Someone has moved the cheese. Marketing results aren’t what they once were. What worked two years ago, five years ago, ten years ago – those tactics don’t work any more. Something has changed, and it’s a big something. Here’s the thing: it wasn’t you. It’s your perfect potential customers who moved the cheese. They didn’t send a memo. They didn’t call to let you know. They just changed their habits, changed how they pay attention and what they choose to pay attention to. Their inboxes are more full than they’ve ever been. Their ability to find information is more streamlined than it has ever been. THEY are the ones who moved the cheese.

Marketing ResultsAnd so many marketers still believe that doing what they’ve always done will continue to produce results. We talked about this a bit in our earlier post, Complacency is the Enemy of Success. Here’s my question – do you want to keep doing what you’ve always done? Your marketing results are not going to stop eroding if that’s your choice. It’s time to shake things up. It’s time to make a difference. It’s time to stop believing ads you see on TV or “old news” coaching from so-called gurus who have been teaching the same thing and the same ways for years.

The old way = pester and annoy. Keep sending people emails asking them to do things, making them offers, posting your latest sale, over and over again. There’s a TV ad running right now that has everyone getting ready for a huge weekend at the furniture store because they’re sending out an email to their entire list offering 10% off. Do you think that offering a big list of people 10% off is really going to cause a record-setting weekend of sales? Seriously? Well, five years ago, it might have. But now, the perfect potential customers for that store have more options. Buying furniture online is easy, and shipping is free or so cheap it becomes a non-issue. Maybe they’ll get an uptick in store visitors, but will they get more actual sales? Or will they just get 90% of what they would have gotten anyway?

When people are ready to buy, they will buy. The job of marketing is to make it incredibly obvious that they should buy from you. Do people buy because something is on sale? No. They buy because they need whatever it is you are selling. So how do you tap into the REAL needs of your perfect potential customers? How do you create an environment where YOU are the obvious choice for their purchase?

That’s the NEW way – engage and relate.

Marketers can’t keep doing what they’ve always done and expecting the same results. That’s the new definition of insanity. When your perfect potential customers don’t even need to talk to you before making a purchase decision, because they can find everything they need about you, your offerings, and your competitors and their offerings online, the cheese has been moved. And you’ve got to find it.

Let me tell you a story.

I was working with one of our customers the other day. This particular customer sells classes and courses, and we happened to be looking at the profile of one student who had registered to attend a yoga class. That student was a brand new student and a brand new lead, and had only ever purchased that one yoga class, and pretty recently. As we looked at the profile, we noticed that the school had also sent her emails about Administrative Professionals Day and another email asking if she’d recently been promoted and offering leadership training.

When I saw that, I asked, “what in her profile or about her interests lead you to believe that she would be interested in either one of those topics?” The answer? Nothing. The school had just blasted emails out without regard for what people were actually interested in – and of course this person had not opened either one of those emails, because they simply weren’t relevant to her.

There are a LOT of marketers who think that’s absolutely no problem at all. And they’re wrong. Absolutely wrong. Sure, maybe five years ago, they would have been right. Maybe even two years ago (though the cheese had already started to move), they would have been right. But no longer.

If marketers keep sending emails that are irrelevant to the people on their list, in today’s world, they are training their leads to stop opening their emails, to stop paying attention. They don’t even unsubscribe. They just stop reading, and before you know it, your emails will slide from the inbox to the promotions folder… or worse. Your open rates will decrease, and your clickthrough rates will fall through the basement – because your people have been trained – by you – that your emails don’t matter. Even when they do.

Engage and relate.

That’s why we take such a thorough approach to education.

Of course we train people in how to use our software; that’s a given. But we also train people in how to do email marketing well (with virtually any fully-capable marketing automation platform, but especially with ours). We start with understanding the perfect potential customers and WHY they buy, HOW they get information, and WHOM they trust. We teach a way to automate lead segmentation that makes sense – that LISTENS to your leads, paying attention to what their actual interests are. And we show how to engage with those interests and really make a difference with the people on your list – and with your marketing results.

The cheese moved. It’s time to find it, to shift the approach to deal with your perfect potential customers where they are, based on their interests. Listen and respond – don’t blast out campaigns that are all about what you want people to do.

It’s time to break free from the way things have always been done, to break free from diminishing marketing results, to break free from doing too much work for too little reward. If you’re ready to do that – REALLY ready to take this on – we’re happy to help.