post # 104 — June 13, 2006 — a Client Relations post
I hope other people are getting as much benefit from the advice contained in the reactions and comments to my blog on Creating Awareness. I also hope people will continue to joint that conversation.
However, I suspect that other people, as well as me, are rapidly beginning to realize the intertwined complexity of marketing. It’s not just complicated, it’s truly complex .Everything influences everything else, and it’s completely unclear where to start.
When I wanted to promote my consultancy, everyone said “write a book”. So I did that, and then asked – but how do I promote a book?
I treasure the responses that came back from publishers and publicists alike: “Well, there are no guarantees. There are some things we can try. Every book is different. We’ll give it our best efforts, act with good faith and good intentions. It’s really up to what you do. Maybe you should start a website.”
So, I did that. But then I asked, how do I make my website popular? Start a blog, they said.
Then, when I said how to I promote my blog, good friends said “People will get driven to your blogs if they hear about you in their trade press – get quoted or print your articles in print media. Do more seminars and invite the press. But how do I entice the press? Write more articles.”
Whoops! Back where we started!
If you read the commenters on the last blogpost (and you should – it’s GREAT stuff!) you’ll see things like “use your podcasts to promote your blog”. Well, yes, but forgive me being petulant if I ask “But how the heck do I promote my podcats?”
I”ve been just as guilty over the years of trying to make things linear. In my first book, Managing the Professional Service Firm I argued that among the top tactics to create awareness in a professional business were speeches and seminars, and I was dismissive of things like direct mail. “But how,” people would write in for years to come, “do we get people to come into our seminars? Don’t we need direct mail to get them to attend?” Ouch! Good point!
The same topic came up when I was discussing the possibility of building a “Wikipedia” about professional businesses. “The key” he said “Is that it’s easier to pull that off if – like you David (he’s a charmer) – you have a strong existing brand to build it on.”
This was flattering, but ultimately frustrating. He’s saying that I can make the new things (and the new marketing media) work better if I’ve already succeeded (and am plugged in.) Actually, that’s not bad for me because I’m 58 years old, I’ve published numerous books, I’ve built the website, so I’m ahead of the game – I have something to build on.
But, boy, that must be immensely annoying for those just starting out, trying to get their market’s attention. “Get famous, kid, and all the tactics for getting famous will be available to you!”
It’s like the pop music that’s my hobby. If you’re already famous, you get press coverage, invited to interviews, they review your latest album in the music magazines and they display your latest release at the front of the store. If you’re a band just starting out, none of these things are accomplished easily – if at all!
And in some small way, I have that challenge. Part of what I’m trying to do is to reach NEW audiences (outside the traditional professions where I have spent most of my time.) In that situation, my marketing challenge is as tough as any new “band”: we’ve got this killer record recorded, but no one will stock it, play it, display it. And the advice on where to START is all over the map! (And yes, I have read the books on Buzzmarketing!)
I’m luckier than most – I’ve got something to build on, and I have a little money to invest in this (hard-to-understand, incomprehensibly complex) process. I feel bad for others just starting out trying to think their way through this minefield.
That’s why I hope everyone out there will keep contributing to this blogpost (and the last one ). I’m determined to write an article (or some articles) shedding a little more light on all this. I see pieces of an answer, but at the moment they are only tantalizing glimpses!