27-marketing top 5 lessons learned of 2011It has been an interesting year in marketing for us.  Budgets were low for most and the world of social media and a phenomenon called “inbound marketing” became even more prominent.  I personally found 2011 to be one of the most challenging and yet rewarding years.  With defeat and triumph under our belt, we humbly offer our top lessons learned for 2011.  Not all of these are lessons directly from CompanionCabinet, some are from readers like you that have shared their stories as well.

  1. Sometimes it is too soon for social media.

    Yes it is true – you can definitely jump on the “social media band wagon” too soon.  Say, for instance, you aren’t creating any relevant content worth sharing on social media, and your just on social media to be there. It’s too soon for you.  Re-allocate your efforts to a worthwhile blog and content that you can then share on social media.  The whole idea behind social media is to connect and share. Don’t forget the share part.

  2. Sometimes it’s good to be uncomfortable.

    I actually laughed out loud writing that sentence as I remembered a specific incident that made me feel slightly “uncomfortable.”  Being in the field of technology, our entire team loves to experiment. Our marketing team’s M.O. is to try new things – and really take a stance on the philosophies we believe in. We tried some new videos this year with two battling perspectives. From one perspective, all a cabinet dealer needs is design software to solve everything.  From the other, more realistic perspective, dealers realize that design isn’t everything.  We had to take a risk and try something new, and we all know new can make us uncomfortable.  Some hated it but others who believe what we believe loved them.  In the end, we attracted more customers and it was a resounding win.

  3. If you build it, they will come.

    In this case, the “it” was our blog and “they” are prospects.  Granted, we have had both of our blogs for years, but never have we put so much emphasis on consistent, and as always, relevant content as we have this year.  Those of you who are avid readers of our blogs know that at least every other day we’re at it again. And thank you for being a part of our following by the way, as this is all for you.  Many of ourEquilibrium (formerly Aurora) customers started as fans of the Dealer’s Voice and/or the Consumer’s Voice. It all starts with building something that interests your audience.

  4. Don’t knock it ‘till you try it.

    Marketing can be scary stuff.  There are so many different avenues to choose that it is easy to whittle down the choices by immediately discarding ones you think won’t work.  You don’t know until you give it a go.  Try everything at least once. Remember, measure your marketing results so you know what’s working and what isn’t.  We have been so surprised this year by some of the new things we thought wouldn’t work. Ironically, some of the ideas we were originally skeptical of turned out to be the most beneficial for us. The bottom line is, if you aren’t trying anything new – then by definition everything will stay the same.

  5. Quit beating a dead horse.

    If you try something and consistently get bad results, sometimes it’s just better to focus your efforts elsewhere.  Yes, I’m talking to you Mr. Direct Mailer!  Remember Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”