Ever notice that there are always two camps: One that wants to split things down the center and be all things to all people, and the other that is radically on one side or the other sucking down the Kool-Aid with a giant straw?
As of late I have found myself trying to be closer to the center, saying such things as you need an integrated marketing approach. I think that is a mistake. I should be asking, “What marketing venue or platform are you going to stop doing, before you start doing social media marketing?: The best way is NOT an integrated marketing approach. Businesses simply cannot add more things. More marketing equates to spending more money. A more appropriate question would be, “What are we going to stop doing in order to allow room for worn out ways to pass and new ways to emerge?”
As I observe our own small business, things really are much different than they were. We are tweeting, doing Facebook posts, writing blogs, posting pictures to Flickr and shooting You Tube videos, all in the name of selling more stuff, or at least to attract the attention of someone wanting to buy more stuff. We simply couldn’t do it if we were doing what we have always done. There aren’t enough resources, there isn’t enough time and there are not enough marketing dollars to do all things.
Sometimes as we plod along in our business we may not be completely aware of the changes that have occurred, or their impact on our resourses. We have been on the social media bandwagon for a pretty long while, and constantly tout the successes that most small businesses can enjoy by leveraging social media. I think that a lot of small businesses are doing just that and have moved from talking about social media to actually practicing social media marketing.
Over the last 36- to 48-months many things have changed, including the day-to-day tasks we fill our hours with. This bring about a burning question: If you have gotten past the Seven Fears of Social Media, and actually are employing a successful strategy, have you stopped to think about what you now are not going to do? Have you cut out direct mail? Print advertisements? Some other marketing channel or internal task? What have you done to make room for the new?
Adaptation of social media marketing promotes another problem for small business: Who is operationally responsible? Are you doing it in-house or getting some help? It seems that many small businesses are doing it in-house, which is fine. However, someone needs to ask that tough question. “What are we going to stop doing?”
As business owners, we are pretty good at adding things: A policy for this and a procedure for that. We draft up an array of “stuff” to protect us and our business from every conceivable thing that might ever happen. As a result there is binder after binder of “Stuff To Do” and we overload the front line.
Create a Stop Doing List
Cary Smith coined the phrase “Stop Doing List.” Everyone has an endless To-Do List. This is the opposite, and a great way to ferret out some room for the new tasks that social media marketing has added to your organization.
The Stop Doing List is a creative tool that will help both productivity and your personal workflow. To create a Stop Doing List, look at the tasks that you do on a regular basis and ask the question: “Does this achieve a positive outcome for all those concerned?” If the answer is “no,” this task should immediately be added to your Stop Doing List.
The next time you hear that business marketing is an integrated approach, ask the tough questions of what are you going to stop doing, because add, add, add doesn’t work.