Overwhelmed? Go Back to the Marketing Basics

Feeling like you’re suffering from marketing ADD?

Maybe it’s time to take a step back and get back to basics.

Marketers are slammed with all sorts of shiny online marketing options. Ooh…there’s Instagram. And Twitter. And Facebook.  It’s not enough to just have a site. Now, companies are “supposed” to add all sorts of other bells and whistles to their online marketing mix.

The challenge comes when marketers try to jump on the latest online marketing bandwagon without shoring up their marketing foundation. Some folks chase latest and greatest opportunity and ignore the half-assed campaigns they started a long time ago (how many deserted Facebook pages have you seen?). Or, new opportunities are put into the “yet another thing that I should be doing” category. Chris Brogan talks about social marketing fatigue – and I think that’s a real phenomena.  Many site owners are so overwhelmed with options, they choose to do nothing.

Both scenarios are bad for business. So here’s what to do.

Rather than chasing the next big shiny social media thing, why not shore up your current marketing foundation? That way, you know that the basics are covered – and then you can check out new opportunities. For instance:

  1. When is the last time you reviewed your company’s autoresponder copy (or your other marketing collateral?). Is it up to date? Are there typos? Are there ways you can use your autoresponders to drive more leads or sales?
  2. When is the last time you checked your site’s analytics (c’mon – be honest!). Are there pages with high bounce rates that you can revamp and relaunch? The best social media campaign can’t help you if your site sucks.
  3. If you’re a local business, have you considered advertising in local publications (display advertising – although a tad bruised – is still alive and well.) Would it make sense to pitch an article idea to a local publication to see if you can drive traffic? Are there free or low-cost marketing alternatives?
  4. Did you start a social media campaign (such as a Facebook page,) only to leave it half-done (perhaps to go chase the next shiny social media thing..) :) Either fix it up and measure it – or let it go and decide to focus on other things.
  5. When’s the last time you revised your company’s features and benefits list? A lot has changed over the last few years – and what was a benefit statement 2 years ago may not be as powerful today.
  6. How often do you follow up with your existing customers, especially your “big fish”evangelists? If you don’t have a follow-up procedure in place, set one up. It’s always less expensive to upsell to an existing customer than acquire a new one.
  7. How often do you poll your clients/readers and ask them what products/services/features they’d like to see? You have all the market research capabilities you need – you just have to ask the questions.
  8. Are there a bunch of low-hanging SEO fruit opportunities that you can leverage? This list of headsmacking SEO copywriting opportunities may spark some ideas.
  9. Consider if your customer persona (s) has changed. Or, if you haven’t created your customer persona documents, now is an excellent time to start. After all, if your customers aren’t on Facebook, you can probably stop worrying about a Facebook campaign – and focus your efforts on getting the biggest bank for the buck

What “marketing foundation” steps would you add to this list? Please “like” the post and let me know your thoughts – thanks!

Photo credit gratitude to garryknight

9 replies
  1. Amy C. Teeple says:

    Good stuff Heather!

    It is always easy to lose your focus to the new shiny toy, but without reviewing your basics (and updating as needed), you may be making things more difficult, not easier).

    While I have joined Google+, it is not my top priority right now. I have realized that I need to get “back to basics.” I have just had a new logo created and my website is in the middle of an overhaul.

    One simple fix, that has been extremely helpful, was adding a portfolio page to my website. It’s nothing extravagant and will probably be expanded in the next few months, but having it has saved me so much time when people want to see samples of my work. Also, it allows me to appeal to those site visitors who may not have contacted me before because there were no writing samples available.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Eddie Stephens says:

    Great post, Heather. I was reminded of something I heard Jim Collins (the Good to Great book guy) say in a presentation. He wanted his insights and ideas to be “like an irritating grain of sand in people’s minds…around which a valuable pearl can be formed.” I think you get the drift.
    Thanks for the “grain-of-sand.” Good insights to keep the “marketing ADD” under control.
    Appreciate you. Thanks.

  3. Carolyn Frith says:


    You’re absolutely right. It’s so hard to stay focused with all the options that we have available to us. That’s why we really have to go back to basics and create a marketing plan every year and stick to the tactics in the plan at least long enough to do them well and test them out.


  4. didik anak says:

    yeah Heather maybe you are right about it, before this i did love or addicted new shiny stuff without having a strong foundation. Now, i realize it and have got back to foundation and focus 2-3 method at once until master it.

  5. Ken Jansen says:

    Hi Heather,

    Another very useful post. I like the first one the most actually. Reviewing auto-responders and your materials to see if they need freshening up or not. We might be tired of seeing them, but others might not. On the other had, this particular verbage might float my boat, but make someone else fall asleep.

    Thank you.

    • Heather says:

      Exactly! I remember reading a client autoresponder – and there was a big, glaring typo in the first sentence. When I pointed it out, the client said that he never noticed it before – and it had been like that for *over two years.* Wow! I learned a valuable lesson that day… :)


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