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You don’t have to tear down the house to remodel the kitchen

This Maxim is true for any kind of marketing program, but I originally developed this Maxim when a client would want to gut and redo their website… it just wasn’t performing. After reading the other Maxims, you probably realize that most solutions are often subtle in nature. Blowing out an old website may feel like real progress, but it rarely solves the core problems of a poor marketing strategy. And, if you’re depending on your website as your entire strategy, you’ve been hypnotized by the Siren song of online marketing!

Usually, a simple remodeling job can make an old house look and feel new again. Tweaking the layout, or more often, the copy on a campaign (or website), can bring dramatic results. I’ve shared how a single word change in a headline can dramatically alter results. Look at your numbers! Is the problem getting visitors to your site, or converting them once they get there? If you’re converting 1 out of 100, then sure, you can get 10 by increasing your traffic to 1000. But working on the copy and flow of your site is the key to raising conversion. Don’t ever feel like you’ve blown money for no results. Even Edison was philosophic about this part of testing and analysis. After 10,000 tries to refine the light bulb, he didn’t feel like he’d wasted his time… he’d found 9,999 ways that didn’t work.

In all my years working with companies and their marketing programs, I’ve never found a program with zero redeeming value. Sure, they might have the components fragmented, mixed up and underutilized. Consistency and persistency might be problems. But I seem to always find gems to begin with… often gems that they consider worthless. When it comes to websites, of the hundreds I’ve worked with or reviewed, only one time did I ever tell them to trash it and start over. And it was bad, really bad. Yours isn’t… remodel instead.

Another way I like to phrase this to clients is from the Old Testament. When God was pitching Moses on becoming his prophet and going to see Pharaoh, Moses was more than skeptical. After all, he was an old guy, and had spent decades at this point talking basically to his sheep. Plus, he stuttered, but the sheep didn’t seem to care. Being a spokesman for God, though, that was something totally off the chain.

God finally go fed up and asked him, “What’s that in your hand?” It was Moses shepherd’s staff, the one he used to walk with and rescue his sheep. Then God turned it into a serpent, and then back again. ‘Nuff said.

Look at what you’ve got, and start with what’s in your hand. It’s usually a lot better than tossing it all out and spending time and money on totally new, untested pieces. At the very least, clean up your marketing and do a couple of measurable tests with what you’ve got now, so you’ll have some realistic benchmark numbers for the new pieces you’ll be creating and testing soon.

Carpe Diem!

Emerson Brantley

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