How Slow Marketing Can Get You There Faster. We live with noise. We normalise it. It has a way of seeping into us that feels like a constant deadline and if we just keep moving, maybe we can catch up. Too much noise can feel like panic, and that can affect the decisions we make personally and professionally. The antidote? Slow Down.
I meet that sense of urgency all the time in relation to marketing. A fear that if you wait too long, you’ll miss x, y and z opportunity. The reality, in my experience, is that the opportunity is often missed because it hasn’t been prepared for.
Strong marketing foundations create ease and flow. They create growth in the right channels at the right time. They build an understanding of what resonates with who and why. They teach you how to watch for the unexpected opportunity and act on it when it comes – simply because you’re prepared.
This is true for the emerging or the established entrepreneur, small or large. Let me share two stories one from each end of this spectrum; both are lessons in the same thing.
Meet the Large Tech Company with a clear organisational structure. Marketing, as is usual in large organisations, is siloed from the traditional sales or business development team. The sales team are amazing at securing new business and they don’t have much time for marketing. The company is growing fast.
The marketing team struggle to justify their worth. They look after social media, content process and creating marketing materials to support the sales team. They know they can do more.
In our work together, I advocated a deep dive into the customer journey to identify opportunities that marketing could deliver.
The tendency is to map the journey you want your customers to take, not the one they’re actually taking – that’s sales conditioning. We flipped the thinking and saw some real opportunities that were being left on the table – at the start of the journey and at the end. The most profound one being no effective close or offboarding of customers. In simple terms; no testimonials, no referrals, and no next step. When there’s no next step your relationship stays transactional. When you lean in and listen you start to understand how you can help them even more.
Taking the time to understand the customer for the entire journey means you lengthen the relationship. In this case, this marketing team directly inputted into the selling cycle and became a model for all the other marketing teams at each of their international offices.
Meet the Small Retailer on a Busy High Street.
Marketing in this space is preoccupied with windows, serving customers and keeping the social media turning. Busyness is the order of the day, yet there’s a feeling that they are not generating the revenue or the profit they could be making.
It’s a common experience for so many retailers; there is no positioning in this busyness. Nothing unique. The thinking is, how can we be unique when we are selling other people’s stuff? In our work together, we take two approaches; digging into purpose, mission, and vision to identify uniqueness and digging into the numbers to see which customers and products are most profitable.
We start with the numbers; what is selling best? What’s easiest to sell? When is it sold? And we look at the store’s hot spots where everything sells. We profile customers, and then there’s a realisation that the customers targeted in social media and the top-selling spots in the store are not the same ones generating the most profit.
When we dig into Purpose, Mission and Vision, we see a dream that hasn’t been articulated in the brand, the shop fit out or the messaging before. And yet it was a story that would attract more of the customers that were already spending.
As these realisations hit, it was all hands on deck to bring everything into alignment and in just six months, this small retailer doubled turnover and had a plan in place to drive not just sales but a bigger vision of what success looks like. I look forward to seeing what comes next.
This is what happens when you go slow.
When you pay attention to how things connect, you create space to see opportunities in the every day which gives you leverage for growth in the long term. You stop leaving money on the table, and you start to expand your perspective on potentialities and reimagine the realm of the possible.