As an avid surfer, I always tend to relate everything in life to surfing. I’m sure my wife is getting a little tired of it, but hey, I can’t help it. So, lately I’ve been thinking a bunch about how marketing and surfing are closely related. Maybe its because I haven’t been in the water for a few weeks and my mind is not fully functioning. Anyway, I think this little analogy should be helpful.
Keep an eye out for parts 2 and 3 of the series.
Back in high school (’94 & ’95), I started using the National Weather Service website along with some weak surf forecasting sites to try and know when good swells were coming. If you’re not familiar with how this works, good waves at any particular beach are created by large ocean storms hundreds, even thousands, of miles away. Those storms stir up the water and send waves traveling across the ocean until they expend their energy at the beach (kind of like when you drop a pebble in a pond and the waves radiate outward in all directions). More times than not, the water is fairly calm. If you went surfing everyday of the year, you’d probably only get really good surf 5-10% of the time. In addition to timing distant storms, you also have to time the local weather. If there’s a storm on the coast, the wind could really mess up the surf that was sent from a storm far away. And a lot of rain can pollute the beaches.
So, in the end, scoring good surf is all about timing. Nowadays, the forecasting tools and websites that broadcast that information are awesome and you can really increase your chances of hitting it big.
In the same way, marketing is all about timing. If you ask one of your prospects if they’re ready to buy everyday for an entire year, there’s a good chance on one of those days you might get a yes. But, you’ll get skunked most of the time. Back in the old days, you relied on that tactic of showing up everyday at the beach (e.g., telemarketing, or other evil tactics) to randomly be there at the precise moment when someone was ready to buy.
Nowadays, just like with surf forecasting technology, we have sweet marketing tools that can do the job for us. Instead of you having to take a pulse every day to see if your prospects are ready, sales & marketing automation software solutions like Infusionsoft can allow your prospects to “raise their hand” when they’re ready, notifying you to “come to the rescue” and close the sale. There’s also innovated (free) ways to measure the results and activity such as with Google Analytics, social media engagements and the advent of multivariate testing.
If you’re not consistently scoring it big in your business, take a second look at how you’re using (or not using) intelligent marketing automation. It’s time for you to get out of the dark ages of showing up at the beach when its cold, rainy, and flat and start hitting the big surf every single time.
P.S. If you’re not convinced of the power of intelligent marketing automation, check out what these guys had to say:
From: Colin Receveur
Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 10:41 AM
To: Derek Solomon
As of end of September, I’m 24% above my total year end sales for 08. And I’m looking to have another record month in November if/when I close on some opportunities.
I started Infusionsoft end of July, really about Mid August after I got back from vacation. Being able to take a half dozen accounts, some home-grown apps, and merge it all into one interface has been a huge timesaver and a lot cheaper than paying my employee’s to do this administrative type work!!
I thought the advertising you all did promoting “double your business in 12 months” was BS – I’ve done it in less than 6.
Here’s another one:
From: Mark Bowden
Sent: Friday, October 02, 2009 5:55 AM
Subject: Re: Infusionsoft Enrollment
Here is a good story for you, been live with infusion for just under 1 week & just launched my first campaign. I have just put more money in the bank in the last 24 hours than I did in all of last month.
All the best,