People who think a communications firm isn't a real company.
People who won't invest in your success because they don't perceive your multiple sale rate to be as large as, say, the newest tech idea.
Media outlets that won't consider your leaders for awards such as Top 40 Under 40 because you do PR for a living (which, apparently, isn't a real career).
New business prospects who want a bunch of stuff for free - including your high-level thinking on a business you don't yet know intimately - before they decide to hire you (or not).
But you know the one that kills me? The one that really, really gets to me? People who say, "Of course all this digital marketing stuff works for you. It's what you do for a living."
I swear, if I hear that one more time, the poor soul who says it is going to get a piece of my mind.
The Shoemaker's Children Have Shoes
Yes, content and email and social and mobile and on-page search engine optimization and integrating all four types of media (earned, owned, shared, and paid) are what we do for a living.
Yes, it does come more easily to us because we do it every single day.
Yes, in this case, the shoemaker's children do have shoes.
But that doesn't mean those are the reasons it works for us.
A Real Company
Just like most organizations, we have to hire and fire, we have to mentor and coach, we have to keep a pretty balance sheet, we have to improve margins each year, we have to create process and procedure (which, for this type A personality, is super, super painful), we have to grow revenue, we have to target the right audiences, we have payroll and benefits and quarterly incentives, and we have to carefully position ourselves in a market.
As it turns out, a communications firm is full of people and - just like every other organization - you have to motivate and inspire them to move toward a common vision.
We have the same issues, challenges, and concerns as every other organization...we just happen to be very, very good at marketing and communications.
But that's not the reason this digital marketing stuff works for us and not for those of you trying to do it yourselves while you also do all of the things I mention above.
Fifteen Reasons Digital Marketing Works for Us...and Not For You
The reason this digital marketing stuff works for us and not for you is because we place a priority on it. We understand its intrinsic value and we don't give up. We know which data to analyze and which metrics to watch. We instinctually know when something does or does not work.
I hear this comment every single time I speak to groups of CEOs, and it's typically from the person in the room who is the most vocal about why nothing works in building his or her business.
Here are 15 reasons we are able to grow our real and thriving business with this "digital marketing stuff" and you are not.
- We're not risk-averse.
- We're curious.
- We constantly want to learn new skills and apply them to the growth of our business.
- We're willing to test...and test again and again and again.
- We read, we learn, and we apply.
- We make marketing and communications a priority...even before sales.
- We know how to measure our efforts against real business goals.
- We have a team dedicated to the efforts.
- We don't lump it in with sales, but it is integrated with all disciplines.
- We know it's more than trade show attendance and pretty leave-behind brochures.
- We have access to the data, we analyze it, and we tweak.
- We integrate our efforts with the customer relationship management software.
- We communicate and involve one another.
- We brainstorm and develop new product ideas together.
- We're patient; we understand it's a marathon, not a sprint, and we're willing to invest the time and effort.
I'm sure there are probably 150 reasons, but I have to get this published in time to go out in the RSS feed. So I'll leave it open for you now.
Why does digital marketing work for some and not others?