Insights and Resources

Why aren’t you doing this stuff??

By Jim Thompson

legoFunnily enough it was finding this image that someone posted on LinkedIn on a completely different topic that prompted me to write this article.

A picture says a thousand words doesn’t it?

Before I go on let me please apologise in advance if this sounds like a gripe. It is borne by a sense of frustration at the lack of adoption, understanding and belief in digital marketing as a serious and highly effective lead generator.

Perhaps it’s not my place to say it but I think a lot of us need a bit of a wake-up call.

Ok so there’s the warning – back to the Lego image.

It hit home with me for a number of reasons, the main one being that I’ve heard  many prospective clients saying something along the lines of yep we love it, we know we need to do something and we will but we are too busy at this stage and will look at it later in the year.

I know this is how I make my living but for me knowing what I know, that just from a pure business and marketing sense, digital marketing and lead generation is a no brainer.

So it leads me to ask the obvious question of why aren’t people embracing it, why aren’t more of you all over it and bashing down the door for help?

Australia is well behind the US and Europe in this area and I genuinely fear the hard lessons learnt from the retail sector are being somewhat ignored by the professional services sector as if we are somehow immune to the changing landscape and the emergence of the digitally empowered buyer.

I’m going to throw up a few more of the reasons we’ve been given, a few of my own guesses and I’d love to hear a few from you.

I have also added my response to those objections and please don’t take offence but sometimes someone has to ask the hard questions and believe it or not I genuinely want to help you.

What we hear

  • We are too busy

What are you too busy doing, is it traditional marketing? Digital shouldn’t be seen as more work just a reallocation of effort.

  • We don’t have the budget

Can you afford not to do it? Where are you currently spending your marketing dollar and what is the return, can you measure it? If you take out Yellow Pages ads please cancel them.

How much would you be willing to pay for a new ideal lifetime client, how about for 10 or 100?

  • We don’t think it’s us

Would your direct competitors say the same thing?

If it’s not for you then who is it for?

  • We are going to have a look at the brand first

Cart before the horse!

Develop your digital strategy first as it will impact and influence the brand and you don’t want to have to do it twice.

  • We are too big for this to be effective

This works just effectively in a larger firm.

The same principles still apply, the difference is that you position and target around a specific problem for a specific audience.

In fact in some cases its actually easier in a larger firm because you can target multiple audiences while still leveraging all the advantages inherent in a large firm .

  • We are not ready

When will you be ready and why aren’t you ready now, what would need to change?

  • We are already doing it

Are you – do you really know what is possible, do you know what you don’t know?

  • We already have an agency

Ok that’s good but how many leads did they generate for you in the last 12 months?

  • All our business is word of mouth

The internet is actually word of mouth on steroids. Are you happy to rely on referral networks for all your new business? Is that a sustainable strategy in a digital age?

  • We already have enough work

Awesome but Is it profitable, would you like better higher value clients, and are there even some you don’t want anymore?

What will you do when you don’t have enough work and by then will it be too late?


Some of the things we think we don’t get told

  • We don’t believe in it or we want proof

I can show you definitive proof with real data.

Do you believe in traditional broadcast marketing and if so why?

  • We are scared

Yes I understand but you can take baby steps but before you do you need to know where you are going and how you are going to get there. That will take most of the fear away. It’s ok to be risk averse but I believe the risks associated with doing nothing are higher.

  • We don’t get it

Yes it is somewhat of a paradigm shift but unfortunately it’s not going away – seek help to understand it.

  • It’s too hard

Don’t want to shoot myself in the foot but once you get your head around it it’s not rocket science

  • It won’t effect us

That’s what the retail sector said – have a look it’s already happening and it’s only just beginning

  • It’s too much work

I’m not going to pretend it’s a walk in the park and we all understand there is no reward without effort. As discussed above it shouldn’t be more work but a reallocation of where you spend your time.

  • It’s too expensive and there is no return

I wager it’s more cost effective than the other marketing you’re doing and you can measure the return – I can show you proof.

  • We’ve tried it and it doesn’t really work

It does if you follow the 11 steps and again I’m happy to show you definitive proof with real data

  • We think we can do it ourselves and don’t need your help

Ok maybe you can but my strong advice before you start is make sure you have educated yourself to the point where you know what you don’t know.

  • I can do it cheaper with someone else

There is always someone who will do anything cheaper but are you comparing apples with apples? If you think it’s expensive hiring a professional wait until you hire an amateur.

  • I can’t sell it internally

Yes this is often a challenge and yes some will bury their head in the sand and sometimes you might have to move on for your own sake.  My advice, and this is from experience not selling myself, is that unfortunately it’s often the outside 3rd party that gets listened to so you might need someone else to sell it for you.

  • I’m worried that as a marketer I’m expected to know and be able to do this all myself

You can’t know it all and you can’t do it all yourself just like you can’t expect yourself to be a graphic designer or a programmer.  Yes you need to understand it but you can’t do it all yourself that’s not the way it works.

Please feel  free to tell me if you think I’m barking up the wrong tree here but I would genuinely like to know if I have missed something more fundamental and your insights on the markets slow adoption in Australia as compared to the US and Europe?

A downloadable (PDF) graphic representation of this post is available here.

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