Your marketing plan should be a nice ride that people stay on until they're ready to get off.
You don't decide when they get off—they do. And when they do get off they either head straight over to you and say "I'm ready—let's go" or they say "Thanks so much for the ride" and walk away. You don't want them jumping off and running away to escape your marketing, you don't want them being forced off either—especially if they were enjoying the ride—and you also don't want to suddenly change the ride into something they don't want to be on.
I know that merry-go-rounds aren't the fastest ride at the fair—and they're certainly not the fanciest either—but they are a classic. Anyone can ride a horse on a pole—up and down, round and round; young or old, small or not-so-small—you can have a fun ride on a merry-go-round. And if you're enjoying the ride, you stay on it. That's what you want to achieve with your marketing—a ride that's open to all and interesting enough to keep people on it until they choose to get off and come see you to ride the roller coaster (or dodgem cars, depending on what you sell!).
This is why I advocate a marketing wave—a small set of marketing media and actions that you do over and over, up and down, round and round that keeps your riders (prospects) entertained and engaged.
What you don't want to do with your marketing merry-go-round is start messing with it. You don't want to speed it up to g-force speeds (can you imagine?!). You also don't want to blast out some rock music while your riders gently bob up and down. And you definitely don't want to stop and start the ride when you feel like it, confusing people and probably making them get off.
The whole idea of a marketing merry-go-round is:
- It's an easy ride to stay on, so that could mean not blasting out 100 emails a week to people
- It's got something for everyone: Mix up your media a little to appeal to a wide range of your prospects
- The ride is a known entity: There are no surprises and it's OK that it's this way—no suddenly switching your voice or message and getting all shouty (if you're not already)
- Everyone knows what to expect when they get on: It's you and your ride, same as it's you and your marketing—you're not pretending to be something or someone other than you are
- It's a ride that's not moving so fast that if you want to get off you can at ANY TIME! Make it super-easy for people to switch from prospect to client when they step out of the marketing and are ready to buy. Don't make them wait for you to stop the ride—make it clear that it's safe to get off any time and you'll be right there waiting with the candy floss and the next ride :)
You can also call this the "Consistency Carousel of Marketing"—it's about repeating your message and constantly showing up and sharing it; it's about keeping momentum going in what you say and what you do. It's NOT about showing up with a crazy fast ride now and then. When you have a ride/marketing that's always running that's easy for people to join—and easy for them to get off once they've had enough—you'll get that steady and constant stream of prospects turning into enquiries and then into clients. And that's a nice way to run a fair/business :)
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