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Jason Cohen, founder of WP Engine suggests that startups should focus on "the one or two channels they know" when trying to grow their business.
So, I agree with everyone else who's disagreeing with Jason. You go where your customers are, not to the channels you know. Period.
Though that this truth was being questioned made me rack my brain... and I can't come up with a valid reason why sticking with a marketing channel that you know and are comfortable with should EVER trump going where your customers are. I just don't get it. Maybe I'm missing something.
But I will add this because I see it all the time. When startups begin to grow (or get funding) there is a tendency to go wide as they add people (or add people to go wide).
Rather than doubling down on proven channels (while allowing for experimentation on other fronts), they just start doing random things across multiple channels to see what sticks. Doing a lot of random things poorly rarely yields the desired results.
So there is an argument to be made for deep, not wide... but not in the way the original post presented it. That one is a head-scratcher for sure.
Good way to generate a lot of traffic and conversation to his blog, though...
This: "success in social marketing channels arises from a resonance between your personality and the norms and language of that channel."
I actually kinda disagree, slightly- no channel has completely homogenous 'norms and language'. You need to understand the norms and language of your target customers/audience, and find out where they're at.
Good marketing reveals great personality and a great mastery of a medium, but that's not enough. I think this is most painfully evident when you try to sell B2B services on Facebook!
Sounds like the disagreement is more of a semantic nature because I took the quote out of context. :)
Shouldn't you be able to test different networks in order to find the best channel that works? We know for sure that we need to experiment various channels in order to discover the one that truly work. This article is supposedly saying we should stop experimenting different channel in order to focus on the one we think is going to work. I feel like this is in a complete contradiction against Growth Hacking and Lean startup methodologies...
Hey @pierre-lechelle It's not really "the one we think is going to work"but "the one channel you know and are comfortable with". I'm not sure if I agree with jason on that one - there's something to be said for experimenting with different channels and pick the one that works best at small scale. if you're a twitter pro but your audience doesn't hang out on Twitter it's going to be difficult to grow your business on twitter.
Danger here is that you start with an ego centric approach to your marketing efforts. A "you" focused approach rather than customer approach will not work long term, just give you some decent happy metrics to begin.
When I read the post I kept shaking my head no, saying to myself "this is wrong." But the more I thought about it, I both disagree and agree with him.
I disagree in the sense that assuming that the channel you used last time is the channel that is going work this time is myopic and not customer-centric. Not every channel works for every business.
However, I can see his point in two ways. First, being great at everything with a small team just isn't feasible. Going wide dilutes effort and diminishes effectiveness in general. Focus on the one or two things that matter is your best bet. Second, I agree in the sense that you should play to your strengths when you can. If you're a master of a channel you should definitely test to see if you can make it work again.
I think the point is that he's suggesting to *start* with channels you're familiar with for the first few months.
That makes sense to me. You can gather valuable insights in those channels then branch out from there.
This is an absurd example but what happens if you're a Twitter professional targeting kids between 6 and 13?
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