Apple was in shambles during the mid-’90s.
They were churning products out like crazy and nobody was buying them.
Remember the Macintosh Quadra, Centris, and Performa?
Yeah, neither does anybody else.
Apple was on the brink of total collapse because they were totally all over the map with their marketing and products.
They were also hemorrhaging money and taking a beating at the hands of Microsoft.
Apple was in desperate need of a savior.
Enter Steve Jobs
When Jobs returned to the company in 1997, the skeptical public couldn’t help but wonder if the damage Apple has done to themselves was beyond repair.
Jobs’ first move as returning CEO was to slash Apple’s product line.
The company was selling a dozen version of the same computer in an attempt to appease retailers.
However, Jobs noted that trying to cover so much ground did nothing but confuse the bejesus out of consumers.
So he reduced their product line to four machines:
- A desktop and laptop for professionals.
- A desktop and laptop for consumers.
In Jobs’ own words:
“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”
Apple also stopped licensing out its hardware or software:
Everything with the Apple logo on it was strictly theirs moving forward.
They took back control.
The emphasis on control and fewer core products was instrumental in Apple’s resurgence.
The company managed to hone on what they were good at, eventually resulting in a slew of groundbreaking products such as the iMac, iPod, and iPad.
Oh, and a little thing called the iPhone.
Ever heard of it?
The key takeaway from Apple’s tale is pretty straightforward…
If you’re a marketer, you MUST focus!
That is, focus on what you’re good at versus trying to appease everyone.
When you’re focused, quality goes up.
It’s easier to innovate when you’re not stretched so thin and can effectively manage your resources.
In 2006, Nike was facing a slump and the CEO called Job for help.
His response was pure gold:
“Nike makes some of the best products in the world. Products that you lust after. But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.”
Cut the crap.
So what are your strengths?
What can you do today that’s going to translate into sales ASAP?
Those are the questions you need you ask yourself in order to find your focus.
Because when you focus, good things happen.
What “focus” really means for marketers today
Chances are you’re feeling pulled in a million different directions in regard to what you should be doing on any given day, right?
Ads. Blog posts. Social media. Emails. Webinars. Videos. Live broadcasts.
The list goes on.
All of these channels have the potential to be effective.
Now you’ve got to decide what to do.
And what not to do.
Because you can’t do it all without spreading yourself too thin.
So focus on your strengths (and ignore the rest).
- If you’re comfortable with the written word, gravitate towards blogging.
- If you’re not shy in front of the camera, go “all in” with Live broadcasts.
- If you love the sound of your own voice (which is a rare quality if there ever was one), start podcasting.
- If you’re a Facebookaholic, then make sure you get paid by your addiction!
As long as you’re single-mindedly focused on honing a single skillset, you’re golden.
However, there’s another aspect of focusing that many marketers seem to miss.
The dangers of unfocused marketing
Not only do you need to hone in on your strengths and the marketing opportunities that make the most sense, but you also need to market yourself in such a way that you don’t overwhelm your audience with choices.
I was ironically reminded of this when I stepped into the Apple store recently.
While I went in knowing exactly what I wanted, I couldn’t help but overhearing conversations between patrons and employees.
What’s the difference between the iPad, iPad Pro, and iPad Air?
What’s the difference between the MacBook Air, MacBook, and 13″ MacBook Pro, non-Touch Bar?
What’s the difference between the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE?
Wait, so why would I want an Apple Watch too?
And what kind of adapter will I need?
Believe me, I was also confused by all the options.
This speaks to a much larger problem among marketers, though:
We often times offer our prospects way too many choices
Conventional wisdom tells us that options are a positive, but this doesn’t ring true when it comes to closing a sale.
If you’ve ever taken a small child to grab some ice cream, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
A few years ago, I was stuck in line behind a father and his toddler in an ice cream shop.
I remember watching the dad go through a list of twenty-something flavors of ice cream to his son, just for the kid to turn around and choose the first flavor his dad had rattled off.
But also telling in terms of how our brains work.
Choices lead to indecision.
The more choices people have, the less action they’re likely to take.
So how does this apply to your own marketing efforts?
How to make decisions on behalf of your prospects
If you want your prospects to take action, keep it simple.
It doesn’t matter if that action is leaving a comment or purchasing a product.
Offer ONE choice.
A single call-to-action.
If you’re sending out an email or hosting a Facebook Live event, hone in a single action you want your prospects to take.
It might be clicking over to a landing page or checking out a particular piece of content.
You might be tempted to also ask your readers to follow you on Facebook, subscribe to updates, and check out your YouTube channel while they’re at it, but do so at your own peril.
Your prospects ain’t got time for all of that.
They can only chase one squirrel at a time.
So choose wisely.
This is especially important if you’re just starting out as a marketer, because it’s tempting to try and accommodate every request and cave to every stipulation.
#resist the temptation.
You need to cull your options down to a single choice!
This (or maybe that).
The same rules apply to your email list.
If somebody opted-in, they’re interested, so don’t beat around the bush.
At the end of the day, your goal is to sell.
You might want to make your prospects feel like kids in a candy store, but leaving your audience wide-eyed won’t pay the bills.
If you want to create repeat customers, you need to prime them to take action.
And when there’s only one choice in front of them, taking that action becomes so much easier.
When in doubt, keep things super simple.
Focus on your strengths, then drive your prospects to click on what matters most.
To click or not to click.
That is the question.
So, what are you focused on right now?
From making the most of your marketing firepower to zeroing in on your best calls-to-action, it often feels like there’s a lot of room for error.
Don’t sweat it.
Don’t seek perfection; just get started.
Finding your focus means putting yourself out there—this is an experiential, not intellectual process.
The marketplace (where the people who buy stuff are) doesn’t exist in your head, it’s out in the world.
So get out there!
Deliver your here’s-your-only-option-to-move-forward marketing message.
In fact, it’s pretty much the only way to get real results.
Because the more leads in your pipeline, the more opportunities to find out what makes your prospects “tick.”
And if you’re hungry for more opportunities to share your message, we’ve got exactly what you need…
We put together a FREE, step-by-step tutorial that reveals our exact advertising process in a 100% FREE online workshop, hosted by none other than Tim Erway, our co-founder and CEO here at Elite Marketing Pro, who’s responsible for generating over 30 million dollars in revenue online (and counting).
Simply pick a time and register right here.
You’ll discover how you can put together a profitable ad campaign in just 10 minutes a day with as little as $10 in initial ad spend.
And Tim will show exactly how we did it.
So if you haven’t registered yet, what are you waiting for?
Until next time,