Marketing

Clearing the path forward

Author
Jessica Swesey
No.
1146
Date
04/29/20

Business and life melt together into a warm soup.

Stewing in this soup has made me realize the excess that’s been building up for years.

Boxes of toys. Piles of books. Clothes that no longer fit. Food we never ate. Calendar mayhem. Overflowing inbox. Busywork.

This pandemic has me questioning it all. How could I not see the uselessness of so much of it? How could I waste so much money on things I never used or needed? Why did I never budget time like a fixed income?

I never did the Marie Kondo thing.

I am now.

***

Many people without jobs or businesses find themselves with an uncomfortable amount of time on their hands.

Everyone else is jumping from fire to fire with a cheap spray bottle hoping to keep it all under control. We must now get more done faster, and with fewer resources. This is either a calamity or an opportunity, depending on your coping mechanism.

The urgency to be flexible and weightless already has created a lot of organizational change, and forced us to look hard at what we now recognize as excess. 

This has come up in our work with clients, as we’ve been helping them reconfigure in real-time what marketing is and is no longer. We’ve been doing a fair amount of this for our own business at 1000watt, too.

It’s the perfect time to question everything. Every activity. Every meeting. Every goal. Every word. Every box we thought had to be checked. 

A lot of marketing pre-COVID had escaped this questioning and become erratic. Sometimes too much. Sometimes too little. Sometimes looking gorgeous in a designer gown. Sometimes coming home with no recollection of what happened the night before. We didn’t focus enough, test enough, or dare enough to step out of the familiar.

It’s been enlightening to stop and open it all up for questioning:

What’s really working?

Why are we doing that? 

Is this worth the money?

How can we make this even better than it was before?

Who is this for?

These are scary, yet invigorating questions to ask.

For example, what are we putting out on social media right now? Even more important to ask: why? Do we need to? Is that activity conveying a coherent message? Is it garnering results? Do we even know? 

We often audit the social media accounts of real estate brokerages that are directed at consumers, and often see little to no activity. Maybe they are chasing the wrong audience, and should focus on agents instead.

These things cost time and resources to produce. And yet, more than a decade after many companies jumped on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we may still lack strategic direction or measurable results. We went all in on the medium without considering the message.

How about videos?

What is the strategy and cohesive message there? Is there one? Or was it a race to get on camera and chase the trend hoping to one day figure it out? 

Marketing in 2020 is part science, part art. There is a lot of information, a lot of technology, and many schools of thought. And because of this, a lot of us have lost focus.

The pandemic is our chance to fix that. Clean out our closets. Clear out the things we accepted as necessary, the things we did because everybody else was doing them. Rearrange the furniture.

With questions comes flexibility. And flexibility is one of those simple little secrets of people who seem to live forever.