Three Approaches to Successful Marketing
How to Be Analytical, Creative & Human in Your Communications Planning
When I first declared my majors in college, I chose to study dance and statistics.
People who know I eventually switched to dance and journalism think this early study of calculus, linear algebra and statistical analysis is, well, bizarre.
Everyone knows me as a strong communicator, but no one thinks of me as a math whiz.
That’s because I’m not a math whiz! My interest in statistics stemmed from a high school course where I realized math could mean something… Numbers could tell narratives. I could look at an array of data points and plot out answers to questions about people and places and things.
But let’s be serious — all those matrices nearly killed me, so I ran to the nearest writing class. 😂😅
Even though I ran kicking and screaming out of linear algebra, I find that my chosen profession — online marketer — taps into this early quest to find useful information in data. Unlike traditional marketing (print ads, direct mail, even tv/radio) which is difficult to track in terms of direct results, digital marketing offers ways to connect content and advertising to interest and purchases. Through website analytics and social media insights, we can see and evaluate throughlines and patterns of behavior.
In my experience as a consultant, I’ve found that this data-tracking and evaluation elicits the most groans, and flat-out avoidance, from my clients. Gasp! No one I work with likes to look at numbers!
And mostly, that’s OK. Because we’ll look at the numbers for them. And we’ll posit conclusions from those numbers.
Those conclusions allow us (and our clients) to be creative. To consider stories we can tell, media we can create, methods and channels we can use to reach our best-fit clients.
The analytical merges with the creative to forge a strong marketing core.
But you still need one ingredient to truly succeed in reaching and persuading your best-fit clients: the human element.
Here’s why: marketing without empathy, authenticity and integrity will feel like marketing.
When you’re in the business of serving real people — as coaches, consultants, creatives — you don’t want your marketing to feel like marketing. You want it to feel like relationship building, like help and insight, like opportunity and value.
You’re not selling a sweater, you’re selling an experience and a journey toward a goal.
How can you merge these three marketing approaches to find the sweet spot?
Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What data do you have from your past and current marketing campaigns?
- Can you see patterns in the behavior of your social media followers? Do they like a certain type of content best?
- Can you see disparities in web traffic? Do most people visit one page over another? Do most people come from one doorway over another (e.g. Google vs Facebook)?
- What do you want to track but haven’t started yet? Can you set yourself up to track it?
- What qualitative data can you uncover in your work? Do you do client surveys? Do you have online reviews?
- What have you written, filmed, recorded or made that seems to resonate with your audience most?
- Can you remake that kind of content on a new topic?
- Can you explore different angles of that same topic?
- What do people ask you when they first reach out to you for help? Can you create a series of content based on those questions?
- What is the way YOU communicate best? Can you work in that mode to make more for your audience?
- Look at your peers (you may also consider these your competitors) in your industry. What are they up to? Does their marketing inspire any new ideas? (Don’t steal, look for inspiration. And give credit where credit is due!)
- Who is your ideal client? (Have you filled out our workbook to see?)
- What do they want to achieve, have, find when working with you?
- Where are they right now (in space, in feeling)?
- Does your writing reflect the way you would speak to your client? Does it sound authentic to who you are and your approach?
- Does your marketing reflect your values?
When you find the intersection of all three of these elements, that’s when you can really reach and connect with your best-fit clients.
Business owners and entrepreneurs spend the first week of my signature group program, Confident + Consistent Marketing, exploring their brand values and getting to understand their ideal clients. With this foundation, they can move forward in their marketing knowing that they have the human element on lock — a quality that sometimes goes missing in more formulaic marketing funnels or campaigns.
My eight-week program teaches this and much more as it walks you through the foundations of online marketing, culminating with the creation of your own master marketing plan. I hope you’ll join me if this sounds like the coaching you need to zero in on your goals for your business and meet them with analytical, creative and human marketing.
Amy Jacobus is an online marketing strategist who still sends handwritten thank yous. She’s obsessed with helping service providers, entrepreneurs and mission-based business owners increase their impact with smart, human marketing online. Amy teaches workshops and leads programs full of simple, apply-it-now strategies for your website, email and social media, including her signature program, Confident + Consistent Marketing. She has designed courses, facilitated workshops and participated in panel discussions for University of Denver, LEAP at St. Mary’s College, Barnard College, New York Foundation for the Arts, Gibney Dance, The Artist Co-op and Pentacle, among others. Learn more about Amy and her work at amyjacobus.marketing and follow her at @amyjacobus on Instagram.
This article was originally published on her blog, where she shares weekly marketing advice for creatives and entrepreneurs.