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Marketing Misconceptions

I was forwarded this blog post and thought it would be fun to share and get your viewpoint. I’ve edited it down and added some color commentary along the way – let me know what you think.

12 Most No Good, Very Bad Misconceptions About Marketing
Posted by Margie Clayman on Jul 26, 2011 in Blog, Business, Sales & Marketing

Today I will aim to list 12 of the most very bad misconceptions about marketing I’ve run into, and I’ll even offer an alternative view. Here we go!
1. ROI has something to do with your mother
Measuring the ROI of social media is not at all like measuring the ROI of your mother. It is not that elusive. Nor is measuring the ROI of anything else. That “I feel good” feeling is not what ROI is about. It’s a very simple mathematical formula. You invest time (which equals money). You make sales. Do the sales relate to the time you invested? In what way? That is measuring ROI. Now if you don’t track where your customers come from, measuring ROI can be very tricky. It can be very tricky if you don’t track your investments, too. But it is a solid, scientific process. It is real. Like Santa Claus.
2. Logo and brand are synonymous
A lot of people seem to think that logo is brand and a brand is a logo. It’s true that a logo can be a major signifier for a brand, but in fact, branding far exceeds the development of a logo. Branding is about your company voice, your company presence in your industry, the message you want customers and prospects to take away, and what you want your competitors to worry about when they think about you.
• I’d also add it is one of your organization’s most valuable assets—so protect it.
3. A lead is the same thing as a comment on your blog post or a like on your Facebook page
In the non-social media world, lead *tends* to relate to an action a person takes that indicates they are interested in your products or services. A click on a banner ad or a scan of a QR code they see on your ad could be seen as a lead. The quality of the lead needs to be measured after those actions are taken. But in the world of social media, an action does not translate to a lead. You could comment on every blog post a person writes and have absolutely no intention of ever buying anything from them, right? And “liking” company pages is sometimes done to help out a friend. I’m never going to buy advertising services from a friend, but maybe I show them a bit of a support by clicking a button. See the difference?
4. A prospect is a follower, fan, or subscriber.
This is very similar to point 3, but the logic remains the same. A lot of people follow everyone back automatically. Their follow of you, in that case, means absolutely nothing. A person may subscribe to your post because they really enjoy reading your stuff. They may have no idea what you are hoping they buy from you. A prospect is someone who seems interested in purchasing something from you. Not everyone is a prospect, no matter what business you are in.
• This is the current challenge in integrating social media into the marketing mix.
5. Figuring out marketing by “throwing spaghetti against the wall” is a good idea
This is a commonly voiced sentiment in the online world especially, and it freaks me out. The logic goes that you can just keep trying stuff, and if it doesn’t work, you move on to something else until it “sticks.” There are so many problems with this approach, not the least of which is that you are leaving behind a legacy of failed marketing attempts. You are leaving behind people who had just started to engage with you (and maybe they really were prospects!). It is a waste of resources, maybe even a waste of money, to try marketing this way.
• I say start with strategy and be smart about implementation. The outcome will work. Sure, it may require tweaking, but that is very diffferent from the ‘spaghetti’ concept.
6. If it worked for you it’ll work for me
I think one of the reasons why a lot of people don’t like marketers or agencies or consultants is because it’s really easy to look for a magical formula that will help everyone. Every business, just like every person, is different. Painting with a broad brush seldom works, and in fact, it tends to do more harm than good.
• This is the challenge—and the thrill— of marketing: every client, every brand, every opportunity is unique. The marketplace is not the same today as it was yesterday. There is NO silver bullet.
7. Posting to a social media platform is marketing
This may ruffle some feathers, but I think some folks have kind of lost track of what it really means to market something versus what it means to engage online. Posting reallllllly cute kitty videos to Google Plus is not marketing. Posting information that could be useful to your customers is how social media marketing works. Think of yourself as a walking, talking billboard for your company. When they see you, they should see your business embodied.
• This is the most difficult line to walk.
8. Only traditional media needs to be held accountable in the marketing world
A lot of social media folk act like they’re kind of picked on because so many people talk about the mystery of social media ROI. In fact, everything in the marketing world is being held accountable by companies. If you send out a news release, you should be able to show that it did some good. If you place a print ad, you should be able to show that there was a good reason to do that. Companies that turn to you for marketing advice are placing tremendous trust in you. It’s like giving your baby to a babysitter.
9. There is no way to measure the effectiveness of marketing
Another reason why people sometimes think of marketers in a negative way is that some marketing professionals have adopted this kind of light and fluffy “Que sera sera” attitude about their profession. “Oh, like, placing that ad…it’s good for branding or something. Just trust me.” Other marketers start talking about silos. “Well, sales never shares the info with us, so how could we ever really gauge the ROI?” The answer? Keep pushing on it, or at least find out how you’re doing at bringing prospects to the table. Ask if you can see Google Analytics reports. Ask if you can see SEO results.
• Getting the message here?—measurement and return are vital to marketing’s budgets and respect in the c-suite.
10. PR/Email/Marketing/Advertising is dead
When websites really started taking off, the great cry was, “Print is dead.” When email really started taking off, the great proclamation was that “direct mail is dead.” Now that social media is around, everything is dead at some time or another. And yet it’s not really. The fact is that now more than ever, traditional marketing tactics could really be a showcase for new ways of thinking. Ads supplement a social media campaign. A direct mail campaign works hand in hand with a Facebook page. The possibilities are not ending. They’re endless.
• Integrated programs, folks—integrated.
11. Marketing is evil
I often see a lot of talk in the online world about how evil and icky marketers are. I’ve guessed at some of the reasons above. Some people think marketers don’t get the “person-to-person” effect. Some people think marketers don’t listen well or that marketers are only about marketers. I’m sure there are some in the marketing profession who live up to those low standards, but it’s not across the board.
12. You don’t need an agency
Perhaps the only thing I see more of than “Is dead” is “Ew, agency.” Again, like the definition of marketers as evil, there are some agencies who create this backlash effect, I’m sure. I’ve heard horror stories about agencies who don’t listen, who swindle clients, and the list goes on. But here’s the thing. All of that talk about how you don’t have the resources, the skills or the time to do this that or the other thing? That’s where agencies can help you out. An agency can help you do that planning and strategizing that everyone complains is so time-consuming. An agency can really be another employee- one with many heads and sets of arms (although that sounds kind of scary).
• Obviously, I agreee on this one. We’re good—no we’re great. Let’s do some Work That Works!


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