Every business is looking for success, right? (If you answered no, you may quit reading, now. There is nothing for you in this article.) But how do you go about achieving this success? One of the best, and most obvious, ways is to learn what failure looks like so you can avoid it.
Marketing genius that I am (not really), I have developed a single question/word that will help you on your road to success by avoiding detours discretely marked “failure”.
The Question to End All Questions
Just to be clear, I am not promising that the use of this word will keep you away from all failure. But when used correctly, it can steer you from a good portion of it. However, as with most things this powerful, the word has the potential to be used for both good and evil.
Therefore, I cannot hand it over to just anyone. In order to gain access to this powerful question, you must first take an oath.
Hold up your right hand and say aloud:
“Insofar as it depends on me, I swear to use the following word for good and not evil. Should it come to light that I have used the word for anything but the benefit of humanity, I hereby bequeath my business and everything I own to Rocket Media.”
Our lawyers have been notified of your willing compliance. You may now proceed with the rest of the blog.
So here is the question to end all questions, the word that pierces the bloated logic of any argument or debate, the three letters that frustrate even the most patient of parents:
Yes, that is it. But before you rescind your previous oath and email me nasty things, let me explain the true power of this word.
From Pesky to Powerful
If you have kids or have been around them (especially the young’uns), you may be rolling your eyes recalling the annoyance found in this word. The less aged of our species seem to be biologically programmed to question everything you do and tell them with this question.
As we age, we have been trained to keep the question to ourselves (because it can anger even the most patient adult).
But to avoid internet marketing failure, we are telling you to let out your inner child and ask this question all the time. Here’s the reason:
Internet marketing is not something you can just throw money at and hope it works. There must be strategy behind everything you do. It is what separates the professionals from the pretenders.
But how do you know if your marketing department, whether internal or outsourced, really understands strategy? Simple, ask them, “Why?”
Here, I must confess, the power resides not in the question but in the answer you receive as a result of the question. The answer will tell you whether or not your internet marketing ideas are worth carrying out.
A Look at A Real-World Example
Let’s take a look at an example where this very simple question averted internet marketing disaster.
We once had a client that asked for a specific feature on their business website. We weren’t sure it was a great idea, so we trotted out our simplest and most powerful tool: we asked simply and succinctly, “Why?”
He was taken aback. It was almost like he had never thought about it before. After a few seconds of awkward silence, he eventually told us his competitor’s website has it.
And there we find the problem. Copying your competitor is not the purpose of your business. Whenever you ask “Why?” about an internet marketing activity, the answer should relate in some way to your business objectives.
For example, a good answer to the previous situation would have been, “We believe it will strengthen our relationship with current customers and therefore help increase upsells and repeat sales.” Another good one is, “The project will attract new consumers by increasing brand awareness.”
Sometimes It Takes Two (Or More)
Now that you are beginning to understand a little more about the power of this simple and straightforward question, let me introduce a new twist: asking it more than once.
Here’s what I mean. Whenever we do social media marketing campaigns for clients, we will ask them why they are doing the campaign (or what they are hoping to achieve.) One of the most common answers is, “To increase my Facebook Page likes.
While this answer may not seem great on the surface, there could be good reasoning for increasing your Facebook likes (increasing reach, growing an engaging community, etc.). To make sure our client’s expectations are in line, we will ask a follow up “why?” question, although it usually takes the form of, “Why do you want to increase the number of Facebook likes?
See what we did there? We doubled the power of “why?” by asking two simple questions.
The Power is Virtually Limitless
Harnessed and used correctly (remember your oath!), “why?” can be used to gain insight on just about every aspect of internet marketing and your business.
So there you go. The next time someone suggests something for your business, you already have a response prepared, “Why?”
Do you already employ this strategy? What do you do to ensure your marketing is in line with you business objectives? Tell us about in on Facebook.