There Is No Magic Bullet

At lunch yesterday, my colleagues and I were talking about how so many companies we know of want MAGIC to happen with no money and no investment. "Just build a website and they will come."

You might think in this day and age of digital maturity that companies would understand it doesn't work like that - anymore than it worked like that when they built their retail store or catalog business. Creating a channel does not insure customer traffic - creating a channel allows you to BEGIN the customer dialogue to bring in customer traffic.

Is a quick fix mentality? Is it not totally understanding how some of the new channels of engagement work? If I hire a Sale Manager, I do not automatically assume I will have a sale or  new client without some effort, strategy and time. The microwave mentality of the ecommerce/digital world leads our senior executives to believe that these new channels will behave differently than the old channels.  And they don't.

As I have mentioned before, I hope we can all get beyond the thinking that "one brand/product impression = one sale." When I started my marketing career, there was an unspoken understanding that acquiring new customers took time, effort and investment. It still does. AND, it's harder than ever before.

I believe that we need to focus even more intently on our objectives - are we interested in selling products and services we create and manufacture or are we trying to build a brand and retail presence with the customer? BOTH are worthy objectives, but may not be able to co-exist so peacefully in this market place. If I manufacture products and Amazon and Walmart sell most of my products, I need to be realistic about what "my own website" is going to contribute to the equation. And what the objective is of selling against my best channels of distribution.

Changing our thinking is not only crucial to our business models - but to our employees. We cannot have expectations that are not realistic and expect our brightest employees to hang around for the craziness. It just won't happen.

As marketers, we need to continually educate our teams and management about what is really possible in our strategy efforts. There never was any magic bullet and there still is no magic bullet. Same equation - effort+ messaging+ investment,+engagement+ time = sales.

Nancy Bullock

Digital Market Solutions, Inc.