The Magic Bullet Marketing Theory

I sat across from Sherri, our business development director, last week in one of our weekly think-tank conference room meetings with a bemused disposition. It had been one of those sessions—one where you throw yourself at a problem until something gives and you hope it isn’t your brain.

We had gone over it several times, and this wasn’t the first time for Todd or Austin, who were all asking the same question.

How do you get the client to see there is no such thing as magic bullet marketing?

We had circled it, highlighted it, and talked about it. But, it’s a problem every agency has to overcome. Every client is different, there are some that will absolutely get it and partner with you. There are others who simply don’t seem to grasp the concepts we try to lay out. In the middle, there are a million shades of gray.

But, what is “getting it” and how can marketers remove the dissonance so often found between themselves and decision makers?

Busy Buzzwords

The biggest culprit is how people see marketing — some see it as a cost, and some see it as a tool for revenue generation. Often, the answer to a client’s objections lies in one word: “deliverables.” It’s being heralded as the buzzword of 2015, but I couldn’t disagree more.

However, I believe defining “deliverable” as a buzzword is a misnomer. A buzzword is defined as “a technical term and may have very little meaning, being used simply to impress others.”

Deliverables is defined as “something tangible, or quantifiable”. A client is always after real numbers, often asking what’s in it for them, how we can prove to be cost-effective, and how we can improve their bottom line. Here, we often point to our prior successes and proven strategies that showcase our tangible quantities as successful.

“Getting it” has nothing to do with pulling a fast one on someone, or awing them with flashy presentations. It has to do with showing them we deliver on the concepts we ourselves rely on. Be it SEO, keyword placement, ad targeting, lead generation and conversion, our own methods propel us as well.

The problem therein lies that the client thinks this is done overnight. That their product is so good, that it is so vital, it will need very little help getting off the ground.

Magic Bullet Marketing

The internet is a vast place. It’s less an open field and more like a million Time Squares all tied together. In a world that moves as fast as an internet connection can take you, and constantly bombards you with information, sticking out often appears impossible.

But a client wishes for one thing more than any other — to have the magic bullet that cuts through the noise. They may think that magic bullet comes from social media, a certain e-mail marketing campaign technique, or combination of words on a landing page. They might think it is traditional, interruptive advertising or the perfectly placed billboard. If you do, we hope you’ve checked out this recent entry in our blog.

None of that is true. The magic bullet, if you really want to call it that, is in the execution. It’s putting all the pieces together in a cohesive form. A puzzle is incomplete if only one piece is out of place, and it’s our job to make sure they’re all there and that the image meets client expectations. Put a Louisville Slugger in the hands of someone who isn’t familiar with baseball, and they may not even know which end to hold. But, put it in the hands of Babe Ruth… and you get the idea. The secret isn’t the bat, it’s knowing how to swing it.

Time After Time

Understanding that is important, but the greatest and most perfect marketing campaign does not garner overnight success. Where some may see what we do as assembly-line work— mindlessly putting together the pieces of a campaign without thought to what it does or where it’s going, we see ourselves much differently.

Rather, we are farmers that use our tools to nurture leads and create lasting results for each client. Over time, we want to see growth for them and point to our metrics and say, “this is what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

It’s our daily struggle, and everyone comes to a conclusion differently.  We left the conference room that day with our own puzzles to figure out, but we’ve come to our conclusions and those continue to evolve on a daily basis. Are you thinking outside the box?