Modern Marketing Mistakes


Part Two: The Voice Behind the Curtain
We all know the story of the Wizard of Oz: Behind the impressive light and sound show was just a man behind a curtain. When it comes to modern marketing tools and strategies, technology can receive all the attention, while we forget that marketing is still all about people. There’s a real temptation to think that, once you get your marketing up to speed with the latest technology, it will magically produce results. However, the technology you employ is only as good as the voice behind it—your voice!

We have a lot more marketing tools available to us than we did even a decade ago, and some of the tools that once brought in business have declined. Some are growing obsolete, others are still strong but work best when integrated with new technologies. It’s a good idea to evaluate your marketing periodically and use those tools and technologies that will get you in front of people where they are looking for you today. For instance, many businesses have allocated funding away from printed phone directories in favor of search engine optimization.

Email newsletters and blogs have largely eclipsed printed newsletters for some audiences. These changes are driven by consumer habits and preferences. This is all well and good, but there is potential for making a modern marketing mistake.
Having a great website, for example, is essential to most businesses, but if the messaging within your site doesn’t engage people, they are going to move on to someone else. Getting into the social media realm is a very good idea for many businesses, but if you don’t know how to effectively generate conversation and keep people interested, then social media marketing isn’t going to magically increase your business. Blogging can be powerful and get you a devoted following; studies show that effective blogging leads to sales conversions. But just having a blog isn’t going to translate into increased sales. Websites, social media and blogs are tools; it’s the message that matters.

At its core, the mistake looks like this…Let’s say a business owner decides that she needs to get her business into the 21st century. She has read articles about the potential of social media, and she knows that she needs to update her website. Additionally, she decides that blogging presents an opportunity to gain a following for her businesss. So, with great expectations, she earmarks funds to get her company’s brand into cyberspace. She sees the potential to get in front of thousands on Facebook, to have her company’s messages twittered around the world, and anticipates gaining a following on her company blog. She puts the majority of her energy into getting up with technology, without much thought as to the messaging that needs to go with each modern marketing medium. So, she gets everything into place but then does not have a consistent and powerful voice to make it effective.

The most common example I’ve seen is how businesses jump onto Facebook and then flounder there, not doing much of anything. Some businesses hire professionals to set up their Facebook for them—they may even invest in custom pages and applications—that’s good. But then they assume they can take it from there, that they can just start posting and watch their following grow. Certainly, it can be good to get onto Facebook, but the voice behind the curtain is paramount. If you happen to be a professional copywriter, skilled at writing for marketing and you understand the voice needed to engage on Facebook, then by all means, do your stuff. However, if you are not a communications virtuoso, then Facebook isn’t going to magically bring people running to your door. You have to have the right voice and know how to use it.

By all means, tap into the magic of technology, but remember that it’s only as effective as the voice behind the curtain. The magic is in the message, and today’s tools simply deliver that message. Know what to say, how to say it and how often to say it or hire someone who does, and you’ll become a real modern marketing wizard!

For more information, contact Kelly Walker at Incyte Marketing: 541-419-9976.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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