Choose The Correct Lens For Your Marketing Plans

Courtesy of photographer Ryan Haddad

Sometimes people get so wrapped up in tactics that they try to make one tactic fit all strategies.  Two articles and a phone call this week reminded me of this. And, also, a project I am currently working on, but more about that later.

The first article is a plea on Search Engine Watch asking Can We Please Stop Hyping Social Media as the Marketing Messiah?  Not only a fitting title for the week, but a reminder that using just one lens to view our goals blinds us to other possible, and possibly more successful, perspectives. The complaint, or maybe it’s suggestion, is that SEO gets short shrift because too many people are in love with social media. The author has a good point, although there are also too many “experts” thinking that SEO solves all problems.

Which brings us to that phone call. I get a phone call forwarded from my clients* at least once a week from someone starting the conversation with “Your website is missing 60% of the possible web traffic by using the wrong SEO __fill in the blank__.” Then the caller quickly explains how SEO is responsible for all web sales, is the only way to get results, and changes water into wine (yeah, I had to throw that in to tie with the first article).

Now, most of the companies I work with are B2B and they are in specialized areas of manufacturing, software, or something else where the SEO objective is to get targeted response and not quantity response. The caller usually has no clue about the business, the industry, or anything else, they are either just cold-calling or have done the minimum view of page source without considering the business model. Just another guy viewing the entire marketing spectrum through one lens.

Oh, please stop calling, oh SEO “expert” guy or gal!

Now the second article is on Fast Company and discusses the idea that Customers Don’t Want Ads, They Want A Conversation. Actually, I think this is a pretty good review of how companies may be missing the boat using social media as a broadcast communications tactic instead of an extension of a wider range of marketing tools, but I don’t think that is the point the author intended. The article still views the marketing landscape through one lens, that of the previously lamented social media (see a couple of paragraphs above).

There is no holy grail of marketing. Single tactics are not an effective answer for all marketing needs, especially if the tactic is not drive by the strategy. Focusing on specific goals reached through selected tactics is the only answer. While none of us have the time or money to use every possible marketing tactic, the law of diminishing returns stops that effort, we cannot afford to view every problem through the lens of a single tactic.

That project I am working on? The Portland Digital Marketing Conference is returning on June 18-19, 2003 in Portland, Oregon. Notice this is about digital marketing. The conference covers the spectrum of digital marketing strategies and tactics, including how they coordinate with more traditional marketing tactics. There is a selection of 3-hour bootcamps to choose from and keynotes from respected marketing leaders, along with an Ignite® DMC session that promises to get your marketing juices boiling with great ideas. Registration open on April 4, a link will be available after that.

* Phone calls get forwarded to me by my clients because sometimes our business relationship has me operate as their outsourced marketing manager. They don’t need a full-time employee (with all the related expenses) and I get the benefit of an expanded view of their business.

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Filed under Business, Marketing, Social Media

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