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MarCom Matters

February 2014
Issue: #52

Polar Opposites

Did you survive the vortex?

The polar vortex, that is.

If you live anywhere on the northern half of our planet you probably spent the first and third weeks of January like I did – shivering and chipping ice off the cat each morning. Unless of course you’re wintering in Aruba.

But truth is, here in southern New England, the big news wasn’t the bone-freezing wind and cold. Nope. It was the extreme fluctuation in temperature.

No fewer than four times since early December the mercury sank well below freezing only to shoot back up to near record high levels. Yep, four times storms piled the snow high and then, just as quickly, it all melted to nothing. As I write this, we in Connecticut are back in the deep freeze and snow.

So in addition to having to think about which jacket to wear, this Bizarro winter of opposite weather also got me to thinking about another kind of opposite. The opposite of the “marketing truths” we hear versus what’s happening on the ground.

Here’s what I mean. We’re told that…

So in the face of such opposites, what can you do – besides keep two jackets handy?

Part of the answer is to listen to these “truths.” Then recognize them for what they are – generalizations that may or may not apply to your company.

Because it turns out that Web videos, inbound marketing and permission marketing do work extraordinarily well for individual businesses. Carefully-placed online ads do help attract new customers for some. And many small businesses and nonprofits have indeed figured out how to thrive using social media.

The thing is, what works all depends on what you sell and who you sell to. And that’s the other part of the answer.

As I’ve written before, your customers and partners hold the key to figuring out what’s best for your company and your company alone. They’re the ones who can tell you:

The bottom line: Don’t believe the hype. But don’t dismiss it either.

Opposing statements like “Whitepapers are dead” and “Buyers prefer whitepapers over all other content formats” do little to help you decide whether they’re right for you.

But those statements do signal that it’s an issue worth paying attention to.

Now, if you’ll pardon me. As Groucho Marx used to sing, “Hello, I must be going.”