of research.” Research is the boring, tedious, antithesis of creativity. Creative people don’t want to research trends, competitors, and psychographics. That’s no fun! They want to be creative! They want to spit ball ideas, talk things out, come up with cool stuff. That’s what they do, they are good at it, and it is necessary at some point. But figuring out what specific marketing you should spend your money on to make MORE MONEY, takes some homework!
What’s the Answer?
There are many ways to improve your ROI on marketing.
- The cheapest, and one of the best, is to create a tracking system for every single lead/customer your business gets. Ask them where they heard about you, keep track of if they buy, what they buy, and how much and how often. Cross reference any marketing activity with sales to see if that activity actually had an impact on sales. There are numerous customer relations management and sales systems out there, or you can just set up a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
- Insist your marketing firm on doing objective research. The key here is “objective”! Asking YOU all sorts of questions about what you like is NOT objective research. There is a time and place for what you like… but when it comes to figuring out what your addressable market likes, what competitors are doing well and not so well, etc., you are almost never the best source.
- Hire a third party consulting firm to do the market research for you AND your marketing firm. This is obviously the most professional and objective way to truly find out what will increase sales for your company.
Marketing sometimes seems like one of those carnival games. You keep spending money trying to win your kid a stuffed animal, but it’s seemingly impossible to win. Doing the proper research is like learning the trick to the carnival game!