Why Some SMB Owners Believe They Are Expert Digital Marketers
Shea / 18 February / Comments Off on Why Some SMB Owners Believe They Are Expert Digital Marketers / 141
It′s Not What You Don’t Know That Can Hurt You, It′s What You Know That Just Isn′t So … At the same time, many companies believe their expertise is valuable, yet they discount the value of others who could help them become more successful such as expert digital marketers.
When most individuals and companies need something done on their air conditioner, furnace, or plumbing, they almost always call the experts. So why is it that when HVAC / plumbing companies need marketing communications, they think they can do it themselves? How is it that they seem to believe they are expert digital marketers?
Personally I don’t know a whole heck of lot about setting up, repairing, or maintaining HVAC equipment. My guess is they don’t know a whole heck of a lot about strategic marketing planning, crafting powerful magnetic copy, or search engine optimization to name a few, let alone qualify as an expert digital marketer.
Just as I could apply my mechanical aptitude and pull out the manual, or search the web for how to install, repair or maintain my HVAC or plumbing, it may take me 3 or 4 times as long or more and I still may not get it right, and I would still have to call an expert. The thing I have to think about is – is it worth my time and aggravation, or would I be better off just calling an expert?
I encountered a situation just like this today. Let me give you some background on my circumstances. Growing up I had a father who was very handy with tools and could build or repair almost anything. He could fix things around the house and do basic maintenance on his cars. So I grew up learning how to use all of his tools, building crude but working projects and repairing all sorts of things. I loved to take things apart to see how they worked and then put them back together. I wasn’t perfect, but I figured that’s how I learn. I can’t tell you how many times I took things apart and after putting them back together, I still had one or two pieces that I couldn’t remember where they go. Or I would then have to take it all apart again and figure out where they go and put it back together a second or third time.
However, once when I was maybe 10 or 11 years old, I may have been in boy scouts and maybe I was a little older, a neighbor up the street heard about a contest put on by General Motors whereby young boys could design their own cars and enter them in a competition. I remember we were each given a block of wood (2x2x7), four wheels and two axles and we were to use our imagination and our skill with woodworking tools to design and build a scale model of the cars of our dreams. Well, let’s just say this was outside the realm of my Dad’s skills or capabilities, so he told me I could use any tool in his workshop to complete my project. But without a skilled mentor to show me how to proceed, using a chisel and sandpaper, it just wasn’t working.
Then to just totally blow me away, the boy up the street had access to body shop type tools and his father knew how to do bodywork. When he showed me what he had designed, I was blown away. His car looked just as good as the kind the professional designers in Detroit were putting out. His was fully contoured, with intricate detail and painted to look like a miniature replica of a car that one might see on a showroom floor at a dealership. In hindsight I should have befriended him and learned how he did it and gain access to his tools and resources.
As I grew up, I began to collect my own tools and expand my skills and capabilities. I felt like there wasn’t much that I couldn’t do. For some summer jobs, I apprenticed with a framing carpenter and learned the basics of carpentry. At the time, I thought this was really cool and now I can build my own frames and structures. However, I later learned that finish carpentry was where all the details came to life.
I became quite handy with automobile repair in my twenties when I had my first few cars. I did eventually learn basic auto body work, I learned how to change the oil in my cars, how to replace the brake shoes and pads and how to do basic tune-ups. When I had my first motorcycle, I learned through necessity about how to take a carburetor apart and fix the floats and reassemble it.
As time went by, I built small structures such as a shed, a deck and a sunroom. I even learned how to do basic electrical and plumbing myself.
About 20 years ago, I replaced the gas grill at our home and re-routed the gas line to the end of our patio where I installed the new gas grill. No problem. Then back around 2001 I built my wife a deck on top of our existing patio. My brother had learned how to build decks and gazebos and he gave me some tips when designing and building my own. Building the deck, stairs, and railings were pretty straightforward. However, re-routing the gas line up to the deck was a little trickier, but nonetheless I got it done and used soapy water to test all the connections for leaks.
Then about six or seven years ago while digging in our backyard, for the fourth time I cut the nylon gas line running from our meter back to the deck where our gas grill now resided. This time I did run into a snag. None of the hardware or home supply stores carried the parts to repair this type of gas line anymore. When I approached a plumbing supply house they told me nobody makes that old gray nylon line anymore and therefore they didn’t have any fittings to repair it with. So, I had to purchase this new yellow poly line and replace the whole line from the meter to the deck. The caveat was that I had to purchase these special connectors for use with this new yellow poly line, and these two connectors cost more than the 100’ roll of poly line.
I got all the parts and connected it up. However, this time I only put the yellow poly line about an inch or two deep so that it would be easy to find. Also, based on the advice of the plumbing supply house, I wrapped the poly line with a tracer wire that would allow others to trace exactly where the line ran in the future. Again, I used soapy water to ensure all my connections were good.
Recently, we’ve been smelling gas in the area of the grill, and we even smelled it coming into the kitchen which is right off the deck. I soap tested my easy to access connections and they were all fine. Then as I dug up one of the connections that were not so easy to access I found the culprit. However, after trying to tighten up the connections the best I could, the couplings were still leaking. To repair it, one or more of the couplings will probably need to be replaced.
But, I had to ask myself, is this a job that I should continue to attempt to resolve, or would I be better off hiring an expert – a plumber to come out and assess the whole configuration? Sure, I could remove the couplings and replace them, but is this the best use of my time and handyman skills?
For the last 15 — 20 years I’ve been focused on integrated marketing. I have become an expert digital marketer, but I have only basic and limited knowledge of plumbing. Just as I now take my car to a professional repair shop for all but the most simple maintenance, it now seems like the time to call an expert and have him assess my overall plumbing handy work and make sure that what I have done up to this point is good, or could it be done better or more effectively. I’m sure that fixing my leaking connectors will be a simple job for him, but evaluating my overall plumbing installation is probably a worthwhile investment.
Marketing is a whole other animal for most business owners and one that like plumbing to the uninitiated, seems pretty straightforward. The problem is that everything you have ever learned about marketing is wrong. Even if your Dad was in marketing or even if you took marketing classes in college, what you learned about marketing is still all wrong.
It would take too long to explain why here, but if you do want to learn why, watch this video where I explain Why Virtually All Marketing Stinks and How to Fix It
Is your marketing working as well as you had hoped? And I’m not just talking about your website. How is your advertising, your pre and post marketing, your sales process, your follow up and more working for you? How do you know? It’s not quite a like mechanical system. Could it be performing better? Are most of your new customers coming from word of mouth or referrals? These are great customers, but you’re still missing a huge portion of the market. How would you like to take customers away from your competitors?
Many people and organizations have lead people to believe that almost anyone can build their own website, and this is true… sort of. The part of the equation they don’t tell you about is that the most important part of a website is the content. NONE of these same people or companies mentions that. 99% of web design and development companies, even traditional advertising and marketing agencies don’t have the knowledge or expertise to help you craft powerful, magnetic copy will enable you to convert visitors into customers. We are very different than the traditional type of agency. We guarantee increased performance, increased leverage, and increased revenue throughout all of your marketing channels.
What else? How would you explain why many SMB owners believe they are expert digital marketers?
Shea Ellison | Updated: 05/23/2015 | Categories: Strategic Planning