marketing strategies

Using Marketing for Self-Improvement

Most of my professional career was in the field of marketing. I enjoyed working on marketing strategies. We would define the goal we wanted to accomplish, then create strategies to accomplish those goals. After executing the strategies we’d take a step back and review our return on investment or ROI. Based on our analysis, we would revise our strategies and try again for success. Lately I found the process works the same when we want to make improvements to our lives.

Goal

Often in business, strategies or tactics – or how we get to the goal – are often mistaken for the goal. For example, the goal is not to create a website; the goal is to increase brand awareness. The website is a tactic in the strategy of increasing online presence. The tactic is the how we execute the strategy. The strategy is the path to the goal. As in business, our personal goals should be what we really want to achieve. When it comes to our personal lives, to truly achieve the life we desire, it is important to stay out of the specifics (strategies or tactics) and instead look to a larger goal. For instance, stop focusing on wanting a specific job or promotion. Instead, focus on the goal of fully expressing your purpose throughout your life. This may include a new position (tactic) within the strategy of living your purpose through your work. It may also include volunteering which fits within the strategy of living your purpose through a hobby or passion. Spend some time gaining clarity about what you want on a very deep level. Explore what you want to feel and experience. Steer way from specific ways to get there, instead define the overall essence of what you want.

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Strategy

Then open your mind to multiple strategies to achieve your goal. Often our thinking is limited. We can only see one way to accomplish what we want. What if instead there were multiple paths to our ultimate goal?  When we explore various ways to reach our goals, our stress levels decrease as our options increase. If we only see one path to our goal and if that path is blocked or delayed, depression, frustration or anger may be the result. Be open to multiple ways to reach your goal. Explore them all. See what works and what doesn’t. Find out if one or a combination of multiple strategies create the final result for which you are looking.

Tactics

The tactics are where we take action. Tactics are the daily efforts. If you are a procrastinator, break down your tactics into bite-sized chucks. Many of us may find the tactics stressful if we put too much importance in them. Remember we want to achieve our goal. We don’t always need to achieve each specific tactic. If we want to make a delicious cake, but we don’t have the exact ingredients the recipe calls for, we know we can still make something delicious with a few substitutions. Don’t stress over following the recipe. Make substitutions and use what is available. You may find that you are able to create something even better than what you had planned.

ROI Review/Revise

Sometimes our strategies help us reach our ultimate goal. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes when we reach our goal, we find out it isn’t quite what we wanted. Periodically review your strategies and goals. How often are we so focused on the doing of life, that we don’t stop to note if what we are doing is making us happy?  Every so often, review what you want out of life and how you are going about achieving it. Has what you want shifted? Is the effort in your strategies paying off or is it time to find a different way? Be open and flexible as you explore new strategies to achieve your dreams.

It's My Life Inc.

Authentic Marketing

I am thrilled to announce that I am working on a new book as well as new online programs.  It is very exciting to be developing some tools to help others.  I love to write and share, but book publishing is a new endeavor for me.  Plus marketing my own products is always a challenge for me.  As with so many of my clients who are in service professions, it can be difficult to see past oneself and clearly communicate what we have to offer.  So I turned to an expert.

Lightbulb Idea
image by clix

The expert and I talked about publishing and then turned the discussion to marketing the book and corresponding training options.  The more we talked about marketing, the more I began feeling uncomfortable.  At first, I didn’t know why because the individual I was speaking to was very nice, knowledgeable, and professional.  But the not so right feeling would not subside.

Later on, it came to me.  What the expert was recommending was traditional direct marketing tactics – the long letter, identifying and solving a problem, a strong call to action.  After 18 years in marketing, I know these tactics well.  They are incredibly effective and for all intensive purposes they are ethical.  But part of me feels they are icky.  Often they play upon people’s fears, present the products as the only solution to their problem, and push people into action through hype.  If you know me personally or have read my blog, I think you understand how these tactics do not reflect who I am.  But as a marketer, I also know how effective these tactics are.  What to do?

So I’d like to pose the question to you.  What do you think of direct marketing techniques?  Do they help you understand and consider products?  Do long letters provide you with the information you need to make a decision?  Do you like the benefits of receiving free-bees in exchange for your email address?  How often do you click on and listen to informational videos?  How do you like to be introduced to new products?  Please share your thoughts here. Your thoughts and opinions will be very helpful to me and other individuals who market themselves online.  Thanks for sharing!