I stopped promising myself every day I’d drink a green smoothie. Why? Because I was breaking that promise—every day. And every broken promise was becoming just a plain downer. I was a closet promise-breaker when what I was trying to be was a genuine badass.
I’m about to break another promise I made to myself—and worse yet, I published this promise, so now I’m a public promise-breaker!
Everyone agrees that your best writing happens when you ‘write what you know.’ Well, I know how to fail at dating, and I know marketing. I promise you don’t want to hear about my year of bad dates. (Both were mojo crushing.) This leaves us with marketing.
My social media presence (what little existence I’ve kept, these days) is occupied with mostly marketing friends, acquaintances, and peers. And, forgive me if I sound a little pissy, but these marketing experts ask the same questions and give the same answers that they’ve been asking and providing for the last decade.
It’s absurd, and it’s foolish. And it’s all that’s on my LinkedIn.
The world has moved ahead, so far and so fast, that it’s time to be asking better questions and creating a new vision about what marketing really is. It’s time to stop using outdated marketing playbooks. They’re ineffective.
For starters, there is no “funnel,” folks! And the idea that we can force people into this mythical funnel is passé. People are digital experts, and they know how to get any information they want, and from a million different places. Companies can’t buy their way in. They have to be invited in.
People are tired of being interrupted and force-fed lousy content. They’re annoyed, but even more, they’re in control. There, I said it. The customer is in control. This isn’t my opinion. Studies show successful marketing is, in fact, human-generated activities. Companies don’t design the customer journey; The customer owns the journey. Research verifies this.
We need to stop hiding in the shadows with our heat maps and link-trackers and embedded UTM codes that collect little pieces of data. These tactics have always been, in my opinion, borderline invasive. Who else besides me is tired of being tracked? And I know, THIS coming straight from the mouth of a marketer!
Marketing, no matter the business, needs to be fresh. Brands need to stop copying each other. Just like this blog was my way of proving that I can have original thoughts and tell a unique story, brands need to stop telling the same stories that their competitors are telling. They need to stop chasing customers. Be unique; be original; dare I say it, “know your why,” and let the customers come to you. That’s how you’ll propel your business forward.
I will rip my eyes out if I see another article that addresses SEO, keywords, ranking, engagement metrics, referral sources, link building, CTAs, brand awareness… These are mere weeds that become irrelevant before they’re mastered. Google has no plan to give you even 15 minutes at the top of the leader board.
(Wait. I’m having a vision: make new [non-marketing] friends.) (But don’t date them.)