As a industry we find ourselves in what I think is a unique situation, by and large our industry is filled with an older demographic either physically, or mentally, and what I mean by that is we have been slow to embrace new marketing trends as the are vastly different than “the way we used to do things” As someone that is very focused on surrounding myself with those that are smarter, and wiser, I see an interesting perspective of people coming to the realization that they need a massive shift in their agencies marketing strategy, so they immerse themselves in any, and everything they can. Now, at the surface this is not a bad thing granted, you are listening to the RIGHT people, and you are able to successfully grasp what is being taught and make it your own, unfortunately many have trouble with this concept, thus enter the Shiny Object Syndrome.
The IA industry is producing thought leaders like never before, and through social media they are given a platform that in the past was not available to them, so in essence, it is very easy to get caught in information overload and find yourself in a place where you are just randomly implementing new strategies because they look awesome. Before long, one of two things are going to happen, A) they don’t work because your target market doesn’t respond to that style of marketing, B) you get burnt out implementing too much, too fast with no real plan to follow through with the ideas.
Let’s be honest, there are some great resources available to us today, that weren’t even available just 5 years ago, Podcasts, Paradiso Presents, Agency Nation, Mike Stromsoe’ s Unstoppable Profit Producer just to name a few, but so many that sometimes it feels like trying to drink a sip of water through a fire hose. Now, if you are anything like me you gravitate to what I call the “sexy marketing”, which an example of that today would be storytelling via video marketing. This is ALL the buzz right now, Drone shots, B-Roll footage, well-rehearsed spontaneity, I mean let’s be honest here, who doesn’t want to look like a Rockstar in their industry, but, what if that is not the right marketing strategy for your target clientele?
Here are a few ideas to lay the framework for a marketing strategy that will help you WIN with your marketing.
1. Identify your clientele – Now I know that this may seem trivial however this is where MANY get it wrong, you have got to drill down and figure out the demographics of your clients. How old they are, what their interests are, how they prefer to communicate and interact with your agency, how frequently they want to hear from you. If you ask the right questions, they will tell you everything you want to know. With this information, you can begin to craft a solid cross-sell marketing strategy because retention is King in our business.
2. Identify AAA targeted prospects – I know this may seem a little redundant however these are two very different groups of people. Now this is a key piece to the puzzle that you need to spend some real time on and figure out the specifics because this will be the difference between a lot of trial and error and a successful strategy that you just need to make some small tweaks on along the way. Who IS your unicorn (Perfect Client), where do they live, what do they do for a living, what are the characteristics of their home, what kind of cars do they drive, do they have kids, if so, how many kids do they have, what are their hobbies, what is important to them, what matters to them. Once you have this information, targeting these people with a social strategy becomes very easy.
3. Be a Student of Marketing – Whether or not you want to have your hands engulfed in the marketing for your agency or you want to take a hands-off approach, you need to have a general understanding of new trends in marketing, either way at the end the day you will be better for it. There is a TON of bad information out there, and I see many good people being sold on “flashes in the pan” that are frankly just not going to work, again, there are many great people in our industry that are doing it right, study what they do, and steal it!
4. Ease into the water – Listen I get it, we are entrepreneurs, Type-A drivers, that have one speed, full throttle, take my advice here, start slow. Implement one or two ideas and master those. There is a lot that goes into marketing strategies that you don’t think about until you are knee deep in it. At the beginning, you will get it wrong more than you get it right, but own your mistakes, learn from them and you will profit from the experience.
5. Make a Plan, Implement and Execute – Here is another key, you may find yourself on the opposite end of the spectrum, it is easy to get stuck in what I like to call “analysis paralysis”, often when I am stretching myself and trying to become more, I hear my good friend Mike Stromsoe’ s encouragement, (Why not you, and why not now, commitment is doing what you said you were going to do long after the feeling that you said it in has gone) it is crucial that you implement, and you execute. The landscape of digital marketing is a VERY rapid moving target. It is a must that you begin implementing new relevant strategies for your agency because you will get left behind, so make like that famous athletic brand and “Just Do It!”
I hope that I have provide some sense of value in this short thought, the fact that you are reading this publication tells me that you are on the right track, continue to surround yourself with forward thinking agency owners that want to see you win, because and they end of the day, when the IA channel improves we all benefit from it, we really are better working together!