Let’s Talk Turkey: The Marketing Tools Aren’t The Problem

Let's Talk Turkey: The Marketing Tools Aren't The Problem

Last week I took a strong stance against the idea that content curation is a waste of time or a “dumb” activity. I found that I wasn’t the only online marketer with an affinity and allegiance to what we’ll call smart content curation.

I can only hope that today’s topic, which ties into curation, will result in a similar affinity.

Today I’m digging into the delusional idea that automating the sharing of content, content that you might have created, as well as content you might have curated, somehow impedes connection, conversation and the building of real and mutually beneficial relationships.

It’s Not The Marketing Tools, It’s The User

Not a single one of us can be connected or plugged-in 24-7-365. I’ll take it one step further and say that anyone attempting to be “constantly connected,” just isn’t running a very good business.

Why do I say that?

Because successful business owners know that marketing is only PART of what makes your business a success!

There are a handful of other key items that are pretty ding-danged important to overall business success, including:

  • Actually doing work for your clients so you can send out invoices!
  • Sleeping, as without it your brain can’t function.
  • Face-to-face client meetings. Shockingly enough, we occasionally have to get in the car and drive to a coffee shop or office complex to land a new client.
  • Phone calls. As much as I loathe and despise the phone, and will do almost anything to avoid a conversation via this tool of torture, I still have to pick up occasionally to answer questions and make initial impressions with prospects.

When Always On = Inattentive

Consider this. You’re at a coffee shop with a prospect. But you’re that guy or gal that proudly professes that you’re ALWAYS ONLINE. You’re in the middle of a lovely conversation with your prospect. You seem to be a great match. Then your phone buzzes. You have a mention, a retweet, or an alert.

What do you do?

If you immediately hold up a finger and ask for a minute (yes, I’ve had this happen to me), the tool IS the problem. But neither the phone nor the app is the tool in this scenario. The person who can’t disconnect for a thirty minute consult, however, is absolutely a TOOL.

It may seem that I’ve gone a bit off topic here, but I hope you’ll see that I’m trying to make a point regarding the human factoring into the idea that marketing tools are a bad bet.

Marketing Tools Aren’t Inherently Evil

I’m going to pull out one of my handy catch phrases here. The value of a marketing tool is absolutely tied to the intent and purpose of the human making use of the tool.

Mailchimp, AWeber, ActiveCampaign? Not evil. These email tools don’t spam people, the individuals using them do! Drip campaigns aren’t the problem. It’s the drips that don’t personalize the sends, don’t make the content shared valuable and viable, that give the tools a bad name.

Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social? Not the bad guys? The individuals who automate posts with no intention of ever monitoring mentions and actually engaging in conversations around their shared posts, though? You bet they’re the bad guys.

Using tools improperly shouldn’t end up being a problem for the developer of the tool. The blame should rest firmly on the individual that can’t remain human while making use of the tool.

Use The Marketing Tools To Evolve As A Better Marketer

The development and use of tools is a large part of the evolution of our species. Problems arise when we become so entrenched in the wonder of the tool, that we forget to be a human being.

Smart users of marketing tools, especially those that automate content delivery, understand that the delivery is only part of the strategy.

The delivery of the content is just the beginning. Where do you plan to go from there? This is where successful marketers embrace the balance between human interaction and the wonder of delivery tools.

Successful marketers monitor mentions! When they see their content shared they strike up a conversation. Even in less than 140 character bursts on Twitter.

Why do they do this? Because the conversation just might lead to a connection request, a new follower, a new subscriber. Because the conversation might lead the initial sharer to seek out the content of the secondary sharer. And if that content smart and savvy, all the better. A new content resource can be added to your curation system.

And when you share the content of your new connection? There’s a chance to continue the conversation. Deepen the connection. Maybe even build a long-lasting mutually beneficial relationship! A relationship that leads to collaborative partnerships that might just bring in a buck or two!

The Tools Aren’t The Tools In This Scenario!

If the title above is confusing, it’s because you’re not thinking of this alternate definition of a tool!

Used with understanding and the proper intent and purpose, marketing tools, especially those that automate the delivery of content we’ve created and curated, make for better marketing.

Because when you can save time on the delivery, you can spend MORE time on the conversations!

4 replies
  1. Josh St. Aubin
    Josh St. Aubin says:

    Great points Mallie. When used correctly, tools give you the freedom to focus more time and energy on the people that matter (clients, friends, family, yourself, etc.); however, marketers seems to always have a tendency to ruin everything.

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      I think we need to be more careful about lumping all marketers together and making blanket statements. There are many marketers who manage to use tools quite effectively, dare I say never falling prey to the idea of misuse.

      • Josh St. Aubin
        Josh St. Aubin says:

        You’re right, and I’m fairly certain it’s the minority of marketers that fall into this category. Unfortunately, it only takes one bad apple to ruin the bunch.

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