Claire Ratushny

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Claire Ratushny


In my last post, I talked about the basics of content marketing. But there really is something new under the sun. Content marketing doesn’t only encompass traditional marketing tactics. It also facilitates customer conversations. Content inspires customers to respond and we all know that conversations...
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not disparaging content marketing. In fact, I think it’s about time businesses focus on the marketing and PR content they’re putting out there. It’s just that good marketers and consultants have been involved with creating solid content right along.
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Why Your Marketing isn’t Working.

We have too many business owners and CEOs looking askance at their marketing efforts these days. Some are convinced that their marketing isn’t working at all and others feel it isn’t working effectively. (They’re probably right.) That’s why they’re looking for ROI to substantiate that their marketing is doing something positive for their businesses—however small the contribution might be.


Marketers are in a tough spot. The world as we know it is changing quickly. More competitors in every category seem to be chasing fewer consumer dollars. A great deal of business is moving online. And consumers are calling all of the shots. So the temptation is to try a little bit of everything, the mentality being that if you throw enough stuff at the wall something is bound to stick. That translates to doing advertising online and off, using social media platforms of every description and jumping at every new shiny piece of tech that might be used to (perceived) competitive advantage.


Is this wise? No, it isn’t. It’s called “spraying your shots” and it doesn’t usually amount to a hill of beans, in spite of all the effort and money spent. To be effective, marketing has to be focused. But some things have to be taken care of before it is determined how to market and which platforms to use.


Look, the first thing marketers should be concerned about is working with top management to shore up their house. That means having a meaningful and differentiated brand to proclaim to the world—one with a true mission. Then it means aligning that brand in everything that the company says and does. It starts on the inside with building a strong culture that buys into the brand. That culture will then deliver memorable customer experiences in a consistent manner—one that all of the company’s marketing can work to enhance.


Everybody says they know this stuff but few brands actually put it into practice. That’s the problem. Paying lip service to the importance of branding well and then not doing it while using slick marketing to attract customers only leads to a dead end. You can put beautiful window dressing on a store front and dazzle an audience, but when they enter the store and find it devoid of anything of value, what happens as a result? They leave in disappointment because they’re disillusioned. They’ve been lied to. And they won’t come back.


And that in turn, leads to marketers spraying their shots all over the place in hopes of attracting new customers.


Brands should be marketed after a strong foundation is put into place. A brand should have character and depth, meaning and beauty in the eyes of its beholders—its customers and its prospective customers. As it engages with customers, brand marketers come to understand where their customers are and how to reach them. They can study the manner in which their customers want to interact with the brand, too. All of this information will lead to decision-making about which channels to use to market in a sound manner.


That’s what makes sense. In a nutshell: focus and the use of specific channels to initiate conversation with the customer back and forth rather than jumping to include everything is just plain smart. It enables marketers to concentrate their efforts and dollars where it truly counts. The point of all marketing efforts should be to create deep, rich, brand-centric experiences for the customer. When well done, customers don’t feel as though they’re being marketed to; they feel as though they’re engaging with a trusted, beloved friend.


All of these things encompass what great marketing is and what great marketing does. The brand engages, inspires and adds meaning to customers’ lives. It continues to reinforce how important it is to them.


Think of the brands that do this well. Think of the ones that have meaning in your own life, and you’ll see what I mean.



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