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Digital marketing requires laser focus

Three clients. Three stories. But they are all, in a sense, the same story. a failure to focus. Marketing has always needed focus–focus on who your best customers are and what your biggest differentiation is. Because digital marketing forces you to compete with many more companies from all over the world, it requires that you have a laser-like focus on who your target market is. Because if you don’t, someone else will.

So why am I harping on this? Because out of all of my clients, I have a few that just can’t focus.

  • Of course I can focus.  Well maybe, but you change your mind every week. Focus does not mean flavor of the month–it means what we are committing our company to one thing. It doesn’t wear out before the next quarter unless you now have compelling evidence to change.
  • Of course I can prioritize.  Well maybe so, but you prioritize everything number one. That means that you are actually prioritizing nothing. And when you prioritize nothing, that is exactly what gets done.
  • Of course I set targets. Well maybe, but you keep saying that your target is to satisfy the customer. And if you get a different RFP every week, you change your target every week.

They are not bad people. They are not dumb. They are just scared. Scared to commit. Afraid to delete any choices. Not confident enough to really go for it.

Bulls Eye
Bulls Eye (Photo credit: Jens Dahlin)

And I don’t blame them. It is scary to bet your whole business on something that might fail. The only problem is that not betting on your business will definitely fail. Chew on that while mulling over your next indecision.
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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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