What’s Working Now? Digital Marketing in 2018

digital-marketing-2018

Over the past few weeks I’ve received invitations from several “marketing gurus” inviting me to upcoming webinars. I noticed a theme running through most of these recent promotions. I’m talking about the “what’s working now” theme. It’s beginning to permeate its way through many online business circles.

You see, what worked a few years ago in terms of getting traffic, subscribers, views, followers, likes, etc., doesn’t work as well today. The marketing strategies have become like party balloons a week after the party ends. They’re shriveling fast and sort of bobbing along on the floor.

But let’s forget about the marketing stuff for a minute and get right to the heart of the matter. What if the marketplace is tiring? What if it’s getting bored with buying methods, strategies and the latest software solutions? What if it’s burning out?

According to the statistics, there was a significant drop off in Facebook Ad revenue back in 2017.

Call it a course correction.

Good Products Gone Bad

Remember, when it comes to sales, the real pros (the boots on the ground) only sell what people are buying. That’s where the focus is. When something starts drying up, they move on to something else.

Maybe that (replace “that” with the product, service or idea of your choice) was working in 2016. Now that barely creates a ripple. Now that barely matters… if at all.

But if the same people who sold you that in 2016 which no longer works in 2018 want you to buy into their latest thing, shouldn’t you be getting a free upgrade or something?

I mean, the new car comes with a 3-year warranty. If something stops working before it’s time, they fix it. Sometimes there’s even a recall.

At least if I buy a gallon of milk, all things being equal, I’m not expecting the same gallon to be drinkable a month from now. Software, courses, various marketing trainings, etc. – all these things cost significantly more than a gallon of milk, don’t they?

This is the place where someone might say, “Hey, it’s not your fault.”

I love when people tell me that all the time I wasted, not to mention the money – none of it was my fault.

I’m going to say, “Yes, it is.”

You know better. We know better.

Unless you’re under 25, you’ve been around long enough, been burned enough times and should realize by now that when someone tells you what you want to hear, you’re reaching for your credit or debit card a little too fast.

Put Your Credit Card Back in Your Wallet

I have a hybrid-type of a business setup. I’m a digital marketing consultant and website developer, all rolled up into one. I’ve marinated in this mix for the past 20-years (I’ve waited twenty years to be able to say that – so give me a pass if I repeat that more than I probably should).

The developer part of me understands there’s a code beneath everything – powering everything. It’s logical, repeatable and for the most part – sustainable.

The marketer part of me understands that people want to hear what people want to hear. The logical stuff is boring. The fluff is more exiting. They want the code to minimize their effort. They want leverage. They want empowerment. So we build it into the copy. In reality… you’re getting a quick high that comes with buying more tech. When you’re in that moment, you feel like you’re getting somewhere.

But then you never really use what you bought. Or you don’t use it correctly. They tell you it’s not your fault. But if you can convince yourself that it absolutely is your fault, it can be a real game changer.

So, what’s working NOW?

The short answer is – being connected to buyers in your marketplace. Without turning this into a ten-thousand word article, let me point out what should be obvious. The outward, visible stuff we buy (software, design, how-to info) – these things no longer give us big advantages over the competition.

Everyone has access to the same information and tools. Advantages have become incremental and increasingly difficult to measure in a practical sense.

BUT… Great customer service can give you a significant advantage. It’s sorely lacking across the board. Networking with successful people who’ve been there and done that. That can open doors to things you may have never thought possible. It’s worked in the past and it’s working right now.

You can find yourself on the national stage in your market. It happened to me. I was there and I was available. No formulas needed. It’s happening right now, as of this writing, in fact.

I love my comfort zone as much as you do yours. When I get out of it, good things happen.

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I love my comfort zone as much as you do yours. When I get out of it, good things happen. Where I go, I’m the only consultant/developer in the room. You could say my sub-conscious figured it out while my mind was still sifting through the options.

Wrapping it Up

So where does this leave us? I believe most of us are at a place where we find ourselves endlessly weighing options. One after another. Basically stuck in your own head.

I believe it’s the “human side” of business – that’s where the real differences will be made and felt as we move forward. As relationships give way to algorithms, that’s where you’ll have to start pushing in the opposite direction. Your clients and potential clients are feeling it. They may not be vocalizing it, but do they really have to?

Inwardly, I think most people know what they should be doing. They just lack the confidence to commit to it long enough to see results. It’s counter-intuitive to the more popular messages of this time that encourage you to be everywhere and do everything.

So the question isn’t can you – it’s more like, “Are you ready to?”

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