I can’t think of a better person to wrap up March Marketing Madness than Kevin W. Grossman. Kevin’s 22 years of marketing communications experience has been primarily in the human resources (HR) and recruiting industries. Hundreds of HR suppliers around the country have tapped into Kevin’s marketing and social media expertise. Kevin is an HR industry Top 100 Influencer (via John Sumser) and is one of the Top 25 HR Digital Influencers. And in addition to being a published writer of children’s books, he has his own blog about fatherhood and domestic violence awareness at Get Off The Ground.
Kevin, welcome back to March Marketing Madness and thank you for bringing our 2011 posts to a close.
Marketing Isn’t Easy
For example, “But why would I spend money on email marketing? It doesn’t really work anymore, right?”
In fact, according to most marketing industry pundits, including this recent post from Marketo, this recent post at Small Business Computing and my old stomping grounds of HRmarketer.com, email marketing is still one of the best ways to reach your customers, prospects and influencers.
No worries, I didn’t say social media was not a hip viable way to reach them, but email marketing is still one of the best, especially when combined with social media. If you work hard and do it right.
Yes, I said work hard.
All of marketing isn’t easy for that matter – it’s not supposed to be. Marketing is an integral part of generating visibility, lead generation and lead nurturing – of your overall business growth. It takes a lot of consistent heavy lifting and investment (time if not money).
But heavy-lifting easy buttons don’t exist, and everybody wants an easy button.
I can’t tell you how many folks I still speak with in business today who want an easy button to generate visibility and leads – push a button and they’re showered with them. The sooner you dismiss that notion the sooner you’ll have a successful marketing strategy.
Just because you think you have cool products and services, a great news announcement or a single fresh marketing campaign once a year doesn’t mean the media, your customers, your prospects or your influencers will.
And just because they don’t doesn’t mean they’re idiots. Nope, they’re not the idiots.
But if that’s the way you feel then by all means go ahead and:
- Forget about honing your messaging so your target markets really understand what you do and sell (selling “paradigm-shifting” products and services speaks for itself – c’mon).
- Forget about creating at least a 6-month marketing and PR plan that includes your key differentiators, competitive landscape, editorial calendar and past and planned marketing and PR activities.
- Forget about building a search-optimized marketing website.
- Forget about knowing who your target market is (your primary customers, buyers and influencers).
- Forget about knowing your competitors and how to differentiate.
- Forget about building relationships with the media (and analysts if you’re so inclined) and distributing regular news and “educational” marketing releases.
- Forget about sending search-optimized press releases via online wire services.
- Forget about generating quality content that your “decision makers” prefer to consume to the usual promotional marketing fodder.
- Forget about executing regular direct marketing email (and even print) campaigns to nurture your primary prospects and introduce them to your products and services and stay in front of them with a mix of content and pure-play promotion.
- Forget about exhibiting and/or sponsoring at industry trade shows.
- Forget about using Webcasts, podcasts and videos to promote your business.
- Forget about social media marketing and developing a strategy and having authentic conversations with your buyers and influencers (wait, what the heck is Twitter again?).
- Forget about reviewing your marketing and PR analytics and results – then revising and reloading your marketing plan.
Forget about a friggin’ easy button. It doesn’t exist.
Whether you hire your own marketing and PR team, hire a firm, or try to do it all yourself, investing the time and resources in marketing throughout the year will help you grow your business – if you do the hard work.
Email marketing is only the beginning.
Who is Kevin W. Grossman? Kevin is responsible for the research direction of human capital management at Ventana Research covering major areas for workforce performance management including Talent Management and Workforce Performance Management along with coverage of workforce activities including: recruiting, hiring, performance, compensation, learning, succession, analytics and people related activities across business processes. Kevin is also responsible for examining the role of business technology innovations including: cloud computing, social media, collaboration, analytics and mobile technologies as they affect human capital management. Kevin was recently rated as #1 HR digital influencer, #2 digital influencer in leadership and #4 influencer in talent management by online magazine HRExaminer.com outpacing all other industry analysts. Kevin brings to Ventana Research over two decades of business experience including over tens in the HR marketplace experience, through which he has marketed and brought to market some of the leading edge technologies for helping organizations leverage human capital and their workforce effectively. Prior to joining Ventana Research, Kevin was the president of HRmarketer.com, one of the leading marketing and software services firms in the HR market. Previously he worked at Tapestry.net, HRmarketer.com and the Glowan Consulting Group. Kevin’s articles have been published in numerous trade magazines and newspapers ranging from Talent Management Magazine to TLNT.com to the Wall St. Journal.