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This article originally appeared on the Mungadai Marketing & Communications blog on August 1, 2019.

When recently meeting a friend for coffee, I arrived to find him buried in the process of clearing his e-mail inbox. He described it as deleting garbage: unwanted e-mails from people and organizations he knew little or nothing about. He was in an extreme state of annoyance. “Why do these people think this is the best way to reach me?” he questioned irritably “Surely someone is capable of coming up with something more innovative than this.” 

On my walk back to my office, I reflected on the challenge businesses face trying to communicate their value in a world overwhelmed with information, and the resulting need for “something more innovative.”

The Realities Of Marketing Communications 

Reflecting by my friend’s frustration, and nearly everyone else in the modern biosphere, is that marketing communications, the way businesses communicate their value, would benefit from a fresh look at the way they frame their circumstances. 

While it is true that technology enables marketers to message with precision and measure results with great accuracy, most messaging remains ineffective. According to Constant Contact, on average, only 12.4 people will engage with, both open and click on content, in an e-mail sent to 1,000 recipients. Under any other circumstances would you consider a 1.2% chance of success acceptable?

According to digital thought leader Neil Patel, the top reasons for executive dissatisfaction with their own company’s marketing efforts are: commercial disconnect and their marketing department’s distraction by the next big thing in marketing technology.

Technology available to marketers is impressive, but when pursued in isolation and separate of any business goals, it can be an incredible waste of time and money. For example, e-mails allow marketers to create compelling messages using just the right combination of text, images, video, and links. E-mail opens and clicks are easily tracked, and recipients can indicate their interest and provide more contact information for sales follow-up. However, because the sector of email marketing is so inundated, it makes it tremendously difficult to stand out.

Marketers, despite facing ever-increasing executive dissatisfaction and pressure to produce results, continue to pursue ineffective solutions at an alarming rate. The current conditions of information saturation are strangely viewed as something that exists separate of business, yet able to obstruct businesses’ ability to easily capture the attention of key audiences and influence them. The strategy most often pursued is one that attempts to penetrate the noisy din of information that blankets us. The strategy characteristics include:  

  • Clever and loud—creative messages will cut through all the noise.

  • Fresh—revised continuously to capture and sustain an audience’s attention. 

  • Frequent—daily, or as often as possible, to remain in front of prospects and build recognition. 

  • Immediate lead follow-up—this often requires one-size-fits-all automated lead follow-up solutions.  

  • Continuing lead engagement—leads are added to a drip campaign, and they are all sent the same message on a recurring basis.  

  • Close now mentality—close on the sale quickly before the prospect becomes distracted by other information.

Sound familiar? While some of these tactics appear to work in the short term, they add to the noise, and don’t contribute to long-term business solutions.  

Reframing The Problem

Let’s reframe the problem! Consider your business operating within a landscape of information, part of a complex terrain of data that audiences access at a time and place of their choosing. When you see the conditions this way, a much different strategy emerges. 

NAVIGATE.

  • Understand where your business is and how it is perceived. Ask your customers what they think and get beyond the fluff. Assess why people have chosen not to do business with you.

  • Determine where you want your business to go. Define your market opportunity.  

  • Develop a roadmap. Determine how you will get from where you are to where you want to be and quantify it.

  • Begin deliberately moving about the information space. Develop and deliver content to the target audience you need in order to achieve your market’s opportunity goals. Use the methods of communication your target audience prefers.

  • Use data metrics continuously to know where you are and how you are perceived, all the time.

  • Avoid vanity metrics, faceless opens and clicks, that make you feel good but don’t inform your business.

EXPLORE AND DISCOVER.

  • While navigating the information biosphere, listen to your customers and prospects.

  • Take the time to understand the intent of those interacting with your content.

  • Log your discoveries, and hunches, to betters understand your prospects, your business and yourself.  

  • Measure results aligned with your intended outcomes.

PLANT SEEDS.

When encountering people and businesses who are interested in your content, engage them with a helping gesture.

  • Focus your help on the problems they face.

  • Deliver more helpful content to them at no cost.

  • Providing contact information to access content is a cost for your prospects. Require the minimum, only an e-mail address, and establish a covenant to not overwhelm them with information.  

  • Measure results aligned with your intended outcomes. 

NURTURE.

  • Identify your true prospects, those who would benefit from the value your offer.

  • Follow up with prospects to see if they are making progress on their issues.

  • Build trust by uncovering other issues your prospects face and continue to help.

  • Continue to deliver helpful content at no cost. 

  • Measure results aligned with your intended outcomes.   

HARVEST.

  • Determine when the relationship with your prospects has matured and is built on trust.

  • Introduce the sale based on your ability to solve the prospect’s problem or help them capture an opportunity.  

Communicating your value in The Information Age means giving your prospect what they need rather than what you want. We’re all weary from clearing our inboxes of unwanted e-mails, so don’t add to the noise. Learn as much as you can about your customers, plant a seed early in the relationship, nurture that relationship without asking for anything in return, and harvest the business only when a prospect relationship is mature and built on trust. 

About the author

Perry Rearick

Owner, Mungadai Marketing & Communications

Perry Rearick founded Mungadai to overcome some of the most common, yet crippling, shortfalls of marketing and communications in businesses. Mungadai offers an array of services to help businesses communicate their value and synchronize their marketing and sales operations for better business results.

We will not be great by what we accomplish, but by what we help others accomplish.

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