Who Moved My Cheese? Why Your Marketing Results Are Eroding

Someone has moved the cheese. Marketing results aren’t what they once were. What worked ten years ago, five years ago, heck, two years ago – those tactics don’t work any more. Something has changed, and it’s a big something. Here’s the thing: it wasn’t you. It’s your perfect potential customers who moved the cheese. They didn’t send a memo. They didn’t call to let you know. They just changed their habits, changed how they pay attention and what they choose to pay attention to. Their inboxes are more full than they’ve ever been. Their ability to find information is more streamlined than it has ever been. THEY are the ones who moved the cheese.

Are your marketing results eroding?And so many marketers still believe that doing what they’ve always done will continue to produce results.  Here’s my question – do you want to keep doing what you’ve always done? If so, fasten your seatbelt for your ride to the bottom! Your marketing results will continue to erode if that’s your choice.

It’s time to shake things up. It’s time to make a difference. It’s time to stop believing ads you see on TV or “old news” coaching from so-called gurus who have been teaching the same thing and the same ways for years.  It’s not their fault either.  They are teaching what worked for them, all those years ago — it’s what they know.  It just isn’t working like it used to.

Traditional marketing amounts to pestering  (and annoying) the majority of your leads — you know the 96%+ who don’t buy right away. You keep sending people emails asking them to do things, making them offers, posting your latest sale, giving them a coupon, over and over again. There’s a TV ad running right now that has everyone getting ready for a huge weekend at the furniture store because they’re sending out an email to their entire list offering 10% off. Do you think that offering a big list of people 10% off is really going to cause a record-setting weekend of sales? Seriously? Well, five years ago, it might have. But now, the perfect potential customers for that store have more options. Buying furniture online is easy, and shipping is free or so cheap it becomes a non-issue. Maybe they’ll get an uptick in store visitors, but will they get more actual sales? Or will they just get 90% of what they would have gotten anyway?

I’ve been reading a marketing book recently, who quoted Dan Kennedy, who said, “If you can’t be the #1 lowest price leader in your market, there is no strategic advantage in being the #2 lowest price leader.”  Exactly.  And it’s harder than ever to grow your business offering coupons and discounts  — your perfect potential customers DO NOT CARE.  And you are eroding your profits.  It’s a spiral to the bottom.

When people are ready to buy, they will buy. The job of marketing is to make it incredibly obvious that they should buy from you. Do people buy because something is on sale? No. They buy because they need whatever it is you are selling.  But if you condition them to always watch for a sale, then when they are ready to buy, they will wait for the next coupon — even though they would pay full price.

So how do you tap into the REAL needs of your perfect potential customers? How do you create an environment where YOU are the obvious choice for their purchase?

That’s the NEW way – engage and relate.  THAT is what “Marketing Differently” is all about.  If you think you know what I mean when I say “engage and relate” — you likely don’t.

Marketers can’t keep doing what they’ve always done and expect the same results. That’s the new definition of insanity. When your perfect potential customers don’t even need to talk to you before making a purchase decision, because they can find everything they need about you, your offerings, and your competitors and their offerings online, the cheese has been moved.

Be someone your leads know, like, and trust.Your leads need leadership and guidance.  Someone who cares enough to pay attention to their situation, to their needs, and can offer a tailor-made solution.  Someone who LISTENS, and responds.  Anything else is the same thinking that has you marketing the way you are today, and producing less-than-optimal results.

You’ve got to come at marketing with a “relate and engage” approach.  Your leads will pay attention, love you, trust you and become your fans.

Let me tell you a story.

I was working with one of our customers the other day. This particular customer sells classes and courses, and we happened to be looking at the profile of one student who had registered to attend a yoga class. That student was a brand new student and a brand new lead, and had only ever purchased that one yoga class, and pretty recently. As we looked at the profile, we noticed that the school had also sent her emails about Administrative Professionals Day and another email asking if she’d recently been promoted and offering leadership training.

When I saw that, I asked, “what in her profile or about her interests lead you to believe that she would be interested in either one of those topics?” The answer? Nothing. The school had just blasted emails out without regard for what people were actually interested in – and of course this person had not opened either one of those emails, because they simply weren’t relevant to her.

There are a LOT of marketers who think that’s absolutely no problem at all. And they’re wrong. Absolutely wrong. Sure, maybe five years ago, they would have been right. Maybe even two years ago (though the cheese had already started to move), they would have been right. But no longer.market differently

If marketers keep sending emails that are irrelevant to the people on their list, in today’s world, they are training their leads to stop opening their emails, to stop paying attention.

They don’t even unsubscribe. They just stop reading, and before you know it, your emails will slide from the inbox to the promotions folder…or junk folder or worse, they won’t even get delivered. Your open rates will decrease, and your clickthrough rates will fall through the basement – because your people have been trained – by you – that your emails don’t matter. Even when they do.

Engage and relate.

That’s why we take such a thorough approach to education.  It’s why we build our marketing software with the options and capabilities it has. And it isn’t all about our software. It’s about giving people the TOOLS, SYSTEMS, and PRACTICES that get results in TODAY’S reality.

We train people in how to do email marketing that relates and engages their leads. We start with understanding the perfect potential customers and WHY they buy, HOW they get information, and WHOM they trust. We teach a way to automate lead segmentation that makes sense – that puts LISTENING to your leads front and center in your marketing strategy. How you can know what people are interested in. We show you how you can achieve this new reality; saving you TIME and MONEY when compared to what you do today.  And we show you how to engage with those interests, create content that hits the mark, and really make a difference with the people on your list – the kind of difference that shows up in your marketing results.

The cheese moved. It’s time to market differently, to think differently, to deal with your perfect potential customers where they are, based on their interests. Listen and respond – don’t blast out campaigns that are all about what you want people to do.  If you want your marketing results to continue to erode, then don’t make any changes.  Or just dabble with some ideas to improve your marketing.

Make your leads cheer - because of the difference you make in their lives
But if you want to TRIPLE or even QUADRUPLE the results you get today from your marketing, you’ve got to market differently.  You need to learn how to not only approach marketing differently, you’ve got to incorporate LISTENING into your marketing efforts.

It’s time to break free from the way things have always been done, to break free from diminishing marketing results, to break free from doing too much work for too little reward. If you’re ready to do this – REALLY ready to take this on – we should talk.


About Margaret Johnson

Margaret is a business and technology veteran who started marketing accidentally nearly three decades ago - when she was five and a true marketing prodigy (ahem). When not coming up with awesome ideas, presenting webinars, or teaching about marketing, she's living with two cats, a crotchety fellow, and a house full of antiques and collectibles. She does not use Pinterest.

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