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Today's Marketing Cookie - Do It The Hard Way
"Benefit by doing things that others give up on."
Today's fortune came from Tracy Varner Francis of Chesterfield, VA. I had the privilege of meeting Tracey once and I she is really quite wonderful. In my freshman year of college, my roommate Jerry Varner invited me to join his family on a road trip to Florida. Along the way, we stopped in Virginia and visited his sister Tracey and her husband Skip. For a few days, all the Varner's were all together, and they were so adorable, that I decided to adopt them as my second family. May God bless the Varner family!
Today's Marketing Cookie won't be easy.
There is a continuous gold rush mentality that exists in marketing, that you won't find quite the same way in any other industry. The pressure to produce leads and sales is greater than ever and marketers are looking for short cuts, quick wins, and the next big thing. They ask: What's new? What's hot? What's cool? What's not? What's in? What's out? Could I get more business on Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? What about mobile? Is there an App for that? When something new is discovered, they scramble to be first adopters, stake their claim and hope to strike it rich, but in my opinion, most of them give up on a campaign before it's had a chance to take root.
I designed my first corporate website back before companies had domain names and before people used web browsers. Customers had to direct-dial their modem to connect with a website and use their keyword to navigate through the various menus. Eventually the Mosaic Web browser was introduced and was later replace by Netscape and very few companies took notice. I saw the infancy of the Web and people didn't thing it would last. Even Bill Gates said that the Internet was nothing more than a fad.
One day, the makers of Yahoo! began listing all the sites in a directory. It was a very smart idea because more and more web sites were popping up every day. I actually remember the day when I first discovered Yahoo!, and I attempted to view every known Website that was listed in their directory. By 1994, Yahoo! had hit a million visits in a single day... and the gold rush had begun! In fact, it seemed everyone in the world was rushing to what I was doing. Microsoft was really late to the game, but eventually launched Internet Explorer.
Then, a barrage of Web editors like FrontPage and DreamWeaver came along, which brought even more companies onto the Web. Web Design companies sprang up and the Content Management market exploded. Soon Yahoo!, the directory that kept it all so well organized, took a wrong turn and chased after the portal concept. While trying to offer everything, Yahoo! lost their prominence as Google offered next to nothing with just a white screen and a single search box.
As all of these new things popped up, marketers come running hoping to discover and exploit some new untapped white space. You might not believe it, but for several years, I spent a lot of time helping companies maximize MySpace. Yep you heard me. I said MySpace. It has been a crazy ride! However, the gold rush mentality is too super heated. I'd like to see marketers be more strategic when trying new things. I would urge them to stop looking for the "quick hit" and make more meaningful and purposeful moves... especially when it comes to relationship building with social media platforms.
It's true that these new technologies, websites and apps won't all last forever. In fact, some won't even last much more than a year or two. I saw a mad rush into HubSpot a few years ago, and now I'm seeing a new economy being formed, focused on helping companies leave HubSpot. It will be interesting to see what happens there.
I saw a similar mad rush into Google+ as well as a whole slew of books about how great it is by notable authors such as Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan, yet the rush seems to have fizzled out. Will Google+ fall into the same bucket as Google Buzz? Mr. Brogan who had posted a bold sign on his Facebook page, "We have moved to Google+", has suddenly started posting on Facebook again. Is Facebook the new gold rush again? ...or will something else come along?
Today our team is working to help companies generate leads through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+. Some of our client's competitors have rushed in, saw how hard it is and has already given up. They come panning for gold, and with an ever decreasing amount of patience, they leave it just as quickly as they came into it. It is as a result of their lack of patience that we succeed. Many companies give up too soon and miss the fact that opportunities are available there, if they only had spent a little more time with it - especially when it comes to social media. Winning is hard work. If you are hoping to strike gold, you'd better be willing to dig. That's how we work. As the fortune says, we benefit by doing things that others give up on.