Do it yourself (DIY) is a term used to describe building, modifying or repairing something without the aid of experts or professionals.
Most people today would say there wasn’t a lot they did by themselves that was riveting or documentary-worthy. But do-it-yourselfers are doing whatever they’re doing by themselves in ever-increasing numbers. All in efforts to see decreasing numbers in the form of costs and budgets. They are going for the jugular of “spend” with an axe right out of some horror movie. It’s cut, cut, cut, which usually leads to bleed, bleed, bleed. Although they don’t see it at the time.
“Do it yourself”, which started as home improvement jargon now applies to lots of other things. Some somewhat rational, others utterly idiotic. I mean, why not; DIY hair color, Halloween costumes, self-checkouts in the supermarket…even cake balls. But DIY wills? Hello “contested”. DIY divorces? Call a good defense attorney. DIY cosmetic surgery? (Yes it’s really happening out there.) What’s next—DIY prostate surgery?
But let’s move on. “Do it yourself”. Three little words that strike terror and evoke unbridled panic in the minds and hearts of professional marketing agencies world ‘round. Agencies with years of experience in what they do and a wealth of knowledge in how to do it right—DIR. Like all DIY maladies, DIY in marketing is also about the bucks. Trying to stretch them. Trying not to spend them. Trying to avoid even thinking about them. But somehow in the midst of all this cost carnage, trying to make bucks is never figured into the equation. Make money…my, what a novel concept. Have to remember that one.
There is another side to DIY in marketing. Hubris. You think, “I could do it myself in half the time at a quarter the cost.” You might call it the Martha Stewart Marketing Syndrome. You think, “I could do everything myself” as you vividly recall an A+ project from your marketing class in undergrad. You’ve got an MBA. How hard could DIY be? You’ve written a 25-page whitepaper. A few short snappy ad words ought to be an cinch. Oh, Lord. When did Word come down, “Marketers, retain thyselves!”? Maybe this is where a case of low self –esteem would help. Where cringe-worth DIY aspirations are replaced with epiphanies of DDIY—DON’T DO IT YOURSELF.
Let’s start with your customer. If you don’t, stop right here. You’re dead in the water. Nothing and no one is more important than your customer. And here’s an invaluable marketing tip for you: first impressions aren’t everything. They’re important, of course, but it’s ongoing impressions that last. And last. There is nothing like quality and a sense of trust that can make both existing and potential customers decide to take the padlocks off their wallets and spend on you. And if they don’t spend, you’re also dead in the water. (Sensing a trend here?) So what does marketing that you do yourself say about you? Cheap, perhaps? Something that Jimmy Fallon would have a field day with? (Not to mention Leno and Letterman) Don’t laugh. Someone actually came up with the idea of a “scratch-off” business card and someone else whipped out a can of gold spray paint for their self designed business cards. Impressive, no? Someone arrogantly and stupidly thought these were great ideas. There’s that hubris thing again. But customers? Customers are smart. They know “stinks”. They’re all too familiar with “bad”. They might not be able to explain why in detail, but “bad” pretty much covers a host of sins. “This stuff’s bad.” Customers want to know you care about them. That you’re listening to what they want and what matters to them. They don’t want to know everything about your business that you want them to know. They want to feel important. To feel in their hearts that you truly want their business. You actually think they don’t know you’re trying to cut money? Turn up your oxygen.
Which brings us to why you need a company like Newton Design and Marketing to DFY (do for you) what you should never ever try to DFY (do for yourselves). And there is a lot to do to make a company a success and a product or service profitable. So what specifically should you never-ever do? Planning. Strategy. Branding. Positioning. Business Cards. Brochures. Posters. Outdoor. Television. Radio. Promotions. Any type of graphics…whew. The biggest no-no of them all is to try and do social media by yourself. Social Disaster would be more like it.
First, let’s take a look at just a few of the facts.
–There are more than 3.5 billion pieces of content shared each week on Facebook.
– 53 percent of people on Twitter recommend companies or their products in their tweets.
-1.4 million new blog posts are created every day.
-Mobile marketing will account for 15.2% of global online ad spend by 2016.
So here’s the big question; where does your business fit into this social media tsunami? What are you doing to avoid being swept screaming into the abyss? Oh, you do youtube videos. Gotcha. You’re a self made Twitter Savant. Like the rest of the world? You have a “wowie-zowie” website. Wowie. Well, sorry to rain on your social media strategy, but viral can clog any business heart squeezing quicker than you can say, “hit”. With only 140 characters many companies have managed to sound sexist, racist, egotistical and downright offensive. 60 percent of small business websites don’t even have a phone number listed on the home page.
Any way you look at it, the backlash of DIY in any of these instances can be vicious. Once you destroy your reputation it is incredibly hard, if not impossible to bring it back to where it was before you so odiously stuck your nose in your own business. “Just Do It’ might have worked for Nike, but if you think it can work for you, you’re just running in circles. (And sweating. Profusely. Gasping for air. Thinking, “what was I thinking?”) Perhaps it’s time to call Newton Design and Marketing. ASAP, actually. It’ll all be fine. It’ll be great actually. Your business will grow. Your profits will grow. The sun will shine. The birds will sing…oh, you get the picture.
Pretty one, isn’t it, though?