True confession – I used to think marketing was a load of BS.
Yep, before I got into content and inbound marketing, I was an editor. Marketing to me was an endless barrage of crappy email pitches and product press releases.
My job as an editor was to separate the wheat from the chaff to educate my readers. Oddly enough, that's almost exactly what I do now when creating content for clients – with the additional goal of also driving the audience to take an action.
I saw more than my share of bad marketing, brochure-ware websites and other marketing “strategies” focused on the glory of the vendor.
We still see too much of that for copier dealers and managed IT provider sites. No one cares about you. They care about how you can help them solve their business problems.When you combine weak websites that are – at best – online brochures with another issue we see all the time – a lack of respect and understanding for marketing – your company isn't reaching as many potential customers as is should.
I get it. Most of you reading this are hard-core sales guys. You know how hard sales is because you've done it or are still doing it. It brings in the money.
Here's the secret of inbound marketing – it can help bring in the money too, but you have open your mind to what marketing really is, not what you think it is.
Marketing Is Not a Leave Behind
If your idea of marketing begins and ends with a leave behind or brochure cobbled together by your marketing person, you're making life harder for yourself.
Marketing isn't a brochure that quickly ends up in the trashcan. Seriously, how often do you save direct mail or fliers on your door?
Marketing is focused on assisting salespeople make sales. We do this by
- Creating customer-focused content – blogs, infographics, tips sheets, videos, and more
- Establishing your website as an always-on storefront, full of useful information and focused on your customer's buyer's journey with content and calls to action designed to create leads for your sales team to follow up with
- Ensuring there is a plan in place to market to customers beyond cold calls or radio ads
There's a lot more – just like there's a lot involved in being a salesperson.
Someone in marketing who only thinks their job is creating a brochure for you is the sales equivalent of someone who just takes orders. That's not selling.
A final thought about those brochures and leave behinds – if they give your salespeople a crutch and make them feel good, by all means use them because anything that boosts confidence is a good tool.
Marketing is everything your customer touches and sees about you. When it comes to online presence, don't you want to be more than a brochure no one reads?