Cracking the Marketing Nut – Part 1

My site went live a week ago, and thanks to networking, a few emails to former colleagues, and a press release, it’s received 145 visits from 103 visitors, according to Google Analytics.

Now that the site is done and getting visits, it’s time to turn my efforts to marketing.

As a marketing consultant and former marketing manager, you’d think that would be easy.

But it’s not. I’m like a sailing ship, buffeted every day by gusts of advice.

Each day, I get 10 new marketing emails from experts like Steve Slaunwhite, Bob Bly, Ed Gandia, and others. All the advice is good, straightforward, actionable, and has inspired my marketing plans.

But now it’s time to execute the plan, not read email.

My earlier experience isn’t incredibly helpful, either. Managing corporate campaigns backed by a six-figure marketing budget is one thing. Pulling together a campaign funded with lunch money is completely different.

So, I’ve taken a two-pronged approach to staying focused on my marketing plan.

  1. I’ve redirected all the educational emails I receive into an Outlook™ folder so I’m not tempted to read them as I work. I’ll read them at night, in my spare time.
  2. I’ve also set aside my corporate mindset and fallen back on my sales days to come up with a simple strategy that’s also cheap and cheerful.

With my limited marketing budget ($8 and a Happy Meal coupon), I’m forced to be basic.

On Thursday, I’m sending 30 emails to marketing managers at medium-sized companies I’ve found through a LinkedIn™ search.

I’ll direct these contacts to a special report I’ve written. It’s an analysis of how the five leading companies in my industry communicate to their customers.

I’m still polishing the report, but there are some good, actionable insights in it.

These smaller companies could use my findings to look more like the big guys, or less like the big guys — depending on their strategy.

The report also offers ideas for driving their marketing into competitive gaps.

I’ll be watching my site analytics to look at open rates, click-through rates, redirects to other pages on my site, etc.

About five days later, I’ll follow up with a phone call to get their feedback on the report, take suggestions for improvement, make the improvements, and then send another 30 emails.

I’m building a continuous improvement loop for the report while leveraging it as a ‘break the ice’ tool with industry contacts.

I’m also building a continuous improvement loop for my conversations with prospects.

I’m not contacting them to sell my services — I’m contacting them to establish my credibility and build connections.

In other words, I’m marketing myself, not my services.

My gut feel is that more and more often, my target audience will ignore a sales email. But, will they ignore a tool that helps them do their job? Let’s find out.

I’m going to try this for a few weeks and see how it works — and report back here on my findings so you don’t have to test the waters.

But I’m curious — all you B2B marketers out there, how are you marketing yourselves? What has worked for you?

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Published: May 28, 2012

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