In a previous article I wrote about Zombie Marketers I mentioned that one of the keys to enacting your marketing plan was to decide your orientation to the marketplace so that you could properly assess your marketing plan and its strategy points. Today I am going to get into that, what it means and how you can start today to get in line with your orientation.
In the Zombie Marketing article we were addressing follower churn and empty activity that was outside of the focus upon the gap you are addressing in the marketplace which you are going to deliver products and services to. We also talked about the tangible evidence you must demand of your focus in order to vaccinate yourself from the Zombie Virus. What we did not discuss was the components of a really great marketing strategy once we have added value to our demands.
Whatever your focus is, it is imperative that it be the single most important tool in your box. It must be your HOME. This will drive what activity you will engage in and how much of that activity is relevant to your focus. Without the focus, you cannot identify what makes up the gap and what does not. Then you are infected again and you are wandering off point. That is how you lose value. Time is valuable and if you are not using 100% of your available time focused on your gap filling (which informs your product or service) you are wasting your time. In fact, if you are spending most of your time just generating content churn in the hopes that it will produce stats, you have already lost your value. Why? Let me tell you.
I have talked with many top influencers who have sought my expertise as an Information Scientist about what it is that was their greatest discovery during the inevitable learning curve that is the first 6 to 10 months of a social media marketing career and 90% of them tell me it is the discovery of a definite slap in the face when they try and monetize a life consuming amount of effort in producing traffic STATS. Furthermore every one of them told me that the number one secret they are afraid to tell anyone is that their engagement numbers do not follow any focused product driven connection. In plain words this means that they are swallowed up by a hoard of ZOMBIES who chit chat with them but do not engage their products or services.
You all know what I mean, you send out a thousand pieces of content and that gets passed along, but then you write a blog piece and you get ZERO clicks but you get a million retweets. Now it seems almost statistically impossible but there it is staring you in the face, the absurdity of it making you livid and pushing you to try even harder. “This can’t be! I must not be trying hard enough!”
NO! Stop, that is where this article is going to demand that you get off that train. You are going to kill yourself with stress and overwork! Have you ever heard the statement, “work smarter, not harder?” Well this is exactly the point at which you need to stop doing meaningless tasks that generate equally meaningless stats with no VALUE and start to develop a marketing strategy that is focused on your gap, your specialization, your niche. There is a reason that the really successful niche marketers are successful. They understand that you have to enable and empower a concentrated segment of users and it is that empowerment that creates the brand space that everyone is loyal to. Then it really does not matter what you offer they are going to buy it, and with real hard cash. Of course you want to put out quality products and services so your reputation does not tank, but really you could put out a quality anything as long as it speaks to your gap and it is going to rocket off the shelves.
Neil Patel is someone that I admire tremendously for this very reason. Neil is a spectacular VALUE guy. He understands the value that he has identified and sticks to it. He does one thing and he does it well. He spends ALL of his time on those things which promote ONLY TO THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN HIS GAP and then he creates products for that gap and closes that gap for each new loyal member. Then he pretty much has them for life. That is the genius of gap marketing and focus with a strategy that revolves around your value point.
So what is your value point? What is it that is going to get real live people to identify with and rally around and defend? What is going to get them to be fans, rabid fans of that gap and its closure? For Neil it is Social Media Marketing, specifically monetizing social media and blogs. The genius of his system is that he can talk about any subject he wants within social media and blogs because his niche is a gap that focused on the medium not the message.
We did the same thing here at IAM. Information Access and Management (IAM) Platform identified a niche within the Information Professional community that spoke loudly to the lack of NON INSTITUTIONAL IN THE FIELD SUPPORT and MARKETPLACES so that Information Professionals could learn and expand their influence and empower themselves within the marketplace and AS the marketplace. This was not present in any of the pay for clubs and associations, not in any strategic and connected way anyway.
So this allowed us to identify our VALUE point and to rally around that gap and get serious buy in on the part of the users. At the end of the day we discovered the secret that everyone will eventually discover, you cannot be disconnected with your users, in fact you have to let them all in and own the place. You are just there to build it and guide it so that it stays focused on the message and avoids Zombieland.
So enacting your marketing plan relies entirely upon the identification of your value point, finding a gap within the existing follower base that you have and then shaving off that which does not apply to that base (cutting all the ZOMBIES – painful but necessary) and then reaching value and building from there. I would rather take twenty targeted motivated high level fanatical users than ten thousand content surfers any day, and so would you.
So get off the follower churn celebrity train. If you get that, don’t let it get to your head. You are a marketer and only one things matters, sales. Getting too wrapped up in meaningless numbers blinds you from enacting your marketing plan, which is supposed to be laser focused on closing the gap you have identified and producing value.
Is your activity screaming focus, value point and marketing strategy or is your activity screaming, “I have to keep up the follower churn or I am not going to rate as a content churner (ZOMBIE).” Finally let me ask you this one question that usually pulls the pants down to the ankles in front of everyone, “how many actual sales have you gotten from your millions of interactions?”
The reason we harp so much on focus and value is that you have to have both in order to build a funnel. You have to funnel at some point. That means you are not trying to strive to be popular and yet starving to death in a sea of plenty. That means you are going to be surrounded by your lean and mean tribe of voracious fanatics pushing your mutual kick ass machine. You need to identify your tribe and get about being Spartans and Trojans.
Focus, find your gap, find your value point and open up your gates to that. Market test the message and let everyone know they are as important as you in building your tribe. You might be the tribal leader, but really you are just one out of ten thousand kick ass no nonsense tribe members getting shit done.