"Perry's Swiss Army Knife brought major innovation to my process. I use the blades in a questionnaire that helps my clients entering new markets discover what they sell, who their customer is, and how to sell to that customer. Presentations to clients are now much more engaging, with some surprising analogies, etc. The system lets me to present new creative copy much faster, and also enables me to quickly help PPC geeks employed by my clients become more creative copywriters right out of the gate."
Dear Online Marketing Professional,
Today I'm here with a long-overdue look at reality:
1. Every Bloke In The World Thinks The Internet
Is The "Good Ship Hope".
People who lack the foggiest clue about how to serve your market pile on every week and drive up traffic prices. Not only that, well-funded marketers from other industries are eying your customers and licking their lips.
This is why there are so many Social Media books in the bookstore. They give people huge lists of things to do with no clear payoff for any of it. Ugly truth about human beings: All it takes for most people to feel OK is to think that their plan is going to get them somewhere. It's like putting a pacifier in a baby's mouth - workin' them jaws, but zero nutrition. They happily occupy themselves for months and years, going around in circles. Most of 'em never notice.
That might be OK for Dilbert Cube occupants but it won't cut the mustard for you. You must be 5X clearer about what you're out to accomplish than they are.
If you don't have a definite strategy for transmitting a more relevant, more compelling message and a decisively better offer then you're in big trouble.
2. The Recession In The US And Europe Isn't Going
To Be Over Any Time Soon.
I'm just as sorry to say it as you are to hear it, but it's true. There's still a ton of over-valued real estate, and the hurricane hasn't even hit yet in Commercial Real Estate. If your plans for this year involve some kind of uptick in the economy and a surge of customer confidence, I suggest you reconsider.
Furthermore, I can assure you that even with the heightened competition in Pay Per Click, most PPC advertisers are utterly mediocre in half their efforts. There are still gaping holes in sales funnels, vast swaths of boring ads and me-too sales messages. I don't see the trend reversing until the best players in every industry wake up and smell the coffee.
The laws of nature and economics are pounding the nonsense out of business people. The pounding will continue until the nonsense is gone.
3. Your Ads Sound Just Like Everybody Else's.
Sorry if this sounds rude, but it's true. Everybody in your market sounds like everybody else. Everybody copies each other and they all get dumber every year.
-> Taking surveys will not cure this, because anybody can open a free Survey Monkey account and take one. If you don't have a trustworthy, reliable way to say something fresh, new and exciting, on demand, you'll always be doomed to commoditization. Same lame promises, same tired slogans, same soggy bottom line. Just another guy selling just another me-too offering to bored customers.
4. Nobody Wants To Read Your Free Report.
Or your white paper. Or watch your video. Or listen to your podcast. Most people's free reports and white papers are just as boring as their ads.
Why would anybody surrender their precious email address for yet another same-as-the-last-guy thinly-disguised sales pitch?
It's not surprising opt-in rates are going down and bounce rates are going up. And they're not going to get any better.
5. The Days Of "Split Testing Your Way To Riches"
Nothin' against split testing, you understand, and it's still mandatory. But this alone is not going to save your butt.
Split testing is meaningless unless you can feed great material into your split tests - material that's superior to your old ads. 40 years ago, crusty old computer guys had a saying: "Garbage In, Garbage Out." Even though Social Media hadn't even been invented yet, they still knew it was true.
5 years ago, split testing was the secret to success, and honestly all people had to do was just do it. Why was that true?
Credit was easy
Traffic was cheap
Markets weren't nearly as crowded
In split testing, the name of the game is: How much does it cost you to double, triple, or quadruple your pulling power?
If you're making tiny incremental improvements by adding commas and swapping out verbs and testing capital letters, it takes a LONG TIME and costs a LOT OF MONEY.
If you're starting out in a cash-negative position with your offer (which is the norm now, not the exception) then merely spit testing your way to success is a bad strategy.
And when banks ratchet down your credit limit every time you pay off a balance, that makes it even worse.
The name of the game in 2014 is not Kaizen Continuous Improvements. It's quantum leaps in short periods of time. You must evolve FAST. Imagine a dog evolving into a thoroughbred horse not in 50 million years, but in 5 days. How does that work? It's Hyper-Evolution and it's what you must do now in order to survive.
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