If you’re searching for the big secret to marketing, I have some bad news: that there isn’t one. There are many—each one more subjective than the last.

Marketing is an ever-changing, ever-evolving, highly relative beast, and there’s no one secret that makes everything click. If there was, a lot of us in this business would be out of a job.

Part of running a marketing company, means dedicating a great deal of time to keeping up with current trends and data so that we can tell you what’s likely to work. But that doesn’t mean it will for you. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is where your audience is and where they’re going.

It’s 2017. Do You Know Where Your Audience Is?

There’s a 99.999999999999% chance you’ll never, ever see a blog about direct mail marketing from WideNet. Why? Because it’s not digital, we don’t like it, and we believe there are better ways to spend your money. Same goes for billboards, TV commercials, paper ads, and radio spots.

That said, somewhere in our great big world, there are businesses that still benefit from these old hat techniques, and it’s all because of their audience.

One of the biggest mistakes that old AND new businesses make (and this goes for marketing agencies as well) is believing that one form of advertising is objectively better than another, or assuming that their audience doesn’t use a particular platform without doing any research first. This approach can be really effective if your goal is to lose a bunch of money as fast as possible. But if you’re actually looking for success, you have to be open minded to every possibility.

We can sit here and tell you all day about why Facebook ads are awesome, and we can give you tons of stats to back it up. But if your audience isn’t on Facebook, it won’t matter. Conversely, we can fill your head with data showing that newspaper ads are completely ineffective, but if that’s what your audience responds to, then by all means, run that big, ugly ad.

Bottom line: Everyone’s audience is different, and to figure out which marketing strategy is “right” for your business, you have to know where your audience spends their time.

One of our favorite sayings around the office is, “Market how you live,” which means market to people in a way that actually coincides with their daily lives. Forget traditional B2C concepts; forget about what’s “always worked.” You want to market to attention, not impressions. Go to your audience where they are—not where they used to be, or where you want them to be.

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