I recently chatted with a very talented friend who owns a theatrical group that performs interactive murder mysteries at restaurants and corporate events.
“Suzanne,” he said, “I don’t understand it. I was getting lots of leads for my shows but everything just stopped.”
I asked him if he had tried the Facebook ads I had recommended.
“Yes, but those things don’t work and they’re expensive.”
I then asked when he stopped the ads. He said January.
Then I asked when the activity stopped. He said January.
Perception is a funny thing.
Another case in point: I was at a networking meeting a few years ago when a lady sat next to me. She began to discuss a community garden she was working on. I said I thought that was a wonderful idea and asked her if the media knew about it. She immediately said:
“Why, EVERYONE knows about it – it’s been all over the news.”
At that very moment (and you can call this marketing serendipity), another lady sat at the table and said:
“What’s happening with the community garden? I haven’t heard anything about it.”
Perception is a funny thing.
How can these business owners be so out of touch with the reality of their marketing? It’s because we are often so tied to our own filters and our perception of the world as it relates to us – or our businesses.
Perhaps your company is not on social media. You don’t like it. You think social media is stupid and that it’s a time waster. No one you know is on social media. For this reason, you don’t have a social media presence and yet you can’t understand why your competitors are doing well - and you are not.
Well, I hate to tell you this, but BILLIONS of people are on social media and every time the news says it’s on its way out more people get onboard. Every business needs to be on social media even if it’s on a limited scale. Period. This is especially true for B2C (business to consumer) entities but it's also fabulous for B2B operations.
Or, let’s say you don’t like email marketing. You hate sending emails and you hate receiving them. You say email marketing is dead. Because YOU feel this way, you never send e-newsletters. Did you know that email marketing still has one of the highest ROI’s? The ROI for email marketing is, on average, $43 for each dollar spent. Not too shabby and it’s inexpensive to do.
The KEY to all marketing is frequency and consistency. Traditional marketing research used to say that a consumer had to “see” you at least 12 times before they start to pay attention. I actually think that number is much higher now since we all barraged with so much information on a daily basis. Why do you think radio and TV commercials are played over and over and over again? Big advertisers know the all encompassing power of repetition to cut through the crowd.
If you are just sending out an occasional eblast, or doing a social media post every now and again, you are not gaining momentum for your marketing. When you are on various platforms frequently and consistently, what you may think is not working is – it’s in the building phase. This can take as little as two months if you are being very aggressive, but the average is around 6 months for campaigns to start to “gel” and for people for start paying attention.
Perception is a funny thing but you can challenge YOUR perceptions - and succeed.