When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail
There’s an old saying: When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
It’s a wrong-headed approach, but a tempting one when solutions aren’t clear, and it’s too often the approach that is recommended to those looking for ways to reach audiences online. Companies that specialize in search are prone to thinking that no matter what the question is, Google is the answer. Those that are focused on social networking will tell you it’s Facebook or Twitter, and those that specialize in email and database management will tell you CRM is the solution.
But the truth, as usual, is a little more complex. Solutions have more to do with what you are trying to accomplish, than what tool you happen to have on hand. In order to reach your audience, you have to know who you are trying to reach, what their challenges are, where they look for information, what sorts of relationships they’re interested in, who they trust, and where they are spending their time online.
The solution may well be Facebook or Google or CRM or all of the above. Or it may be something else you haven’t thought of yet. But you won’t know which tool is best to use until you know the answers to all of those audience questions.
If you start with the determination to understand your audience and their needs, the how will become clear. And it’s highly likely that the how will involve your whole toolbox, not just the hammer.
Anyone frustrated by not having a connected analytical strategy connecting SEO/SEM, web design, eMarketing and analytics? Please share your story below.
To stay connected with this conversation and receive alerts on new postings, please subscribe via RSS, or sign up for our monthly newsletter, Adventures in eMarketing, to receive a roundup of the top rated blog posts, associated reading lists and relevant insights.
(Image courtesy of Flavio Duarte via Flickr)