Welcome to my first “Dear Starr” post. I will begin this as a weekly post from letters/emails that I receive online and off. As this column evolves, I will post several times per week and answer in video format moving forward (I am setting up my studio now and putting the word on the wire that I am looking for questions/problems to answer/help with in regard to growing revenue, business, marketing, social, PR).
Please send all questions to Starr@StarrHall.com. Include your biz problem, question, location and business name if you would like (I will include a link from my answer/blog post to your site). I will do my best to get to your question just as soon as possible.
Problem: I feel stuck with my marketing efforts, overwhelmed by all of the social media channels and new technologies surfacing daily.
Question: How do I stay focused on marketing that will work and stay informed as well as inspired to market and grow my business? Thank you in advance for your help.
– Mary Brollen, Tampa, FL
Dear Marketing Mary,
It sounds like you need to get out and grass squash in the park (referring to the scene in Pretty Woman where Richard Gere walks barefoot on the grass) to clear your head, renew your creative marketing energy. When you are looking at the same marketing, same approaches, same results it can become uninspiring and can cause MSS- marketing stuck syndrome.
First thing is first, after you visit the grass barefoot, determine what results you are getting from each and every marketing effort you do. You need to analyze what is causing customers to take action, what is getting them to talk and what is not. Once you know what is working and what isn’t you can better plan forward.
In regard to social and technology overwhelm, we all experience it, you just need to find what works best for you in regard to staying informed. I suggest choosing 2-3 feeds or social/tech channels to browse and read in brief just so you can get the juice out of the updates to stay informed. Be on the lookout for a new app called Summly (invented by a 17 y.o) that will “sum up” news direct to your phone (for now it is iphone focused). Mashable and Techcrunch are great news sites, Social Media Examiner is another great resource to bookmark.
In closing: Once per month (or once per quarter), generate a marketing outcome assessment report and analyze what is working, what is not, your customer behaviors, when and how they are taking action etc… (there are great programs out there to help with this from SproutSocial to ViralHeat). A lot of these programs are monitoring offline, direct mail response now as well.
Stay informed in brief, quick little news feed updates to your phone or email. You need to stay informed as to what your customers want, how they want it and the device(s) they connect on.
I hope this helps you get unstuck and back in action mode, thank you for your letter.
Off to find myself a park with lots of grass,