I learned a few things when I spent a day last week at a conference of small business people.
“There’s an elephant in the room,” I said. “The noise about that big beast is the thing that gets in the way of most of those folks having a solid marketing and sales plan. The keep being told about the tremendous reach of the major social programs. The data is reasonably accurate but the fact that Facebook gets to sky zillion people doesn’t translate to people coming into your establishment in east Podunk Junction where the total population within 20 minutes of your store wouldn’t fill a football stadium. Part of the problem is that they believe the big numbers will be a magic charm.”
Chris chimed in, “Then there is the don’t know factor. They don’t know what they don’t know and I don’t know if they will ever find out!”
“Easy there, web master,” said Rob our branding guru, “you’ll get yourself all whupped up like the topping on one of grannie’s lemon cream pies only it ain’t quite so tasty. What I mean is that some folks didn’t grow up with all this stuff and so they just don’t get it. Give’ em a break. Shucks, they make great customers for you.”
“You have a point,” said Chris.
Kate asked “So why do you still have a long face?”
“Because they want all the bells and whistles but they aren’t willing to learn how the digital world works.”
“Boy is that the truth,” said Rick, our Direct Marketing expert. “I get requests that require the most sophisiticated approaches every day from people that don’t have a clue as to the tools we have to use to meet their expectations. They want to do automated digital marketing and are not willing to learn what is reqired and what it costs both in terms of time and money whether they do it themselves or hire a pro.
Gail interjected, “Look, I’m one of those people that just doesn’t quite get it. Not because I haven’t tried. I’ve taken classes and I try to stay up to date with webinars and online resources but they keep changing stuff and I don’t have time to keep up, I have a business to run. You and the other digital types need to remember that all these things are tools. I don’t have to relearn how to use hammer each time I need one and you know as well as I do that most manuals for this stuff are non-existent or written for the cognoscetti not for us non-techies!”
“That is what I heard all day long,” I said. “Over breakfast a former sales person for a Fortune 500 company that had opened her own business said she was much happier but just couldn’t figure out whether to go networking and making cold calls or figure out how to put Twitter and Facebook to work for her.”
“So you told her to get to Networking and Cold calling, I’m sure,” said Kate.
“Yes, I said, “but I suggested that she should start asking customers if they used social media and if so which and for what. Later in the day in my presentation I noted that a recent Gallup poll says that 62% of Americans do not use social media to make buying decisions.”
“However,” Rick said, if she asks the right questions, once she learns about her customers she will have a better fix on an approach to all the digital marketing she might do.
“Right,” I said. “All day long it came back to the wrong questions. In my view, the right ones are:
- What media (traditional or digital) do your prospects or customers actually use? Why?
- How do they relate to it and the offers they find in it? Why?
- If they had to pick just one way of being contacted which would it be? Why?
What do you think?
Jerry and his merry band will be back next week
This blog is from the experience of Jerry Fletcher. Learn more at his consulting website: www.JerryFletcher.com
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