Yes, The Marketing Therapist (me!) has fallen off her therapist chair a bit…but bear with me, this web marketing intervention (ahem, rant) yields sound advice.

I’ve been in the wild web marketing world since 1999 (think dot-com hey-day), through the dot-bomb bust (think networking events turned into beg-for-job-fests) and now, in tougher economic times (but an older and much wiser web marketing world) where web marketing is:

1. less expensive (often free)
2. more accessible (to all companies, skill levels)
3. more fun
I still see marketing professionals and business leaders making web marketing work way too damn difficult when IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE!

Case in point: A business owner spends hours per month making an email newsletter.  The experience is not enjoyable.  He stares at the computer screen for hours about what to write.  He dreads the work.  He does the newsletter because he heard once he “should”.  His wife is upset that his “free time” becomes marketing time.  The return on the excessive time investment is not clear – personally or professionally.

When I hear scenarios like this, the immediate thing to do is STOP and ask:  Are your marketing efforts working for you??

Marriage therapy is not my skill set, but if marketing efforts do interfere with personal time (partners, kids, pets, LIFE) then I will gladly stage an intervention.  I am not impressed when professionals cut out the things that really matter in life for marketing.  Marketing will not be at your funeral.  Your family and friends will!  Cases like this (the email hour-suck) are a clear “this professional’s marketing is making them a danger to himself and others” and had to stop.

Therapy Intervention: A “old wild wild west” marketing remedy had to be used but in modern form = a slap in the face (but virtually over phone and email!) to remind the patient that MARKETING MEANS MAXIMIZING RELATIONSHIPS and that GREAT IDEAS ARE ONLY GREAT IF THEY ARE EXECUTED BRILLIANTLY to get him off his unhealthy pattern of mindless marketing execution.

For the sake of example, let’s say this patient had a service-based business (we’ll say it’s business law for example).  He makes money adding new clients that he sells his professional services to.  His opt-in (aka people choose to be on the list) newsletter is for existing clients to educate them on other law services they need, but he also wants to reach NEW clients.

#1 We look at the ROI (Return on Investment) of the email.  How many people open it?  How many people are sold from it??  If the data says no result, drop it.  Turns out in his case, there was no measurement plan in place so he had no idea what was working.
#2 An opt-in email that existing clients use will NOT reach prospective clients, so this major effort (that wasn’t even measured) was not fully serving the goal.
#3 Time that the lawyer could be BILLING HOURS (and not working on a stinking email newsletter) are lost, time with family is lost and time and love are valuables too!!

Marketing Therapist Summary = The lawyer is a thought-leader.  He offers tons of services that he can upsell and resell and he was correct in email as a form to educate (my favorite form of marketing communications) and that email is a great way to remind people that you are out there, but the execution was made more difficult than it had to be.  He also wasn’t reaching new people with is email work.

WIN-WIN Prescription: We first focused on the heart of web marketing = maximizing relationships (new clients, keeping love alive with old clients, and boosting new service sales).  I made him chant this three times (kidding).  Then asking how we could use his unique ability (his thought leadership and ability to educate current and prospective clients) in a way that took less time (hours in front of the computer on an email that only half his target market saw and wasn’t sure if it worked) we agreed on FIRST the WHY and the WHATs before we got to the HOW:

WHY: Marketing Means Maximizing Relationships – and the law professional wanted to help educate people about how he could help them (note the word help, we got to the core of why he does what he does…he CARES!!!)  Our theme became: serve and support via educational content to sell!

WHAT: He sells business law services.  Any content produced would be “on purpose” to help serve current and prospective customers to help educate/empower them on what they needed.  We made a list of the services he wants to sell (and in what order) and decided content would be focused around that.

HOW: The email effort was too damn difficult, wasting precious time AND emails are not always opened so all that great content is invisible to people who do not see it.  We re-purposed a lot of the old email content into a blog so the searches engines could read the content.  We agreed that in the future, thought leadership would be shared in EASY, SMALL DOSES on the blog based on the theme above….then a monthly email would be produced that shared links to several of the month’s blog posts to omit the “what should I write about?” instead into an easy “here are some great blog posts I will link to in my email that people can scan and read that educate on the value of what I can help them with.”  A monthly measurement plan was set up looking at measuring website traffic, search visibility, “how did you hear about us” phone call questions and overall monthly sales.  The business law professional also agreed to hire help to put an email template together so he got to do his unique ability (law) and hired web marketing pros to help make his effort top-notch for only a few hours a month.

The best part – the professional learned the most valuable lesson:  “Do what he does best and hire others to do the rest.” Marketing does not have to be so damn difficult, hire experts who can help you understand how to spend your time more meaningfully and get more for your money.

…and his family was happier 🙂

Marketing means making relationships – it is not the web tools but HOW you use the tools strategically that makes marketing matter.  If you aren’t fully ready to come forward and admit that you need help, you can buy my book that is a bible on the art and science of web marketing and start there.  I put my heart and soul into taking my decade plus of expertise and breaking it down in easy-to-understand book chapters – save yourself and get it to make your marketing meaningful, matter and money-making!

Web marketing is the BEST form of marketing – when you invest (not spend time aimlessly) on it with passion and purpose, it works wonders.  It does NOT HAVE TO BE SO DAMN DIFFICULT.  And if you find yourself struggling, ASK FOR HELP.  Invest in yourself by hiring expert advisory.

…I happen to know a damn good web marketing agency too 🙂