Although it may seem to challenge every iota of conventional wisdom gathered in the volumes of best practices for online marketers, there are an inordinate number of companies which literally fear and shun the very process of effective marketing itself! While there is nearly universal agreement that marketing is the lifeblood of companies, far too many businesses are stuck in stubborn loops where they cannot see themselves being placed in the spotlight of any marketing beacon which could be remotely described as “new and different” and therefore fail to promote their business in just about every results-oriented way imaginable. They have their customers, they have their products, they have their procedures and they are (blindly) proceeding in the way they “always” have. They are placing their heads in the sand and avoiding the truly effective ways to overcome these irrational fears and achieve marketing success!

1. Start having some fun – Marketing doesn’t have to be the serious, life and death sort of an approach, as the lighter you make the tone, the more enjoyable your customers will find it, and the more powerfully they will react. Look at marketing in a way to inform and entertain your prospects and begin enjoying the new interactions and the exciting experiences for both your business and your customers which will arise from this light-hearted innovative approach.

2. Get really creative – Break out of the mold of conventional, traditional marketing and let your imagination run wild. What outrageous, outlandish, and outsized marketing campaign can you dream up? Well, stop dreaming about it and start implementing it! As long as you don’t offend anyone or break any laws, just about every imaginable (and some unimaginable) marketing technique is yours to discover and apply to your brand. You’ll find that especially on social media, the more out there and unorthodox the marketing technique, the more positive attention it is bound to attract to your business’ social networking presences.

3. Be in it for the long haul – For every marketing plan which provides immediate positive metrics and justifies to your boss that you are an absolute promotional genius there are a few million which really don’t accomplish much at first and have to be kept up, maintained, refined, reworked, and refined some more in order to start fulfilling the marketer’s expectations. You can’t be in a hurry when you’re marketing just about anything under the sun since your prospects need time to absorb your message through repeated exposures and be able to process the offers you are making to evaluate if it’s something that they want to sign on for.

4. Set reasonable expectations – I once had a marketer while discussing his latest brainchild look at me straight in the eye and state, and I quote: “Everyone on the planet will understand this and they will help us.” OK let’s get back down to this dimension and realize that there is nothing perhaps short of The Second Coming that is going to engage everyone on this or any other planet. You have to realize that you are going to have to measure your success based on metrics which relate to achievable goals which are usually just a barest fraction of one percent of the totality of the universe. If you set your goals too unreasonably high you’ll just end up disappointing your customers, yourself, and your management.

5. Don’t be a one trick pony – Diversify, diversify, and when you’re done diversifying, by all means you should attempt to diversify some more. Few are the major brands that offer just one product in one version in one size to one market. If you are putting all of your marketing eggs into a single basket you can guarantee that all you’ll have left is a very stale scramble. When you’re creating your marketing plan, make sure that you are offering a wide variety of variants and alternatives so that your customer base can select at least one thing that fits them perfectly.

You have to muster up a lot of courage when launching a new and different marketing plan, but if you do it right, the rewards will soon follow!