It makes perfect sense to use “human” or “manual” marketing with – your top 20-30 accounts. In theory, this frees you up from the time vampires who are sucking your time away with marketing that probably won’t have a good return on investment.
But, what about the rest of your clients and prospects from various other sources? How do you nurture your relationships with them? This is where we turn to the other method of marketing. We’ll use automation to market to the rest of our list.
We start by thinking about the people on our list as our “flock”. We need to move beyond seeing clients simply as contacts and start seeing them as relationships that need nurturing. These are relationships that we are responsible for.
Why? Because these are the relationships that will bring us the most business. These people will help us, by us helping them.
When some technopreneurs market to their contacts, they can “burn the list”. This is basically sending out a bunch of useless garbage to your contacts, causing them to not want to hear from you. To leave the list.
We want to get away from this model by creating a consistently valuable experience for your flock so that they can be guided by you when they face a problem that you can help them with.
Think: when you send your flock some marketing, are you helping educate them? Are you building relationships by sharing in personal things about you? If neither of those are true, then reassess the marketing campaign.
You’re helping to shepherd them to a good solution whenever a solution that you offer is there. If you’re not the right solution, that means helping them find the right solution.
Twenty years ago you could get by without automated marketing simply because nobody had it. Today, with all of the things people can give their attention to (let’s call those distractions), it’s impossible to be effective at marketing without using both people and automation.
Why do you need both manual and automated marketing? Let’s take a look at what each one looks like if used on its own.
Manual Marketing Only
Let’s say that we stayed in ‘2000 Technology-Mode’ and did everything manually. For one, it’s not scalable. There are only so many hours in the day and your time is your most scarce resource, right? Doing everything yourself will cause you to inevitably hit a ceiling.
You may think that if your margins are good enough, then just maybe you could hire enough people to help you with manual marketing. Ultimately though, you aren’t going to be able to reach the million-dollar-plus mark without doing some form of automation.
Another downside to solely using manual marketing is that things can slip through the cracks. We are imperfect humans. It’s simply who we are.
Stuff gets in the way, we forget things, and even if you’re neurotic about using checklists like I am, some things will still slip through the cracks. Every time something falls through in your marketing means that you’ve possibly lost a potential client or a relationship is not nurtured.
The other issue manual marketing is difficulty in tracking the return on investment.
If you’re a numbers nerd like me, this is a big deal. Even if using an elaborate system for logging your marketing-only hours, you’d be forced to track these independently of your delivery and utilization hours to get an accurate ROI. It’s inherently imprecise. Incorporating automated marketing, like pay-per-click ads, allow you to track ROI efficiently.
Automated Marketing Only
If you look at these downsides of manual marketing, only to throw it out completely in favor of automated marketing, then we’re going to run into some serious problems. Most importantly, we can become ‘tone deaf’ to our relationships. While it’s possible to nurture some relationships through automation, we’re ultimately not going to get the kind of feedback that’s telling us how impactful our marketing really is.
And, while scalable, automated marketing alone won’t allow us to nurture some high-value relationships that require manual nurturing. Of course, you’ll eventually learn whether you’ll need to be doing this personally or if you can have someone do it for you, but without the human touch in a service-based industry, like we’re in, we won’t be able to scale optimally.
We’re going to need both human beings and our friends the machines in order to be truly effective in our marketing approach. Finding the right mix is another issue altogether!
What’s your marketing strategy today?
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