The Most Common Mistake People Make With Marketing

The Most Common Mistake People Make With Marketing

We get it, marketing can be overwhelming at times. The key to success is learning from other people’s mistakes and getting the fundamentals right. We’re going to dig into common marketing mistakes and the fundamentals with Steve Brown from ROI Online. Check it out.

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The Most Common Mistake People Make With Marketing



Tim Fitzpatrick
I get it. Marketing can be absolutely overwhelming at times, but the key to success is learning from other people's mistakes so that you don't make those same mistakes in getting the fundamentals in place first. We're going to dig into a number of common marketing mistakes today and the fundamentals with our special guest. You do not want to miss this. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the right plan. I want to thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I am really excited to have with me Steve Brown from ROI Online. He is also the author of a marketing book called The Golden Toilet, which I'm sure we will get into here today. Steve, welcome and thanks for being here, man.

Steve Brown
Hey, I'm proud to be here. I'm looking forward to this.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. Well, and I had the pleasure of being on your podcast a while back. So nice to kind of switch sides of the mic here and dig into some of the stuff. I know we're going to talk about some things that are near and dear to both of our hearts here when it comes to marketing. So before we get into that, I want to ask you some rapid fire questions just to help us get to know you a little bit better. You ready to to jump in with both feet here?

Steve Brown
I guess we'll start off with the stressful stuff.

Tim Fitzpatrick
OK, so when you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Steve Brown
I love to cook.

Tim Fitzpatrick
OK, awesome, anything in particular or just?

Steve Brown
I don't know. I mean, it's like you got to eat something and every once in a while I could cook this and then I'll research a little bit. It's just a way for me to be creative and kind of enjoy. And then the people that I cook for, it's fulfilling for me to do that. But I love kind of just cooking towards this vision of what it's supposed to take taste like, whether it be Indian food or fish or any kind of food. I love to kind of figure it out.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. I love it. What's your hidden talent?

Steve Brown
You know, my hidden talent is I've been in these organizations and I usually gravitate to me starting to align the folks kind of being a leader and aligning people by their natural talent. You know, people volunteer for things, but maybe it's not exactly the best place they should be. But when you kind of get them positioned, then they just soar and people have fun and it's less anyway. I just that's kind of my hidden tell.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Steve Brown
Steve, there is no silver bullet. You know, we're all we all think there's this one thing, if we could just figure out one thing and it'll all be OK, but it's so disappointing. It's not true. You have to just kind of sit down and do the work. But that's the differentiation between someone who's excellent and someone who's still learning. They haven't accepted that. You know, I'm going to have to dig in and make a commitment and be persistent.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it, no silver bullet. What's the one thing about you that surprises people?

Steve Brown
I'm an author. I didn't know I had it in me. That surprises me. But I'm good at writing. You know, I had this thing kept bugging me and I kept saying no or avoiding it was like, Steve, you need to write a book. You need to write. You need I have all these clients come to me and they ask me a version of the same question, and I would tell them, you know, I have 20 minutes. I'd tell them. And then it kept nod at me. You need to write a book so that you can give clarity to more people. So finally I did that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, I know it's a lot of work, I have not done it, but the people I know that have done it have described the pains of writing a book. So what does success mean to you?

Steve Brown
You know, I think success is being fulfilled. And being fulfilled comes from getting to spend the time on the things that you enjoy that bring you fulfillment. And so I think that's a luxury when you can spend the time on the things that you really derive fulfillment from.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Where's your happy place?

Steve Brown
You know, I'm I love being a part of a team. You know, and because we all bring our different things to the table, so being part of a team, I feel more whole I feel like I don't have to do everything, but as long as the team's kind of open to respecting everyone's different values, to me, that's just like the sweet spot.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. What about qualities, what qualities do you value in the people you spend time with?

Steve Brown
People who have determination and persistence and like making a commitment and, you know, as you work through that, you're going to doubt that commitment. You're going to waive or you're going to experience all these things that make you maybe want to quit. But I love it when people just dig down and expect it of themselves.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love it. Let's talk about what you're doing with ROI Online, we can certainly talk about the book, but just help us better understand what kind of clients are you working with and how do you help them?

Steve Brown
You know, people always ask you, like, so what's your perfect client? And I think before you can really know that you needed to decide what you believe, right, and so I believe that the entrepreneurs of our day are like the invisible heroes of our economy. You think about it. You know that the average entrepreneur has 20 or less employees. You think about that person they wear all sorts of hats, they were stupid enough to start a business, right? And think that they could hire employees, they could sell, they could design products, they could do H.R., they could do all those things. They did it anyway. And they risk their future, their family's future. And yet what do they end up doing? They actually bring us products and services that improve our lives. Right. So when I think about who is it that I serve, it's these folks. These are my heroes. Right. And they all have to. They all have to, especially after this past year, they have to all make it through this force of scary force, of getting their act together online. All their clients, their prospects, their employees are expecting them to have a really nice user experience platform that helps them figure out what they do and how to interact with them. And yet everyone has to do that while they wear all the other hats. Right. And so I just want to help them to avoid all the mistakes that I made in the past 10 years, 15 years in this industry.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. So you're really helping them get those fundamentals in place and make sure that they have a plan of how they are going to market their business online?

Steve Brown
Yeah, they have. I believe there's four things you got to get in place, and that's what my books about. But you have to get your messaging clear. You have to get baked in. You have that messaging has to be baked in somewhere. Most of us think it's website, but all sorts of different places. But there's some technology that you have to embrace that's marketing technology. Then there's a sales version of that. You have to have that because great, you do all this marketing what are you going to do with them after they show up? You have to run them to a sales process. Then once you get those fundamentals, those that foundation in place, then you can start running strategic campaigns, being very strategic about it because you have the system set up now to accommodate them, to expedite them, to communicate with them.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. I love it. So you had mentioned mistakes that you've made plenty. I have made plenty myself. What's the number one mistake you see business owners making with their marketing?

Steve Brown
You know, the thing that and why I titled my book absurdly was to get them off the anchor of seeing only a website. You have to see a system. This is a legitimate business system that you're designing, not a website, it's not a hurry. Let's get this website done and move on to real business. It's about this is a sales enablement process. And when you back up and think of it as a business person, it's a legitimate process like your H.R. process or your invoicing process. This is the same. And so I want you to avoid getting hung up on all the little, you know, the shiny things of a website and think about how is this going to help you communicate better, sell better, prospect better, market better.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So are they not viewing their website and its purpose in the right light?

Steve Brown
You know that they've. It's amazing. I've had, you know, those foreign movies that you watch and their lips are doing this, but the subtitles are different. They're what they're really saying. And when I realized that the common thing that all these folks were saying this is what they were saying, they'd come in and say, hey, I need to I think I need to redo my website, get some SEO and do some social media marketing. But when you think about what they're really saying is, Steve, as a business owner, I am being forced to invest in this and I expect that to move the needle some way to help me do a legitimate business process here. But I'm having to deal with these creative web designers that don't really care about my business. They just want to make this pretty thing they're proud of. And it's a waste of my time. At least it has been the last thing. So I'm trying to figure out how to avoid that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, yeah. There's plenty of people that can make sites pretty. The key is making them effective, right?

Steve Brown
Yeah. So when you think about the deliberateness that went into your actual physical place of business, there's a sign on the door says when you're open. Even in a parking lot, it's clear where you park. And when you come in, where do you check in? Where do you order? Where do you pick up your order? Where do you transact? That's all clear in the physical world, but in a virtual presence is usually like frustrating, confusing. And people don't they just spend a few minutes there if that much they find if you spend a few seconds and then go, "Oh, I don't know." And they leave and they go somewhere else. That's the real business problem that we're addressing.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So we've talked about the fundamentals a little bit. What do you see as the fundamentals of digital marketing?

Steve Brown
Yeah. And, you know. You need to get clarity if you think about here's the thing, we were born with a brain and that brain was designed thousands of years ago. Its version one, that's not version two or three or four, it's version one and your communication, be it in person, digitally still has to honor the rules of story. That's what our brains crave. Communication that honors the rules of the story and that's in play. And that's the biggest lever that you can address online. It's the biggest lever that you can master as a leader. But, yeah, getting that message clear. Quickly communicating that to the person that's coming there and evaluating. Quickly communicating that, "Hey, we understand you and you're safe here."

Tim Fitzpatrick
So everything from a digital marketing standpoint really needs to start with the messaging, what you say, how you communicate, what you do, and the value that you offer.

Steve Brown
Yes, it needs to. Here's what's broken about marketing. Everyone designs for algorithms, everyone worship's Google, "Please, Google approve me. Give me your blessing." OK? Mostly falling for the traps of all these things that are digitally sexy, right, but they're missing the point. There's a human on the other end that's expecting the like is do I belong here? Do they have what I need? Can they help me? OK. But it's got to be put into a digital technology. So that's where the all the disconnect happens and those that get that miss the clarity of communication in the digital world are losing, but the brands that naturally get it, it's an easy win. The competition's low.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So outside of our messaging, what other fundamentals do we need to keep top of mind from a digital marketing standpoint?

Steve Brown
So when everybody looks at the top or the tip of the iceberg, but below any great brand that you enjoy, they have the user experience all figured out. So if you go and you're like, "Hey, I like this." Sign in you sign up for class or you fill out a form for a coupon or whatever, all the follow up flow after that, it's like, "Tim, thanks for filling us out." And remember, just like the communication we had for this show, Steve, remember your shows coming up at this date. Here's the process. Here's the technology. Have your all the things you thought through, all the things that would make this process easy. That's what winning brands do. But that's what all people expect of you, no matter what size. And so to think through and then take advantage of the technology to make it like super easy. I don't have to talk on the phone. I just get a little text, a little reminder. Well, that's nice. I can go back to what I was doing, hanging out with my kids instead of having to answer a phone and answer a bunch of questions, removing all of the stupid taxes. The extra. You know, extra luggage, extra like things that we don't need to really do, that's what the technology that's what marketing automation does. And then when we're ready, when the marketing automation kind of addresses us, one to many. it's like common questions frequently asked questions. Most people this here's what other people found interesting. Sales automation expedites and facilitates more of a personalized last steps. You think about the brands that you enjoy. What do you do? You research, you look, you investigate, you spend time. And then at the last moment, you risk talking to a human. And I say risk because that's what you've been avoiding. I don't want to waste time. I want this to be easy. I think these guys are who I can trust. This might be comfortable then when they show up. Remember that time you did that process, you went over to the shop, you walk in and the person that you dealt with was a jerk. You left upset and emotional to the point, I'm going to go to Yelp and write a review now why did you feel so upset? It's because what you expected from your research experience was not congruent with your in-person experience. That's why the messaging that we worked so hard in the first step, faked in with the marketing has to be congruent in the sales follow-up stuff. OK, you just can't have your salesperson saying whatever. Because they don't read your book, they don't go to the website, they don't know, you know, they're just they're trying to do the best you would hope. But it can be incongruent and feel "Oh danger. I'm backing out of here."

Tim Fitzpatrick
So we start with our message. From there we have marketing automation and that marketing automation is helping us nurture those people that have raised their hand and said, you know, I at least have some interest in what you have to offer. And that nurturing nurtures them until the point where that need or that pain they have is great enough, where they want to now have a sales conversation. And that's when the sales automation and that sales process starts to kick in. Is that right?

Steve Brown
Yeah. You know, they're investigating and they're deciding whether you're good enough to consider. A sales conversation is "All right I'm convince you not to sell me. Help me see what it looks like in my situation." OK? But I still have to communicate with you. So sales automation is like I go and I go, hey, I want to set a time to talk to somebody I should get a confirmation of. I should be able to pick what's convenient for me, get a confirmation that worked here. I just click or I go in. Or whatever the appointment is. And then when I hang up I should get some follow-up stuff, last-minute questions specifically for me. And here's how to transact. And here's what the onboarding looks like, that sales automation as opposed to marketing automation.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, got it.

Steve Brown
And that feels right. That feels comfortable. That removes all that extra back and forth we don't need.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It brings consistency into the process. Right. So that hopefully the results are more predictable.

Steve Brown
It brings in confidence, it brings in safety, it communicates thinking and thought of the process and what feels right. And it makes me feel like I made a good choice, because even though I decided, I'm still wondering, did I make a good choice? It's a great time to really solidify. Yeah, you made a great choice. Pick some folks that think stuff through.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So is the we have one more fundamental we're going to talk about, am I right. OK, so what's that fourth fundamental?

Steve Brown
So this is where most companies website firms or what they start with this before they have all this other worked out. And it's strategic campaigns. They're really not even strategic. They're just campaigns. Hey, we're going to write some social media posts for you. We're going to write some blogs or we're going to run some ads. But, you know, you're the business owner and you're going like they're going to ask you, so what do you want your ad to say and what do you want to happen? I don't know. Was like by now or what. And it's like, no, how cool would it be if you're a business owner go, well, this is what I wanted to say. Here's my clearly defined messaging. Here's what I want it to look like. Here's my brand colors. Here's my logo, here's my fonts. And here's the link. When you click on this link, I want it to go to this landing page because this ad is going to promote exactly what that person's going to expect when they land there they're going to find that find exactly what they expected. And it's going to go finish out why they should identify who they are, they're going to trade their contact information because they valu. That's the beauty of a strategic campaign, because now you think about all the ads that you ran that well, that didn't work. Social media didn't work because you weren't sending them to a place that was like waiting for a welcome welcome. You found exactly what you're looking for. Come right over here. Here's the information and here's how you get it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So with a strategic campaign, let's dig a little bit into this, because I think I'm assuming that a strategic campaign can be all kinds of different things depending on what you're trying to accomplish. So what are some examples of various strategic campaigns people might want to consider?

Steve Brown
Exactly. So let's say that you have a new service that you're rolling out. OK? So I got a new service now I need to introduce it to people, but before I introduce it to people, I need to make sure I've got all my system and people ready to answer the questions. OK. So that's below the iceberg. The strategic campaign is obvious above the iceberg. Right. So now it's like, all right, I am a product. I have a landing page. I tell them how to go to the next step. So now I just need to make that landing page more busy. So what would we do? Well, let's do let's think about all the questions that people would ask about that product and quickly answer those questions with a little one, two-minute video. OK, then we take that video. And we're going to set it inside a blog. And the blogs are going to do an intro about what this video is about and what question it's answering. And then below it, it's going to have a link to that landing page and then you post that blog. But imagine also posting social media posts that promote that blog that promotes the landing page. And then imagine running some ads that when people click on the ad, there's some hook there that gets them to go, I'm interested in what that services, and they click on it and guess where it drops them right there on that landing page, all about that service. Most people, when they click on that ad, they drop them on the homepage. I hope you find what you're looking for. See yah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So it's really about your campaign's. You're setting up all the steps within that campaign that's going to lead people to take that action that you want them to take, and then once those are set up, then it's a matter of determining which ways you want to expose people to the start of that particular strategic campaign. Is that right?

Steve Brown
Yes. Think about the ads that you've run, the social media posts that you've done, the blogs that were just like losers, it does. Was because it wasn't a strategy there. So you think about I am a landing page now with a service or a product that I want to promote. Now I have direction. I have clarity about what I should write about on the blog, anything, any of the hundred questions. You can write a hundred blogs to answer every little specific question about that service or product that's on that landing page, which means if you have one hundred blogs, you can literally have five to 10 social media posts off each blog. you ciukd have ads running. And we're back.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, you there? We have a little technical glitches that's all good. So we were talking about strategic campaign. OK, so those are the four fundamentals messaging got to come first, then you've got marketing automation, which is nurturing then that sales automation picks up when people actually raise their hand and say, I'm interested. And then you've got to have your strategic campaigns that are really fueling that entire process. I love that. So, we just went through digital. What about the most important fundamental, just from an overall marketing standpoint, what do you see that being?

Steve Brown
The most important fundamental, I believe, is like really, really nailing you think about what's the biggest challenge any leader faces, got all this vision in their head, all this inspiration. Why did I risk everything? Because I see something in here. That doesn't exist and we'll make it happen. But my challenge is how do I pull it out of there, format it and package it in a way that the people that want to help me bring it to fruition can understand? And direct their energies to the same point on the horizon. So, again, it's clear message, you think about all the thought leaders that you enjoy following. They have these sayings, they have this part figured out because they've been deliberate about it, they spent time on it, they practiced so that the moment they do get your attention, that little brief. Most valuable thing that you could have ever given them a little bit of your time and they don't waste it. They clearly, concisely communicate whatever it is they want to say.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What do you think is the most important aspect of being able to create clear messaging, because I agree with you. So I honestly, I can't even think of a potential business prospect that I've talked to in the last two years that had their messaging where it needed to be. So it's a very common issue that a lot of businesses deal with. Why do you think they struggle so much to create that clear message?

Steve Brown
We've been industrialized. We're like chickens on conveyor belts instead of free range chickens. When it comes to our communication, we think through school, university, whatever, we think, that text is the business way to communicate, but it's not. Every one of us has this brain that is a story craving brain. So being able to format communications in a way that honors the rule of story is why clear messaging is how you can have an extreme competitive advantage. And it's like we how do I quickly communicate to you that I understand you and that you're safe hanging out and spending a little time with me? It's to be able to go in some way and for you to go, "Oh, I relate. Oh wow. That makes sense to me." OK? They struggle like we remember me talking about the common theme of the questions that they struggle to use to write words because they don't know my industry. They know theirs, but they feel it. So when you go, "So I understand, Tim, that this is important to you, that we need to set up some fundamentals and that we're not going to waste a bunch of time like it did last time." You start to feel like, well, I guess he would say that, but he's sure hitting on some points that I was feeling. I've done some research. I understand my people. Right. So instead of tell you how great I am, I'm going to tell you I understand how important this is. This is almost a matter of life and death as far as your business is concerned, because now it's very clear that the physical interaction that you've been depending upon for years can be yanked out from you. It was last time might happen again. This is a matter of life and death for business to get their act together online.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, yeah. And you said something there that I think it's really easy for people to miss. You had touched on I need to understand my people, the people that I'm trying to serve. When once you understand exactly who you intend to serve and work with, and you can almost enter that conversation that they're having in their head, that enables you to create messaging that's going to be clear and engaging for those people. Right?

Steve Brown
So you think about, you know, people who asked me, do you specialize in law firms or plastic surgeons or whatever? And it's like I just got to thinking about no, I specialize in progressive minded business owners that are already convinced they need to do something because they understand that there's an impending event of this online adoption they need to get into. I don't need to be wasting my time trying to convince something that a storm is coming. I want to work with the people that know it and I want to quickly get their ship built. And get ready.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it, you've shared a lot of really good info with us Steve. Any last-minute words of wisdom, guidance you want to leave us with before we close things out?

Steve Brown
You know, I'm just going to hammer CS system, not a website. There is no silver bullet. There is a comprehensive interaction of answers that have to end. And it takes time and it takes commitment to figure that out.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So would you say, you see, marketing is a system, there's multiple cogs. We're going to get those cogs working together. And when we do, that's when we're going to start to see more consistent, repeatable results.

Steve Brown
Yes, don't see marketing as that ditzy cheerleader. OK. You know, the one that's kind of fun to hang out with for a little bit until. No. Now it's time for business. You're dismissed. This is a legitimate business process. Needs to be at the table helping you to decide what numbers you need to hit and how they can support you. That's how you should look at this.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it and totally agree. So where can people learn more about you? You shared a lot of great stuff, Steve. Where do you want people to go to learn more?

Steve Brown
Well, ROI Online dot com, it's you know, I named it that because I wanted to communicate that I understand that you expect there to be a return on investments here. So that's why it's ROI Online dot com. We work with folks. It's called the Pitstop where we do some consulting. We kind of banter and figure out what's best for you. We do this in weekly meetings for an hour. It's called the Pitstop.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome, so people go to ROI online dot com forward slash pitstop. They can learn more about that. Schedule an introductory call to dig into all these fun things that we chatted about today.

Steve Brown
Yeah, you know, it's just an ongoing interactive coaching program. And we're going to cover we're going to talk about your fundamentals, of course, but we're going to figure out what's unique about your situation and how to set you up for success.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. Steve, thank you so much, man. I really appreciate it. You've shared a lot of great stuff with us today. Again, I am Tim Fitzpatrick. I want to thank you guys for tuning in. If you want to gain some clarity on where to focus your marketing efforts right now, hop on over to our website, Rialto Marketing dot com. That's R-I-A-L-T-O marketing dot com. Click on the get a free consult button. Guarantee you walk away having some clarity on where you need to focus based on where you are right now. Thank you so much. Till next time. Take care.


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About the Author Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help service businesses simplify marketing so they can grow with less stress. We do this by creating and implementing a plan to communicate the right message to the right people. Marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the RIGHT plan.

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