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Chapter 14: How Inflexibility Creates Noise in Marketing

Inflexibility. Stagnation. Resistance. These are terrible words to describe an approach to marketing a business. Unfortunately, many poor marketing decisions (and indecisions) are guided by inflexibility, stagnation and resistance. Some business owners find change difficult, but that doesn't mean marketing strategies and new media are going to wait on them.

The more accessibility and speed available in a medium, the faster the cycle time for interest. It's a "what have you done for me lately?" world in media, specifically the Internet and social media. User behavior is measured and understood, then media adjust to hold their audience. As a result, marketing strategies adapt and evolve with the new opportunities presented. This doesn't happen on an annual basis; it's always happening. That's why if you don't regularly refresh your strategies and content, you get diminishing returns despite the same or greater investment in old reliable strategies. It's also why the healthiest marketing mindsets involve being open to evolution and change. Otherwise you're letting stagnation creep in, and that's adding noise where you want clarity.

To stay on top of this, you don't have to be a marketing expert, but it helps if you listen to one you trust. Here are three ways that you can avoid inflexibility, stagnation and resistance in your marketing strategies and feel confident accepting the changes necessary for success.

Plan Ahead and Budget for a Year

A good management cycle for marketing is to plan for a year and do a spot check every quarter. This way, you can avoid being reactive in your spending, while remaining thoughtful and patient with your strategies. One of the worst moves you can make in most marketing strategies is to pull out too quickly before the strategy can get traction or mature. Sometimes it takes an expert awhile to refine the targeting strategy; you have to allow for that.

Also, if you are in this mindset, your quarterly checkins should also focus on what has changed and what is new. In the last few years, Dog Star Media has introduced a new refinement or new strategy entirely about every four months. That's the rate things are changing online. You need to be on top of that, and a quarterly meeting at least will keep you informed.

Website Inactivity

These days you have to think of your website as an organic being. It needs to be nourished, cleaned and cared for. Otherwise it will get sick - or worse. In a nutshell, every marketing advantage you want is now somehow tied to extending the web, higher-quality content and better engagement. The search engines rate you based on applications of those general ideas. This is why Dog Star Media adjusted strategies to either add new content, drive more traffic or improve engagement on our clients' websites. The days of just hanging up a website and walking away have been over for a long time. It is vital to have the attitude that your website needs to be improved on a regular basis, weekly if possible. And by that I mean real improvements, not junky additions. You need compelling, interesting, relevant content and site updates that improve engagement.

Dog Star Media's Rising Star and Content programs do this with excellent results. If you haven't touched your site in years, you're fighting stagnation.

Knowing How Metrics Work

We all want the phone to ring; that is the ultimate goal. However, there are many micro-conversions that occur along the way that lead to a sustained flow of new calls and contacts. How much you spend on exposure and how well your sales funnel works are two variables that can affect your satisfaction with the flow of new patients.

A big mistake that many business owners make is not understanding how the metrics work for each part of a total strategy. Understanding micro-conversions helps you understand the evolution of what draws your audience together and what engages them. This is key to decision making, not only for content, but also for how you communicate about your practice. Learning how to read and interpret the metrics for a variety of strategies will help you have the patience and understanding to stick with things that work.

When someone tells me they don't care about all that and that all that matters is that the phone rings, I hear the kind of inflexibility that might doom the strategy before it has a chance to give us some golden nuggets that might vastly improve the entire practice's marketing. With more detailed metrics and such technologically informed strategies these days, the gold is in the details. This is why Dog Star Media is a metrics-driven company. We'll provide great metrics and use them on your behalf. We organize it for you and make it easy to understand.We are here to explain and interpret. If you want to make a New Year's resolution for business this year, I suggest you give your marketing metrics more attention. It will improve everything!

Right now, Dog Star Media is offering free year-end planning and consulting meetings to help you sort through priorities for 2019. Let's talk about these three tips and other ways you feel like you might be stagnating or not being so flexible. We are here to help! Just email donald@dogstarmedia.com for an appointment time and we can talk about your 2019 and ways you can make the most of it.

Chapter 15: Noise in Your Website
The Art and Science of Digital Marketing: Chapters...

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