Cerius Executives has been operating for well over a decade, and during that time we’ve learned our fair share of marketing lessons.
Although techniques and trends constantly change, there are some keys that remain timeless.
Marketing Lessons – You need patience, patience, and more patience
The business world isn’t known for its patience. You can ask Cerius’s co-founders Pam Wasley & Kristen McAlister about learning the value of patience in marketing. It took a while for them to realize that it takes time to see results.
“One of the biggest lessons we learned in marketing is patience,” says Kristen. “We just had to give it months to kick in. Months! And it wasn’t just that one campaign. It was the 10 other things that went with it.”
Not seeing results can be frustrating for business owners. Because marketing is a soft expertise, you don’t have concrete numbers that instantly tell you whether your marketing strategy is working or not. These days you can track the impact of digital marketing through data analytics, but it still takes days or weeks for the numbers to kick in. Until then, you need to be patient and give it time to work.
Marketing Lessons – Never stop testing
The key to marketing is endless small tests. Before it would take years for marketing trends to change, but now, what is working for you today will be redundant 6 months later. Marketing is always evolving. Only through constant innovation and following the latest trends in marketing can you stay relevant.
The trick is doing multiple experiments at the same time. Rather than giving your all to one big project like an email campaign, distribute your resources and time across several smaller campaigns like Facebook, Adwords and more.
“I see a lot of business people put a lot of money in one marketing technique. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they immediately think well this isn’t working,” says Pam. “In reality, if you put out smaller programs and you give them time to test correctly, you’re going to find that some start to tick up which is where you need to start putting your money. But again, it takes patience.”
Marketing Lessons – Share what you know
If you’re really good at something, share your expertise with the world. It might sound crazy at first to give out “company secrets” for free, but once you start to see returns it makes perfect sense to.
Sharing your tips and tricks establishes you as a market leader. Anybody who reads your blogs or listens to your podcasts will instantly realize that you know your stuff. Imagine you’re researching a dentist for your kid’s braces. Who would you rather go to? The one whose website only lists his contact info, or the one whose website has plenty of content on his cases and how he made all of them a success? We’re going with the latter because he sure knows what he’s doing.
One of Cerius’s biggest turning points was our willingness to share – just like we’re doing on this blog! It took a while to convince Pam that nobody was going to steal their knowledge and do it better than them. According to Kristen, once they started and “the more information we got out there, and put into our client’s and executive’s hands, the more we started to see it come back.”
As for Pam’s fears of losing company secrets, that soon went away. She says, “It turned out we didn’t lose all those company secrets because the thing is when you share, while some people are going to be very successful at it, others just won’t bother to do it. I love that fact that somebody is being very successful with some tips that we gave them.”
Marketing Lessons – Just focus
Focus on what you do well. You can have the best website design or a campaign worth thousands of dollars, it just won’t make a difference if it lacks focus. Define what you’re good at and broadcast it.
Anybody who visits your website should be able to know instantly what you do and what your core competency is. Plastering your homepage with 50 different keywords is the worst thing you can do. People have short attention spans, and if it’s not apparent in 10 seconds what you essentially do, that potential customer will go back to Google and press the next link below you.
Kristen advises executives and companies: “You need to focus on a niche, on what you really do. It’s much better to be the big fish in your little niche pond than to be the duck in the ocean where no one can find you.”