“Stop and smell the roses” is a cliché we use when someone seems too busy to notice what’s going on around him. It’s what we quote to a friend, family member, or colleague when his busyness seems to get in the way of happiness.
Busy-bodies are common in marketing departments. Constant monitoring of social media, email, and content can keep online marketers hands in several jars, so to speak. It’s easy to lose sight of goals and accomplishments because there’s always something nagging for attention.
But I have to ask: to what extent are we letting the busyness of our work keep us from creating a relationship with our buyers? Isn’t that the point of marketing? The point of executing all of that tactical work? To help us build relationships that turn into long-lasting, profitable partnerships?
The Problem Busyness Creates in B2B Digital Marketing
Most of our busyness comes from our determination to provide the best quality of work possible to our clients. We tackle on several campaigns in hopes that our solutions are found wherever (and whenever) potential buyers search for information. The few breaks we take during the work day are used to learn new technology, tools, and strategies to better educate our audiences.
In our efforts to do this — to create this extraordinary buyer experience — we become extremely busy.
The problem with this type of busyness is that if often keeps us from engaging with those around us. Instead of participating in a dialogue, we start having a monologue. Time is allocated to hurling content across the Internet rather than reading or listening to what other people are discussing.
What’s ironic about this is that most of us know accounts are not closed by regurgitating article titles or sales pitches. New business, as well as returning business, is about the relationship. So why, then, are we seeing more content automation than live engagement?
Let’s take a social media manager, for example. What opportunities do you think are missed when he becomes so heavily tasked with scheduling posts that he doesn’t engage with an audience? (By engage I mean joining conversations, asking questions, and providing real-time discussion online.)
I’ve seen this social media manager many times sitting at his (or her) desk. The automation platform is open on the computer screen. He is concerned about completing the number of social posts he’s required to publish for an account. He scans the client and other third-party websites to find content he can put on auto-pilot for the upcoming week.
Schedule 20 tweets, 14 Facebook posts, 7 LinkedIn updates… Now on to the next client.
Do you see what happened here? Time has only been allocated to scheduling social updates. What about time for social listening or live engagement?
Related Reading: 8 Types of Content To Make Your Brand Follow-Worthy on Social Media
Build in Time for Engagement
Busyness can often cause an over-dependence on marketing automation. Automation can lead to a loss of human touch. People notice when the messaging becomes short, sales-y, and automated. It’s a turn off.
Marketing is about creating something that’s intangible. It’s education, security, consistency. That’s why it’s referred to as the buyer experience. It’s about how we make people feel. Do they feel confident, secure, content, satisfied, or relieved?
Creating that experience isn’t going to happen by only automating content.
I love marketing automation. But life doesn’t run on auto-pilot. Sometimes you plan, create, and automate. Other times you jump in and interact as part of a community.
So when you’re speaking more than listening, automating more than engaging…
Share something that will make your followers’ day a little better; the cloudy day a little less bleak; a stressful day a little less miserable. Because that is true relationship building.
My advice: stop and Instagram the roses. Or if not roses, then the things that you and your audience share a common appreciation for.
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