Maybe you’re doing it wrong

Social media doesn’t work. Nor do cell phones, the Internet, e-mail or billboards, for that matter. No, really none of it works without a message to communicate.

It all comes down to communication. So, if you don’t know what to say and when to say it, what’s the easiest thing to do? Blame the medium.

Stop complaining and start communicating.

In addition to hearing “social media doesn’t work,” I’ve heard the following in the last week or so.

“E-mail marketing is all spam, so no one even looks at it anymore.”

“Print is dead.”

“Direct mail marketing is a waste of time and money.”

“Cold calling doesn’t work.”

I could go on, but what if the people making those blanket statements stopped for two seconds and considered the following: “You’re doing it wrong.” It’s not that social media (or cold calling, direct mail, e-mail or any medium for that matter) doesn’t work.

Not all marketing campaigns work.

I ran a fairly successful marketing campaign about a year ago that consisted of two direct mail pieces and two e-mail pieces being sent to each prospect over a four-week period. The special offer also was promoted via social media. It was successful enough that I said to myself, “Aha, I’ve got the magical formula now!” I tried to run a similar campaign two months later to a different targeted list and guess what? It was almost a total failure.

I could have quit right then, saying, “These darn cross-media marketing campaigns don’t work!” Instead, I tried again a couple months later with yet another target list (half the folks from the first campaign and half from the second) and achieved success similar to the first campaign.

What am I not telling you?

Well, I took a long hard look at that second campaign. I’d done it wrong. I re-read my copy for that campaign and upon reflection it downright stunk. The communication mediums all work when properly utilized. The trick is to get your message right. You have to understand your target audience and speak to their needs and address the pain points in their existence. If you fail to do that, all of the above negative statements will be self-fulfilling prophecies.

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