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5 Things I Learned in 2015 about Marketing

In 2015, MEMO Marketing Group had such a growth year in so many ways.  As I reflect on that topic, I could probably write 10 articles on different 10 different subjects just based on that opening sentence, but I wanted to share with you 5 things I learned about this ever-changing profession we call marketing.

I realize that some of these points below are very basic and some are more advanced, but I wanted to share the 5 biggest “a-ha’s” we gained in 2015, regardless of their “difficulty rating.”  If any of these require more explanation, just send me a quick email and I would be happy to show you how to apply it to your business.

Now I don’t believe I am the “end all / be all” in marketing (quite far from it), but I believe if I don’t share this with you, nobody else is going to either – and I’d rather you to learn from my mistakes than make them yourself.  Marketing changes constantly and we have invested so much of our time and money in learning and keeping up with what works.  I just want to make sure I’m sharing what we know.  Hopefully it can help you too.

Here’s the big take-a-ways from 2015.

#1: Email is NOT dead

In general terms, I believe with the advancement of social media, there has been a real focus away from email.  I mean, we all get plenty of emails already, right?

Well regardless, I can still tell you that there is nothing better than email in cost effectively reaching your audience.  EVERYONE should be focused on building a strong email list.

But there is a definite right way and a wrong way to build your list – learned in 2015.

Take for instance, MEMO’s list.  Here is a picture of the growth we have had over the past 12 months.

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Got to put this in the “wrong way” category. 187 sign-ups in 12 months. Certainly not for a lack of effort, but not the right amount or type of thought put into growing the list.  Not a very strong showing for sure.

But the list we are building for one of our clients has shown much different results.  We have been working on it for a little over two months now and here is that result.

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Over 1,000 subscribers in a little over 2 months!  How did we do that?  Well, you will just have to wait for a future article on that, but let’s just say, they are warm leads for future sales for our client (and the list continues to grow).

We will be investing in more email marketing for our clients in 2016.

#2: Facebook is by far the leader of the social pack

So you may say that Facebook is not your favorite social media platform, or you may say that your audience is not on Facebook, and in both cases, I would probably beg to differ.

We spent a large amount of time (and money) this year investing in Facebook for our clients, and I have got to tell you, it was by far the best advertising bang for our buck – hands down.

What makes it so outstanding is their advertising platform.  The ability to find and target (and re-target) prospects is really unmatched at this point.  And with new advertising opportunities being introduced (e.g. lead ads), I think barring some unforeseen jump by another, Facebook should remain the 800 pound gorilla in 2016 as well.

If you are not using Facebook as a marketing tool, you need to learn more about it to see if it is the right fit to help you reach your target audience. It can be a cost effective way to make a huge impact on your business.

#3: You must embrace the funnel

This year we purchased access to a new tool called Click Funnels.  You can learn more about it here. http://bit.ly/1UoVtl7.  It has been a marketing game-changer for the clients we have been able to implement it with (see item #1).

If you are not familiar with the concept of funnels in marketing, you should be. Certainly you don’t have to purchase an expensive tool like we have to make it work, but understanding the principle is key.

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If you want to understand funnels and implement them on your own, I really recommend you read the book written by Russell Brunson the creator of Click Funnels.  The book is called Dot Com Secrets and is available on Amazon here.

#4: Activity does not equal results

One of my biggest regrets in 2015 is when I convinced myself (and my client) that all we needed to do was create awareness for his new service area by blogging, using social media and online advertising.  When the business didn’t come rolling in, I convinced him that we just needed to keep on doing what we were doing (maybe more) and do it for longer before we would see results.  In this situation, I bought into the idea that is being perpetuated across the marketing world.

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If I can give anyone who is reading this article one piece of advice that I have learned along the way it would be that activity does NOT equal results.  So much of what you hear about marketing is that you must use certain tools consistently to get results.  I will throw into that category blogging, email, social media, online advertising and others. This is just not true.  

People also want to convince you that if you are not having success, you just need to do more of it or just do it for longer.  This is NOT true either.

You must identify the right activity.  If you are a skilled surgeon, then in your mind, every ailment can be fixed with surgery.  This works the same with marketing.  You can easily get in a rut with the same tools and forget to research and learn what the target audience wants.

#5: Marketing MUST be personal

If I look back on all the marketing I have done for my clients (and myself) in 2015 – the stories, posts, tweets (and more), the ones that have had the biggest impact and result were the ones that were personal.

I can share the BEST information in the world.  I could put out a post that I lost 15 pounds in 2015 and tell you exactly what I did and that would not have the same effect as if I told you my journey in how I got there, how I found the right solution for me and how I was able to do it consistently and had success. (Unfortunately I found those 15 pounds again over the holidays…)

This point was eye-opening to me because I have always tried to focus on making sure that what I put out is simple, straight to the point and very helpful to those reading it, thinking that readers didn’t want to know all about that “fluff”.  They just wanted the “meat.”

Well I’ve learned that “fluff” is what builds relationships.  It’s what makes each of us real to those who have never met us. And bottom line, people want to have a relationship with those they read about and follow – with the companies they work with and recommend.

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The key to our success for our clients is to help them to share themselves with their target audience.  To share their personality, their values and their knowledge.  It’s what makes people (and companies) genuine.

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So what about you?  What else did you learn in 2015 about marketing?

 

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