Today’s guest post is written by Mana Ionescu.
At a recent networking event, someone asked me about my favorite type of marketing…and then he clarified, “What is the BEST type of marketing?”
I’ll have to admit I’ve never thought of it that way, not even of the best type of online marketing.
“Best” assumes a comparison, and it’s never occurred to me to compare types of marketing. I’ve always considered them complimentary, not competitive.
It’s not about the best kind of marketing. It’s about YOUR best kind of marketing that YOU can execute to perfection.
Marketing offers multiple opportunities given your industry, time in history, culture, popular types of media consumption, and other socio-economic details. These opportunities are not competing, they are available in parallel.
The best kind of marketing is the marketing that comes at the intersection of opportunity (some call this strategy) and readiness to execute.
Choose Your Best Marketing
The “experts” are split.
A. “Focus on what you do best,”
B. “Get better at doing what you might suck doing.”
Focus on what you do best and then bring in experts to help with the rest.
Find Your Best Marketing
Practically, this translates into the following decision process:
- Evaluate what type of marketing in which you excel, and in what type you could improve. Evaluate strategies and tactics. What works, what doesn’t? If you run a bakery and you love people, you may find you’re great at building face-to-face relationships and at word-of-mouth marketing, but maybe not so great at online marketing.
- Measure the trends. Where are your audiences spending their time? How do they consume news, education, and entertainment? What are they passionate about? Where do they currently hear about you? Why do they buy from you? Be brave, honest, and specific about these answers. They are not meant to bring out criticism, they are meant to bring opportunities.
- How do the trends match your needs? If your targets spend time on Facebook, but you are not on Facebook, you may want to refocus there. And vice-versa. Use your success there to publish a case study, or shift your strategy to a different audience. The Olympics are a great example. Most of the pre-Olympics buzz was about the Facebook partnership with NBC. But the Olympics happened on Twitter because the athletes and their fans mostly use Twitter, not Facebook. Not paying attention to Twitter in this case is a missed opportunity.
- Bring in the experts. Grow or hire the expertise. Growing takes work, hiring takes money. Pick your poison and move forward. But please don’t try to become a videographer or surgeon overnight. Most PR fails in recent social media history came out of employing non-experts to do an expert’s job.
- Follow-through. Pretending to focus on marketing and actually focusing are two different things. Give your marketing the time and dedication it requires. There are no shortcuts. If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t do it. Go back to #1 above and reset. If you are really great at something, nurture it and keep growing it.
You see, good marketing doesn’t mean comfortable marketing. Good marketing means testing, learning, and applying what you learn to improve. Good marketing takes being brave. And being able to be curious, excited, yet slightly out of your comfort zone in the process.
So, what is your best kind of marketing?
Mana Ionescu is the founder and president of Chicago social media marketing company Lightspan Digital. Mana believes in clear and simple marketing solutions that deliver results. Start simple, test, learn, and evolve. Lightspan also offers social media management and campaign development and execution. Mana loves to cook Romanian food, SCUBA dive, and attend the Lyric Opera. Connect with her on Twitter at manamica and on Google+.