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Five Steps to Finding Your Best Kind of Marketing

By: Guest | August 21, 2012 | 
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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,”

or

B. “Get better at doing what you might suck doing.”

or…

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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+.

20 comments
Beverly_Davis
Beverly_Davis

Thanks for the RT Bill @Bill_Simmel Have a great Friday!

manamica
manamica

@digett thanks! :) and yes indeed, it's about "them"

llihcruhc
llihcruhc

@rjfrasca Thanks! Step 5 is the most important!!!

manamica
manamica

@shonali thanks really appreciate it! what's YOUR best kind of marketing? @ginidietrich

manamica
manamica

@betterbloggingw @jeffsheehan thanks for sharing! And YOUR best kind of marketing... ?

manamica
manamica

@michaelbowers @angelineevans thanks! So, let's hear it, your best marketing? :)

GeoffReiner
GeoffReiner

Mana,

 

I definitely agree with your 5 point approach here. I think it's crucial to focus on your strengths and hire additional help with complimentary skills. I try and work with people that have strengths that are my weaknesses and vice versa.

 

I also think it's incredibly important to understand exactly who you are attracting and where they spend the most amount of their time. I've worked with a few companies that have a desired target demographic but are attracting an entirely different demographic. Instead of focusing on the demographic they are attracting, they try to change their marketing strategy and distribution channels to attract their desired client instead of their actual client. If it ain't broken, don't fix it!

 

Your second point covers this, I just wanted to hit home the importance of understanding exactly who these people are, their motivation to purchase, and buying criteria. Having a customer focus, especially when it comes to marketing, is so key!

 

PS: Awesome photo ;)

amandalgant
amandalgant

You had me at the kitty photo....

 

Excellent post. My favorite marketing is the kind you can test and measure. If you can't measure it, don't do it. I'm sure a "data-head" like you would agree with that! 

 

manamica
manamica

@lisagerber thanks for allowing my kitty obsession ahem "marketing opportunity" :) @ginidietrich

Bill_Simmel
Bill_Simmel

@Beverly_Davis YW, have a great one also, keep cool ;)

shonali
shonali

@manamica The kind where it doesn't feel like marketing at all...! @GiniDietrich

MichaelBowers
MichaelBowers

@manamica I tend to focus on what I do best but I am going to try some new things which might require me to bring in some experts.

manamica
manamica

 @GeoffReiner oh yes. I love that these days we can find out why our customers truly love our product, and who they are, and what they're into, we can find out all of that so  much faster than before. But often we're so focused on what doesn't work that we ignore what works... I'm hoping to see more appreciation for the  research potential social media has, and that may help some realize that they truly have some golden opportunities within their reach.

GeoffReiner
GeoffReiner

 @manamica Often times the information is right in front of us!  Being consciously aware of what works, and what other people are doing right, may seem extremely simple but very few people do it well.

 

Totally agree with you as well. Companies need to pay more attention to the trends and information social media can provide. Again, it's all right there :)

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