How To Create Marketing That Doesn’t Suck

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Consumers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages per day. Millions of Americans have joined the U.S. “Do Not Call” list. And who doesn’t skip television ads or throw away unsolicited direct mail?

As a result, response rates to traditional advertising are down. Email response rates, click-through rates and contact rates by telemarketers are all seeing rapid declines.

Let’s face it folks, most marketing…well, it just sucks. There. I said it. (And I’m not the first!)

I’m proud to be in marketing. I believe we can lead our companies to better meet customer needs, to create amazing products and to delight our customers, our employees AND our shareholders.

“But how?” you ask. Well I’m here to propose a solution (and I’m not the first.)

Here’s the thing, your buyers do not wait for your campaigns. They are constantly seeking solutions to their business. And they now wait considerably longer before engaging with vendors. Some studies suggest buyers wait until they have completed up to two-thirds of their research before reaching out to vendors.

For most companies, 99.9% of banner ads do not receive any clicks, more than 90% of direct-response emails are never opened and even fewer produce any form of buyer engagement such as clicking on a link.

Earlier this week, I asked if you knew what % of your leads came from inbound marketing tactics and proposed that this was the most important number in marketing. Think of it as the measure of how much you don’t suck!

And in Have The Right Content. Help Your Buyers. Get More Customers I suggested you look at the % of inbound search traffic to your website that comes from non-product or branded keywords. Another measure of how much you don’t suck!

How to create Marketing that doesn’t suck:

  1. Focus on your buyers’ needs to be informed, entertained or to look better than the guy or girl in the next cube
  2. Create content that educates, entertains or makes them look good
  3. Share the content on social channels and encourage your customers and employees to do the same
  4. Engage with your buyers when they ReTweet, follow, like, share, Stumble, +1, call, complain or email you
Some quotes to help you sell this idea to the boss:
  • “If you have more money than brains you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.” Guy Kawasaki, author of Engage and Founder of Alltop
  • “A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies.” ~ The Cluetrain Manifesto (published in 1999!)
  • “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself… The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” ~ Peter Drucker
  • “We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in & be what people are interested in.” ~ Craig Davis, Chief Creative Officer of J. Walter Thompson (courtesy of Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot)
  • “Sacred cows make the best hamburger.”  ~ Mark Twain (courtesy of Annuitas CEO Carlos Hidalgo recently in MarketingProfs)
  • If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevancy even less.” ~ General Eric Shinseki (also courtesy of Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot)

And if you did not get into this marketing racket to help people, then consider the fact that when you create the stuff people want, they are more likely to become customers than when you do marketing that sucks. Great marketing is more effective and more efficient.

And here is an infographic from Voltier Digital with tons of facts and proof points that calls the emergence of Inbound Marketing “the dawn of marketing you won’t hate.” What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below…

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Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.

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