Your Marketing Bucket is Leaking

Your Marketing Bucket is Leaking image IStock_000007393667Small_noglassI saw a post the other day where the author recommended that marketers create a marketing persona and a social media persona – like these are two separate things.

I’ve heard marketing teams talk about social media as an aside.

I hear SEO bandied about in relation to getting found, but without a mention of the content that’s being published.

I see people working on website redesigns without mention of either their buyers or the content they’ll publish because, to them, it’s all about the design.

I could go on for a while, but stop and think about this. When did marketing become a bunch of silos? When did all the parts start leaking out of the bucket and becoming separate initiatives?

I hate to say this, but I’m wondering if marketing has lost it’s focus.

Here’s the point:

Everything we do as marketers must be connected. If we consider each tactic as a lever or dial, then each one will have some impact on whatever else we’re doing. And it all needs to make sense — both for us and for our buyers.

Consider this example:

You create a feature article based on a buyer persona. (not a marketing persona or social media persona – a complete buyer persona that takes all channels into account)

You put it on your website with a link to it from your home page, perhaps a graphic.

From within the article, you link to an upcoming webinar on a related topic to connect the dots to what buyers can do next. Perhaps you also hyperlinked to a blog post that expands on a concept in the article.

You used keywords in your title and headers and a few strategic places when writing the article. The URL for the article also contains those keywords.

You developed a series of Tweets to share it with your network – also with keywords or even a hastag.

You wrote an email with a link back to the article and assigned it to go out to a segment of your database that is represented by the buyer persona.

You started a LinkedIn discussion about the topic in a group where it’s relevant and included a link to the article.

You also set up a Google alert on the title and keywords so that you will be able to see if the article gains traction in any other channels, so that you can be sure to respond.

Did you do all of this separately as one-offs or was it all part of the plan from the start?

Or, perhaps you wrote the article and passed it off to the IT team to be published to the website and went on to the next thing on your list. But, because you didn’t tell them what keywords to use they just publish it without any.

Maybe, if you’re lucky, the social media team spots it and thinks – Yeah! Something new to Tweet about. Hmm. Let’s see – what shall we say? Oh heck – grab the title and link and post it. And yeah, let’s schedule it to auto tweet every 3 hours for the next 2 days.

A website visitor sees the article and posts it to a LinkedIn group starting a discussion that skews the premise and goes off in a direction you didn’t anticipate. But, because monitoring LinkedIn isn’t your job, you don’t see it and the discussioin is gaining steam.

And on it goes. Random acts of marketing leaking out of the bucket.

This is not to say that you can control everything, but you’ve got to take a more holistic approach to your marketing efforts if you want to have a shot at guiding and participating in the conversation.

And it’s all a conversation these days. Multiple channels with different expectations and people sharing their perspectives. The point is that everything we’re doing is connected. Well, it should be. It all needs to work in concert to produce the best results. If your bucket is leaking this isn’t happening.

But it does explain why I’m also hearing from marketers who are getting frustrated that they’ve “bought in” to content marketing but it’s not doing much for them.

The problem I see is that the tactics available for marketing efforts have multiplied, but we haven’t taken the time to create processes and strategies to help us optimize how we use them. We look at each thing separately and fail to connect the dots. But we’re not just producing less than optimal marketing initiatives, we’re failing our buyers. We’re leaving them hanging without a complete story. We’re presenting our company as having split personalities because efforts from one part don’t complement another.

How much is leaking out of your marketing bucket?

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