We all know that if you want to stay in business for any length of time, you need to market your business, after all, that's where most new customers come from. But it is equally true that not all marketers are created equal. Some people like it more than others, while others get it more than some.
This past summer, I was at a conference with a real estate broker who was lamenting his lack of business. That seemed odd to me given that summer is usually the busy time of year for real estate professionals, and generally the real estate market around the country has been pretty good lately. So I asked the guy what sort of marketing he did.
"None," was his reply. "I don't like marketing," he added.
That certainly is one marketing strategy, if not an altogether effective one, but it does lead to the question -- what type of marketer are you?
The 5 Types of Marketers
1. The Alfred E. Newman: I may be dating myself here, but Alfred E. Newman was the bad boy moniker of Mad Magazine, and his catchphrase was perfectly emblematic of a certain sort of marketer, like the real estate pro above:
"What, me worry?"
This marketer thinks that his or her good looks or good name or past reputation or something will bring clients in the door. And maybe it will, for a while. What does bring them in, consistently? Consistent marketing.
2. The Early Adopter: In the parlance of technology, an early adopter is someone who is more than willing to try out the latest - if not greatest - gadget. Companies like early adopters because it gives a business the chance to work out the kinks and bugs on products before taking it to the masses.
The problem with being an early adopter marketer is that marketing, usually, is a marathon, not a sprint. As I am wont to say - "Repetition is the key, repetition is the key, repetition is the key." What's the key? Right, repetition. The problem with always trying out the latest marketing trick or gimmick is that it doesn't allow for the repetition necessary in order that the message sink it.
With marketing, you have to let the cake bake, and not just look for another new recipe.
3. The Social Media Maven: You know this new type of marketer, don't you? This is the person who has become so enamored of social media that they use it to the exclusion of just about everything else. They tweet and post and pin and blog and share.
But do they get more business?
An educated guess is that yes, they do, but it probably comes after a lot of time. The danger of social media is that you can hop on and spend time goofing around and convince yourself that you are actually working on your business. Maybe, but maybe not.
4. The Old-School Grump: This marketer is the opposite of the ones described above. This businessperson has been around the block a few times and knows what he or she likes. "That mailer has been working for me for 20 years, young fellla!" There is of course something to be said for tried-and-true strategies that work, but by the same token, you miss out on something when you rely too heavily on the old to the exclusion of the new.
5. Goldilocks: We remember this fable from our youth. Goldilocks has been walking in the woods when she happens upon the house of the three bears. Upon discovering their breakfast on the table, she tries the first bowl of porridge and finds it "too hot." The second one she tries is "too cold." But the third is "just right." So she eats it up. Then she sits in their chairs and tries out their beds.
In marketing terms, what we should strive for is to be more like Goldilocks (although breaking and entering should be frowned upon.) Finding the right combination of the old and new and of working too hard and too little, usually will result in a marketing mix that is, well, just right.