By: Kevin Hourigan- Bayshore Solutions Executive Team

As President and CEO of Bayshore Solutions, I get asked daily by colleagues, customers, prospects, co-workers, and people I don’t even know, “What marketing initiative should I be doing to succeed online?” They ask with full sincerity and with full expectations that I have a simple and easy to implement answer, a “Silver Bullet” solution to success. My answer is, “There is no silver bullet!” – and I must credit my friends & customers Bill Harber, Director of Marketing at Carnival Corporation, and Jamie Harden of Creative Sign Designs, for helping me generate the idea and title of this blog.

You see, just last week, 300+ people came to hear marketing representatives from Bing, Carnival Corporation, Melting Pot Restaurant and a local Tampa business, Creative Sign Designs, to talk about their online marketing success. I had the privilege of co-presenting with this great group of marketers as well as lead them in a panel discussion answering questions from the audience looking for the answer to that Silver Bullet question.

As we prepared in the Green Room prior to the event, we spoke about each other’s attempts to use online marketing to help our companies grow. We spoke about what worked, what did not, what we were still trying because we knew it would work and what we were going to keep trying unknowing if it would work or not. There was much in common and there were plenty of conflicting results as well. Here is what we concluded:

  1. Defined and measured goals help. Without goals, failure is almost guaranteed.
  2. Online marketing channels that your target audience does not use, or does not use at a time they want to connect to your brand, will fail.
  3. You must have a well defined brand and understand what the right messaging is for the brand.
  4. You must have a great website, great design, efficient navigation, fast loading, frequently updated content, and good calls to action.
  5. Search engine marketing generates a great return on investment.
  6. A content strategy with multiple people in the organization is needed.
  7. A content distribution and syndication plan is required and frequency is critical.
  9. Experimentation is necessary. Try new marketing tactics—not everything will work, but lessons will be learned.
  10. Return on Investment: This is always critical and when there is a great ROI, there are great celebrations. But, not every value can be measured and that’s okay.

The best line of the night came as an answer to one of the questions, “You can’t capture lightning in a bottle.” Everyone shook their heads in agreement and said “there is no silver bullet to online marketing success.”


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