I have a confession.
In this marketing series, I write about integrated marketing and aligning all your marketing channels — your website, blog, social media, email newsletter and brochures, for example — to help tell your story.
I believe in the importance of using all available methods to talk with your current and potential clients, and the data show consumers increasingly do online research before making a purchase.
But the truth is, I need a new website.
When I launched my consulting business, I aimed at the direct-to-consumer farmers and farmers markets as my niche. I had a website built for Newvine Growing that reflected that passion, and it still does a nice job of telling that story.
But the way my marketing consulting practice has evolved, my client base is much more diverse. I’ve worked with musicians, universities and trade organizations. Even within the food space, I’ve ranged from a family-owned grocery to an upscale Italian restaurant to a couple of professional groups.
Recently I’ve spoken with several friends who work in tech-savvy fields — website design and content strategy, for example — who complained about disappointments with their own online presence.
You could take that as our being hypocrites, telling our clients about the value of something we don’t do ourselves. The cobbler’s children have no shoes.
Instead, I share my dirty little secret because I get it. Even when you work hard to develop a marketing strategy, it’s a constantly moving target.
Maybe the technology changes or your customers’ needs change. The beautiful website you paid a lot of money for doesn’t work well on smartphones, or you loved your print brochures and you’re flummoxed by social media.
Or maybe your business changes. Your marketing strategy works for who you were but not for who you are or who you hope to become.
Running a business means managing numerous ongoing tasks, whether that’s billing or payroll or inventory or answering emails.
Although marketing might seem like something you can finish and forget, it requires ongoing maintenance to ensure it stays in sync with your business needs.
And with that, I commit to getting my new website launched as soon as I can.
Colleen Newvine Tebeau is a reporter and editor who then earned her MBA at University of Michigan with emphases in marketing and corporate strategy. She is a marketing consultant who helps small and midsized organizations with strategy and tactics, including social media and communications.