Those of you who know me well, know how much I like acronyms. I used to work for AT&T, which stands for American Telephone and Telegraph. While we were there, we went to the LBR and LGR; the little boy’s room and little girl’s room, not the bathroom. Did you know that my whole obsession with BACON is really an acronym? It stands for Building, Authentic, Connections, Online, Networking. But today I would like to talk about a different acronym. Now is the time to start marketing your A.S.S off. Yes, market your A.S.S off. I’ll explain that in a minute, but first we have to go back.
Frozen With Fear?
This has been a very unsettling year, right? But that doesn’t make it any different than any other; we’re still in the holiday season. Businesses are most likely in one of three places at this time when it comes to marketing their business. They’re either at a point where they’re in a scarcity of funds because they’ve used up their budgets. Or they don’t have much money due to lost business. Or they’ve gone into hibernation for planning and they’re kind of on a mental vacation. As this year comes to a close, I am here to tell you that could be a big mistake.
Now is the time to start marketing your A.S.S off.
The Politics Of Marketing
I was listening to a podcast called Trendsetters by Walter Isaacson, and he was talking about the history of politics. Now I am not here to talk about politicians, but throughout the history of time, they’ve used different communication methodologies. Back in the days of FDR, it was the radio and his Fireside Chats. He had a booming voice and a nice speaking style. He had a mastery of that platform. Then in the 1980s, it was Ronald Reagan. After all the guy was a movie star, he could literally make love to the camera, and so video was his medium.
But in 2004, that all changed by an obscure politician running as a presidential nominee of the Democrat party, named Howard Dean. He discovered something: social media. Not quite the same way that we use it today, but what he found is that people were using Meetup at the time to have little meetups about his campaign and they were using it for fundraising. It evolved into today’s modern social media love affair with politics.
Next up was Barack Obama. First, he started using social media in 2006 when he ran for the Senate and won. Then in 2008, he mastered it. He constructed a digital team that helped him use social media to take over and win that election. In 2012, when he ran for a second term, Mitt Romney tried this same thing but failed. He couldn’t use it to his advantage. In 2016, you are probably all familiar with the way that Donald Trump used Twitter and still does to this day. There was an evolution though, from the political side, of melding and merging social media demographics with voter databases.
All of these campaigns tried to use consumer data, but they were finding that general consumer data was very unreliable. The only way they found to overcome that data discrepancy was literally by going door-to-door to potential voters and asking them questions. That means that data was being strengthened through relational face-to-face marketing.
Get Your A.S.S. In Gear
During this time where businesses may be scaling back, you should really be scaling up your relational marketing to start off the next year strong. That means it’s time to start really marketing your A.S.S off. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, it’s another acronym that stands for A: awareness. S: system. S: strategy. (Or as George W. Bush used to say, “Strategery”).
Let’s start with awareness. Now is the time to get your name out there. During this downtime in between December 1st and January 1st, people will be paying attention. Now is the time to get people to know your name, what you do, and how you do it. One of the things you have to think about is, people are also in video overload at this point. They’re becoming Zoombies from all the Zoom meetings, so you want to use as many tools as possible, including video, but don’t disregard graphics, audio and print. Creating awareness graphics is a great way to get people to know you exist. Creating educational content will help build upon that awareness. I just did a piece about case studies, which can actually take you even further into that awareness arena.
Next is the system. We have to find a way to use that awareness to start collecting data. I suggest you find a CRM that you like to use, and start collecting data, based on the people that are interacting with you. Have a conversation with them. This conversation could be online or it could be on the phone, doesn’t matter. The key thing is you need to ask great questions, just like they did when they were knocking door-to-door. And the biggest thing about data is that it becomes outdated very quickly, so you want to make sure that you’re keeping everything up to date. What if somebody moves to a different company? What if somebody’s phone number or email changes? You want to make sure you have the most current stuff at your fingertips.
And now we get to the third piece, and that’s strategy. The bottom line is really about that knocking on the doors part. Consistency is key. One of the things that I do is I make sure I wish everybody happy birthday, I share a quote of the day, and I do all I can to make sure that I consistently get content out there and stay in touch with people. I stay in touch with them also through conversations; I will send them direct mail messages, an email, a phone call, but you want to make sure when you do that, that you’re collecting data. Do you have the most recent stuff? Make sure you’re providing value, by connecting with them, connecting them with others, and keeping their contact information current, so if you are going to recommend them, you give people the right info. Make sure you’re keeping up on all your note-taking.
Waiting until January, 2021 to bequeath your marketing upon the world is too little, too late. You’re going to be behind the curve. People are accessing their computers and their mobile phones right now because they’re stuck, and you need to be in front of them. The more people are aware of what you do, the better chance you have to become top of mind.
So when 2021 comes around, and business opportunities start to present themselves, you’ll be the person they think of, cause you’ve been marketing your A.S.S off.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about how you plan to start marketing your A.S.S. off. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?