Q1 is such a great time of year for me. I am so full of energy. Ready to tackle new challenges. I am full of hopes of new customers, plans to connect with them and strategies to engage with them. So hopeful. So hopeful, indeed. It isn’t until about midway through Q1 that I start to notice that as a group, we tend to get mired in the weeds and details. Sifting through content calendars, blog posts, social updates and Twitter responses. We became very busy with how things are worded and legal approvals. And before the smell of spring is in the air, we are so standing so close to the proverbial tree, staring so intently that we are getting a bark imprint on our face.
It is so hard to not get mired down in the weeds of all of the details of marketing a product or service. We have goals and directives to meet. Lead generation campaigns to launch, marketing automation branches to define. Emails to write. But we will never meet any of our directives or goals if we are standing right up on top of the tree.
We need to remember the forest of customers. It is the customer that makes achieving those goals and directives possible. Because when we step away from the tree and the minutia of delivering marketing, we are able to see better where we can add value to the customer AND meet our goals. The bark of the tree is your brand. The forest is where your brand answers a consumer need and if we are busy with the tree all the time, we will miss the opportunities of the forest.
So, here are three ways for you to step away from the bark:
While you are busy reading posts about your brand, it is very easy to only hear your brand name. When you read it again, remove your brand from the comment and really hear her. What is she saying? Does she need answers? Is she comparing you to others? When you really hear her without the burdens of your brand, you can begin to form an understanding what she needs. When you hear her and understand her, you can give her information and tools to be successful. That is if you have those tools or that information. If you don’t, you now know what you need to do to help her and make her an advocate for you.
Stop marketing…just for a second.
Marketing is selling, really. Maybe soft selling, but it is part of the funnel. And when we are our most honest, we admit, people do not like being sold to very much. When we are in the weeds, we are focused on driving sales, or leads, or engagement. Basically, we are trying to get other people to do something they would not naturally do. And when you’re in the weeds, that’s what it is, but, when you stop marketing for a second, you can see the forest for the opportunity it holds and can see ways you might be able to add value. Adding value is selling today and it works. When you’re in the weeds, stop marketing and start looking for ways to be a helpful resource to her. People like helpful. They buy from helpful.
Take off your brand hat
When I am in the weeds with some marketing project and I am totally stuck, I ask myself would I do/use/buy/click/register? If the answer is “no”, I need to revisit the strategy as a person, not a marketer. I think about what I would need in this product and how I would use it and what I would pay for it. It is a good starting point, but in order to do this, you have to remove your brand hat because that clouds the judgment a little. If you are unable to do this, call your best friend or mom and ask them. They can give you some insights that you might not otherwise get.
Too frequently we are so close to the brand tree bark that we forget that we need to meet a consumer need and if we are not meeting that need, the brand will languish. Being a nimble marketer is important and if you can remember to get out of the weeds every now and then, we will see greater success for our brands.