I was away at a marketing event on Monday, with the Entrepreneur’s Circle.
It’s always a great day with great people. And usually, I come away full of inspiration & ideas to drive our business forwards.
This time felt a bit different. There’s no doubt that the landscape has shifted for all of us over the last few months & it’s getting harder and harder to get our marketing messages out to the people we want to reach.
There was SO much food for thought.
So I thought I’d share the 3 big takeaways with you in this week’s blog, in the hope it’s as interesting for you as it was for me!
1) Email marketing is getting less & less effective.
This is 100% true for us at AMP – and was the case for everyone else I spoke to.
If you look back at your open rates from 2016 / 2017 to now, there’s a pattern (and it’s not good!).
GDPR has a massive part to play in this, of course. But it’s more than that. Gmail led the way when they introduced their ‘promotions’ tab, meaning emails they considered to be marketing weren’t even making it to people’s main inboxes.
My gut feeling is there’s just been a huge cultural shift that’s reduced the impact of your inbox. It used to be THE way to communicate electronically, when we’d all check our emails a million times an hour.
But now, with Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, LinkedIn DMs and all the other ways we stay in touch, email is just becoming less and less relevant. I’m not even sure my teenage niece & nephew use email really (must ask them!).
This isn’t really news, of course. But it is only going one way. And if you (like us) have traditionally relied on email marketing, then it has made me think a whole lot more about other ways to reach our audience moving forwards.
2) Retargeting is also screwed.
Ok, so that’s a bit dramatic. But again, if you (like us) have used retargeting as a big part of your marketing strategy over the last couple of years, then again it’s getting tougher.
Safari led the pushback against tracking – particularly Facebook remarketing – earlier this year. Swiftly followed by Mozilla & Chrome.
And I get it. Consumer rights to privacy should (of course) have priority.
BUT as the main web browsers are making it easier & easier for consumers to block tracking with a single click, it makes our lives as marketers more & more challenging.
So we’ve got to find new ways to connect with our audiences, add value for them & help them see exactly how our business can serve them.
3) Content, content, content.
And this was the real takeaway for me.
We’ve been working hard to produce more & more content over the last 6 months, here on our blog & in the way we approach our social media & email marketing.
But it’s really hammered home that we need to do more.
We need to shift our focus over the coming months. We need to be working more on building our audience; creating more native content & videos to drive engagement; and creating more e-books & downloads that have REAL value for the business owners we want to work with.
And ultimately, our businesses have GOT to be communicating with our target markets in the way that THEY want to be communicated with. If that means less email marketing & retargeting, then so be it.
What does it mean for you?
Probably the same as it means for us! But here’s my thoughts (and how we can help)…
• Leads are getting harder & harder to generate. So when they DO come in, we can’t afford to screw things up or let them slip through our fingers.
And yes – that means answering your phone. Every single time.
Content marketing takes a whole lot of time & energy. So if you miss just one lead calling you, or don’t thrill them with the service they receive from your business, it’s all completely wasted.
And you can guarantee that lead WILL call when you’re out with clients; when the office is empty on a Friday afternoon; or when you’re out at your office Christmas party. It’s sod’s law!
But it’s also about getting back to prospects fast – whether that’s by email, Facebook message or any other channels you use. And making sure you have the systems in place to do what you say you’ll do & meet your customer’s expectations, every time (something we’re always working on here at AMP!).
• People buy from people they like – and as business owners, we need to get comfortable with putting our REAL personality out there.
Not that perfectly-polished version of yourself on social media – but the real you. The one that other real people will relate to.
It’s like the snap of our team, at the top of this blog. We’ve been testing them recently against our polished, professional photos & stock images. And guess which gets the best engagements? You got it. The real iPhone photos of the real people, who’ll really be speaking to your real-life callers when we answer them…
This has been huge for me. And I’m not quite there yet, feeling 100% comfortable with it. But it’s the next phase for us – creating more & more video content, to (hopefully!) help people connect with us on a more authentic, genuine level.
Not everyone will like you (and I think that’s biggest struggle for so many of us). But in order to attract our perfect clients – the people we REALLY want to work with, that are the right ‘fit’ for our business – we have to repel the people that are wrong for us.
And it’s tough! Ade & I aren’t 25 anymore and you certainly won’t find me on Instagram. I hate the whole bloody Gary Vee “hustle” culture, I don’t get up at 5am to workout & I certainly don’t buy into the notion that working harder is the answer to everything (working smarter, now that’s a different story!).
But I have been in business for well over 15 years. I believe that money doesn’t make you happy; but generating profits to take care of your family, your team, your clients & your own dreams absolutely does. I believe there HAS to be a bigger reason for everything you do in business. And I believe we should all take a lot more holidays!
So. There we have it! But this week has definitely shaped my thinking, in terms of where we go from here.
And if we can help YOU at all – to lighten the load, handle your calls & make sure you never miss a hard-earned lead – just click here to email me or call 02920 695999. There’s a 2-Week Free Trial here with your name on it!
Until next time
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