Why not start off my blog with some honesty and we’ll go from there. I hate self promotion. If I had a motto it would be talk is cheap. It seems odd, perhaps, that someone who feels that way about talk and self promotion would find himself in the marketing profession. A fair point but I did not start out on this path in the marketing profession. I didn’t care about marketing in the slightest. I began my career as a basement dwelling web designer with the goal of slapping together web sites from the comfort of my home in my spare time. I didn’t realize that the journey I had set out on would lead me to the discovery of everything right and wrong in marketing in general. Also I didn’t realize there would be failure, lots of failure. More on that in another article.
Now for my rule.
It’s always Self Promotion
Without self promotion you will be swallowed up by competition. Or you will be ignored entirely regardless of the quality of your product or service. I remember my early days when I used to think that providing quality was all you needed to be successful. I get it, this is true in some places at some times, but not forever. If you have found a magical marketplace in which everyone discovers you and promotes you out of love for you it won’t be long before someone else comes into that space and offers everything you do plus a fresh baked muffin and free shipping.
Now the tactical.
But let’s call it something else
Self promotion is more accurately known in the industry as Public Relations. This is a much better term to use because we know a lot about relations in this culture. What is our divorce rate, now, 50%? The term Public Relations does a good just of implying that you have a relationship with the public, whether you know it or not. Everyone knows that, to be healthy, relationships need to be nurtured and managed. Tell me, who is managing your relationship with the public, is it you, or is it the public? Let me tell you from personal experience the public is not loyal. If you don’t want to be in a relationship with the public then let me suggest a nice desk job for you.
Public Relations & Budgeting
There are two sides to your business, the internal and the external. We’ll call the internal side the Management side. This represents at least half of your budget, depending on your particular business. It might be less. The other side is the external, the fun stuff! We’ll call it the Public Relations side. Many people will refer to this as the marketing side, but marketing is really just a chapter inside the larger volume of Public Relations. This represents the other half of your budget. It might be more. It’s never less.
Wait. Did I just say that Public Relations would require half of my budget? Yes I did. Also, isn’t this a digital marketing blog, not a public relations blog? Yes it is. I’m going to write more in-depth about Public Relations, as it relates to digital marketing, next. Stay tuned!
For a small business, you don’t need google to tell you that you need a lot more sales before you can justify the cost of a full-time web designer. But if you had an in-house web designer who could take your site to the next level and bring in more sales through the web site maybe you afford another employee. It’s a classic catch-22. Plus, what would you tell the web designer to do? How would you manage her or him? You’d need to hire a marketing director just to keep your web designer busy. That’s a lot to bite off!
But what if you could add someone to your team who has the experience of a marketing director with the abilities of a web designer for less than the cost of a part time employee? That’s exactly where JSRing Studio fits into your needs and your budget. How, exactly, would JSRing Studio solve your problem?
Do an assessment.
To start we would meet with you and your steakholders and learn about your hopes, dreams and barriers of your business. After taking in everything we can from you and your team we will complete a discovery analysis of the information and develop a Product/Value model (e.g., luxury watches are marketed very differently than off-brand beans) of your business, and a profile of your ideal audience. Finally we would compare that against the competitors that are most likely getting the business from your ideal audience because of their online efforts.
Come up with a Strategy.
Once we have a reasonable assessment of the challenges your business faces we can look at some of the strategies that have been tried and tested with positive results. We’ll also come up with some creative thoughts of our own that are specific to your local market. We will formulate a solid strategy that aligns with your values to reach your goals.
Make a plan of action.
Once we have a solid strategy we will be able to know which of the endless list of traditional and digital marketing tactics are in your best interest. Not all tactics are useful for all Product/Value models. We will put together a list of best-bet tactics that will serve your interests and aid in producing a budget that makes sense for goals.
Make it happen.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Each tactic will be turned into an item on a to-do list that we can check off one at time and can be assessed on a time line. We can implement analytics for each tactic that will allow us to monitor effectiveness. We can even A/B test many of these tactics and see if we can tweak the results in your favor. This works especially well in high-traffic situations.
Analyze the results.
As we collect the results we can look to see which tactics seem to be providing the highest return on their investment. We can also modify the tactics that appear to be underproducing. After a round or two of analysis and modifications we’ll know just what investments are worth a reinvestment. That’s how scientific marketing is done!
Do it all again!
Research, test, modify, learn! Every effort we make gets us closer to a marketing model that can be repeated over and over for success. And that is precisely what you’re missing by not hiring a dedicated marketer on your staff. If you like this process, hire us now before we’re all booked up!
What is digital marketing? That’s easy, right? It’s just, like, marketing, but digital—right guys?
I’ve been dreading writing this article so deeply for so many years that I can say with certainty it is the reason that I haven’t bothered to start my blog at all. If you do a google search for ‘what is digital marketing’ you’re going to fall into an endless pit of digital marketing sales pitches. Ask a salesman to tell you all about sales and you’re going to end up buying something. There really isn’t an authority on the definition of digital marketing, so to speak.
Before digital marketing existed the average person had a difficult time explaining the difference between marketing and advertising. Even the industry had a hard time defining them. The internet has only made things more complicated, but the terms still fit into a nice hierarchy, if that helps.
Figure 2a. The hierarchy of public relations, marketing and advertising
Digital marketing doesn’t change this structure in any way. But being able to visualize the structure while you’re having a conversation about digital marketing should help you a bit with terminology and scope. Perhaps you’ve heard the term digital advertising. That’s just advertising. And digital marketing, that’s just marketing. Is there such a thing as digital public relations? Well, yeah there is. The qualifier, digital, is the part we need to understand. And frankly, I wish we would use an entirely different term. Something like interactive would be better. The most accurate qualifier, though, would be information-gathering. What separates digital marketing from traditional marketing is that traditional marketing transmits information but digital marketing also collects source information from the medium. The information it collects can be analyzed in sets of data that illuminate what actions are working and with whom. And that’s it, right there folks.
What we do with that information, the information that digital marketers are collecting, that’s the stuff of genius. This massive collection of data containing insights into human patterns of behavior all over the world, this is how the human mind is being hacked. It is also what makes it possible to hone our advertising into something much more palatable for your audience. We no longer have to depend on generic messaging for the masses. We can now use data to segment our audience and hone in on messages and offerings that are just right for them. We’re at the beginning of tapping into the possibilities, as an industry, and so far it’s a literal gold mine.
Time to get moving!