Why Do Marketers Keep Promising You a Silver Bullet That Doesn’t Work?

Here’s how it typically happens:

You do some reading on how to find customers online and learn about this thing called SEO. You begin feeling like an expert after reading a few more articles and determine that, yeah, you definitely need SEO.

So, you do the logical thing and you hire an SEO guy. The SEO guy is like, “Yes! I have a client! I’m going to do the best job ever!” and he does.

But then sales are “eh,” and you’re left wondering why.

It’s because marketing is a system.SEO is part of that system, but it’s not the entire system.

Neither you nor your hire knows who is responsible for setting up that system.

The SEO guy thinks it’s you since he’s only here to do SEO. And you think the SEO guy’s responsible, since, you’re the business owner and that guy is in marketing, so this is technically his job.

The SEO guy, in earnest, promised you SEO was the silver bullet you were looking for and would get you a ton of leads. He wasn’t wrong that it would help with leads…it’s just…you need to do something with those leads…hence the “system.”

SEO gets you traffic. If your site isn’t optimized to handle that traffic (to convert it), then it doesn’t really work. You need both. You need the traffic and conversion.

This happens all the time.

It’s the chicken or the egg conundrum of marketing: Who is responsible for setting up the system!?

SEO without a conversion optimized site (which is part design, part engineering, part copy, and part branding) is like getting everyone in the neighborhood to come to your shoe store and then the store being a mess and then asking, “Why did no one buy shoes?”

There’s no simple answer. It’s inventory, it’s merchandising, it’s the pricing strategy, it’s the distributors, it’s the checkout process, it’s customer service…There are a LOT of reasons someone didn’t buy shoes.

When it’s a brick and mortar store, it’s much easier to assign jurisdiction and governance to each domain.

Obviously, your marketing person is not going to be responsible for checkout or inventory, that’s fulfillment and supply chain territory.

In today’s world, especially online, the lines aren’t so clear-cut.

The trouble lies in one simple question: Where does marketing begin and end?

The simple answer is: we don’t know, yet.

Lots of thought leaders like to tell you, “marketing is everything!” and they’re not wrong. Every customer touchpoint is communicating something about your brand to your customer.

But it’s not exactly a helpful distinction (or definition) when you’re trying to run a company and make different departments responsible for things.

Read: Why You Shouldn’t Have a Marketing Department (Have This Instead)

Today, marketing seeps into all areas of your business. It’s part customer service, part sales, and part product. Which is why nothing can ever be a silver bullet.

When you only have jurisdiction over one part of the system, you can’t be a silver bullet. You can be an integral part of a system that leads to more prospects, happier customers, and more sales.

But only one person is responsible for the entire system: and it’s you.

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