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Take Aim or You'll Miss Your Target

Aug 19, 2011

by Silvia Pendleton, Director of Marketing and Membership

I’m new to blogging but in the last couple of years I’ve started to follow a few of my favorite writers and others who have interesting or informative blogs.  These are great sources of ideas, fresh content and current trends.  I also subscribe to one or two that usually have an irreverent viewpoint on some topic or another.  I go to those for humor and a break from taking life too seriously.

I’ve enjoyed our TSSA blogging efforts and although it’s difficult to tell whether anyone out there is reading our posts, it’s been a good exercise for those of us who take a turn at posting on the blog.  What I find the most difficult is the part about writing on a deadline.  I have to be “inspired” in order to come up with a topic.  Perhaps that’s because the TSSA blog, Open for Business, is a community effort.  Several staff members take turns writing or arranging for a guest blogger.  Therefore, the blog doesn’t have a distinctive personality.  Although we all strive for an informative and interesting post, it doesn’t have an overriding voice, if you will. 

The same can be said about marketing.  Does your marketing strategy have an overriding voice or a distinctive personality?  Does it reflect who you are as a company and what you’re trying to achieve?  Or do you find yourself using the shotgun approach?  In other words, throwing money at every advertising and promotional opportunity that comes along without analyzing if it’s going to help you reach your target audience and your overall goals.

It’s easy to get distracted and to get into the routine of doing.  I love being able to check things off of my “to-do” list.  But if your to-do list is just a lot of busy work that isn’t getting you close to your goal, then the thrill of checking something off is wasted! 

The first year as a storage owner was an exciting time.  It was a goal my husband and I had worked toward for several years and we were living the dream.  Although we’d outlined a marketing plan, it wasn’t detailed enough.  Plus, I hadn’t learned how to say "no" to the dozens of school groups and organizations asking for sponsorship and advertising money.  It wasn’t until we analyzed our market more closely that we were able to determine which marketing opportunities would reach our audience, and which were strictly "feel good projects."  There’s nothing wrong with feel good projects, as long as you recognize them for what they are.

I hear from members who are struggling with online marketing options and social media.  They’re trying everything that comes along, whether it fits into their overall marketing strategy or not.  If it’s new it must be good, and if others are raving about their success, then it’ll work for me, too.  Some of us are still in denial over the whole thing, hoping it’ll go away if we just ignore it long enough!  That’s the spirit! 

TSSA is offering a webinar on August 24 on Using Social Media to Market Your Facility.  This is the perfect way to find out whether you’re ready to take this step.  If you’re not ready – but want to be – ask yourself what you have to do to prepare yourself, and your facility, to incorporate social media into your marketing plan. 

We’ll also have several sessions at the convention that will help you: Develop Your Marketing Plan: A Hands-on Workshop, Building and Launching Your Facility Brand, and Social Media for Storage Success.  That’s the best way to figure this all out.  Educate yourself, learn how to use the media, and evaluate how it fits (or not) into your marketing strategy and your brand.  If it’s not bringing in the customers, is it worth the trouble? 

By the way, have you registered for convention? What are you waiting for…inspiration?  It’s highly overrated.

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