A client of ours works in the direct mail marketing industry. Among other things, they use direct mail to market their services. Makes sense, right? A direct mail marketing company should believe in what they do enough to use it for themselves. But recently, they got a phone call from someone who received one of their mailers. “I get a lot of pitches for direct mail,” he said, “but you guys are the only ones who actually sent it in the mail. That’s why I called you.”
We see this all the time in digital marketing, but it applies in any industry. If you bought a Ford from a salesman who drives a Toyota, wouldn’t you at least ask a few extra questions to find out why? Wouldn’t you be slightly concerned if you bought makeup from someone who doesn’t wear any? You have to have enough faith in your product or service to be your own customer, and that means taking the time to make sure your internal activities reflect positively to the world at large. It’s about building a brand, establishing yourself as an expert, practicing what you preach and succeeding.
Besides its marketing value, using yourself as a guinea pig has some other big benefits. At Roundpeg, we test on ourselves before we ever test with a client. That means fiddling with plugins, playing with new social networks, experimenting with design techniques and otherwise working out the kinks in the system. When it comes time to work with the client, we already know what we’re doing and how to apply it to a business. They get a smoother experience and we can offer a broader range of services that reflect the most cutting-edge technology and techniques available. Everyone wins.
I hear some of you already: The cobbler’s children have no shoes. That’s too easy by half. Your business deserves a level of consideration. Perhaps those shoes aren’t quite as fine as what your customers get; perhaps some of them are experimental and rough around the edges. But you need to show that you believe that shoes are important, dammit, or else what’s the point in selling them?
Make sure your business believes in itself. If you can’t, find out what’s stopping you. Do you not think you’re good enough? Do you think it won’t work? Does it just not matter? If so, why on earth should it matter to your customer? Dig deep, find solutions, and be better.