Process to Swim

Process to SwimCan you remember back to the days when you were first learning to swim?

The smell of chlorine, the patter of wet feet on white tile was unmistakable. In the pool at the Fairfield YMCA I remember going through a whole process on getting into the pool. Toes in first to test the temperature and always stay near the side of the pool.. Just in case you got into trouble. Use the ladder on the shallow end of the pool for maximum safety. Never, EVER jump in!

It is with the same timidity that many approach web advertising and social media marketing, but why is that??

Thinking back 50 years ago, you could ask a junior attorney whether or not he wanted to advertise in the Yellow Pages and he would say “YES!”.. “And I want the biggest advertisement that money can buy!” he would conclude. There was no timidity there. No process to swim. The young attorney just knew that advertising in the Yellow Pages would make him successful, just as every attorney he ever came in contact with.

So what causes timidity when confronted with the world of web advertising and social media marketing?

  • Do business people truly still think that the Internet is a ‘yet to be tested’ advertising venue?
  • Are they waiting for the “next best thing”?
  • Is it because it is ‘technology’, and they ‘don’t understand technology’ that they steer clear?
  • Do they fail to see their competitors taking advantage of web advertising?

I have rarely heard anyone respond to the affirmative on any of those counts yet today 98% of the businesses I meet with have failed to setup their local business profile in Google. It takes 10 minutes, anyone can do it, but many fail to even take those baby steps to growing a better, more recognizable business and brand.

This takes me to what I call the “Process to Swim”. It is something that I did not come up with on my own. These are the very steps that many of my clients go through to achieve their online success.

  • Provide a detailed analysis of the “problem”. Send your consultant packing if he/she urges immediate action.
  • Plan an online campaign just as you would a traditional one. (insider tip: sometimes I still rely on story boards to deliver the message)
  • Define the boundaries. What are you willing to spend, willing to offer, willing to share?
  • Work as hard as you can to engage the masses. Just like any direct mail, catalog drop or an email blitz. Know your customers, and engage them.
  • Analyze results, rinse and repeat. From repetition, business leaders learn to TRUST, with this TRUST, advertising efforts receive REAL VALUE.

Anyone trying to pass along an e-marketing campaign that does not include REAL VALUE is missing the boat. The true “stump hole” out there is the fear that one will only receive INTRINSIC VALUE for participating in online advertising and marketing. Strategists must move beyond selling poorly supported advertising agendas that only exist to support a weak value proposition. If your online campaign does not instill a strong TRUST from leaders, and the follow-through RELIANCE from the sales organization, you have not learned how to swim.

Swimming lessons are available on a first-come.. first-serve basis.

Call me: Mike McDermott at 937-573-8535




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