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Marketing is for life, not a campaign

May 14, 2024

You’ve probably heard the saying “a puppy is for life, not just for Christmas”...

The same goes for marketing - if you’re in business then (like it or not) you’re in the marketing game. (Which is something thought leaders from Michael Gerber to Matt Church have been telling business owners for decades.)


Marketing is forever - get over it and get on with it…

No single campaign, promotion, website or social strategy will be “enough” to make your business successful.

Marketing feels big and complicated - and the rapid growth of Internet marketing in recent years has made it feel even bigger and even more complicated.

Treat marketing like you would a game: practice, experiment, learn, play and persist.


It’s time to get back to some marketing basics

Nurture all your existing relationships
The marketing game isn’t just about winning new customers. It’s also about reminding past customers and past interested prospects about who you are, what you do, and ALSO that you’re still in business, relevant and valuable.

Don’t forget your suppliers and collaborators.
Don’t just ask: “How do I reach my ideal prospects?”

Also ask: “How do I reach the people who know my ideal prospects?”

The cost of acquiring new customers is much higher than the cost of keeping existing customers for longer, keeping good relationships with past customers and staying front-of-mind with prospects.


See it big, keep it simple
Marketing is a process of continuously reminding your ideal customers about:

  • Who you are.
  • Who you help.
  • How you help.
  • Why you’re uniquely good at what you do.

[It’s continuously surprising to keep coming across businesses who don’t have their identity written down. They’re like Alice in Wonderland - they can’t be guided to their destination because they don’t have a destination.]

Once you have clarity on these fundamentals, you will typically find that there are 2-3 key activities that you can focus on.


Brand is a story…
Brand is more than bland value statements, mood boards and colour swatches.

Brand is your business story - showing up as valuable, useful and human. Keep your brand consistent and keep showing up. Not in artificial, unrepresentative promos - but as you and your people, living your story, serving your customers.

I’m a muso turned SEO strategist - and I’ve been telling that story for decades. When I recently released my first single in 20 years, I got SEO enquiries - because my brand identity is clear.


Ditch campaign thinking
Because marketing feels big and complicated, when sales drop off and business managers decide to “do marketing” they tend to think big. So they launch a big, complicated marketing campaign to “catch up”.

The problem with big, complicated marketing campaigns is that they mostly fail to deliver - and then get drawn into a black hole of expensive “shoulds”.

Big campaigns are super-vulnerable to big disruptions - market shifts, health challenges, wars, family issues, global pandemics, staff turnover.

The big failures are full of pain, expense and failure - and “marketing” gets a bad rap sheet. Everybody in the organisation shudders when you say the “M” word.

Marketing WORKS - if you keep working the process. Remind people you’re around, talk about the right things - the things people need, the things you do, the results you deliver, who you are…

Measure what matters
One of the horrors of Internet marketing is “analytics” - especially the defaults that the big SEO companies offer. You end up with pages of graphs but - unless you’re a math junkie - no actionable intelligence that you can apply to your daily operations.

That is why I founded Terminology and built the SEI Tool - because good marketing needs good intelligence - measurable, understandable, actionable intelligence (not pretty graphs).


Make marketing a habit
Like exercise - sustainable marketing is a process of building small, sustainable practices that lead to long term outcomes. As James Clear writes in Atomic Habits.

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”

Likewise, every marketing action you take is a vote for the type of business results you want to achieve.


Are you tired of expensive, campaign-based digital marketing?
Here’s a four-step plan to switch from “campaign” to “habit” in your digital marketing process:

1. Write down your brand/story:

  • Who you are.
  • Who you help.
  • How you help.
  • Why you’re uniquely good at what you do.

(Not sure where to start? Try Donald Miller’s StoryBrand or Oren Klaff’s Pitch Anything. Write something down - you can perfect it later, but you need a starting point.)

2. Sign up for the FREE entry-level SEI Tool and start exploring the gaps in your existing digital presence. Identify and understand the top 2-3 gaps.

3. [Act, measure, learn, adapt] REPEAT

4. See what changes over time. (If nothing changes, talk to us at Terminology about a strategy session through our email [email protected])