You may not find this hard to believe, but I can be a right stubborn sod, especially when it comes to work. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it when someone schools me. But I also like facts, especially if I have to explain (again and again) why I do what I do the way I do it.
Expertise and experience count, and it’s good to remember that if you have both. Use it. I genuinely believe that one of the best bills you can pay is to the expert who tells you NOT to change a thing and that you are on the right track, even if it may not feel like it, because data tells a story.
However, it doesn’t tell the whole story. These things are never binary – this OR that. You need a mix of marketing and sales activities and need to experiment and evolve over time. And despite how clever we think we have become, the quote from John Wanamaker is more relevant than ever if we are really honest with ourselves:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
It’s good to know that I’m not alone. I recently discovered a great report about digital marketing, web traffic and social use that offered me some sanity in my thinking. It’s well worth checking out at https://datareportal.com. It may smash some preconceptions you have or hear about, and it’s free.
After two recent conversations with clients this week, I am also reminded about the power of brand and storytelling. One of them discovered, during 2023, that by actively working away from sales-only channels and focusing on brand activity, you can also get measurable sales. It’s a revelation. It also feels less like running up a downward escalator.
Brand is a deep-dive discussion that many small businesses never ever actually have in the first place – this thing we all work together at: who is ‘it’ exactly?
So, why not make 2024 the year you stop chasing rainbows with a short-term marketing approach? We need to ignore these ‘surefire’ ways to attract new business, step back and work out who the fuck we really are in the first place.
Because if we don’t know, how will we ever connect with clients? Not platitudes and saying what we think people want to hear, but delivering logical and emotional empathy that delivers sustainable, long-term stability that helps you thrive.