Marketing Encompasses More Than Digital Outreach; Don’t Neglect Other Outreach Vehicles

April 26, 2016

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With all the current emphasis on digital marketing, it can be easy to overlook other outreach avenues. And that can be a big mistake. Yes, it’s important to have a strong, cohesive online presence. (See my previous post An Online Presence is No Longer Enough for important elements of online marketing.) But – is this where the majority of your customers will find you?

Consider the following marketing vehicles:

  • Consumer press (online and print)
  • Trade press (online and print)
  • Press releases
  • Advertising in trade publications or local or national newspapers
  • BillboardsID-10093559
  • TV and radio advertising
  • Company magazines or newsletters
  • Company brochures
  • Events
  • Invitations
  • Postcards
  • Posters
  • Speeches
  • Mailings
  • Joining business or industry or local organizations
  • Networking events
  • Fundraising events – yours or other companies
  • Conferences
  • Product demonstrations
  • Classes
  • Word of mouth
  • Company shirts or hats or mugs

These are just the first ones that come to mind; you can probably think of more. Depending upon the size of your company, perform some analytics or do a simple survey to determine the best way to reach your customers. You also need to look at your demographics. Generally speaking, older customers are not online as much as younger customers. You might be surprised with what you find, and you might need to adjust your marketing strategy.

1st Image courtesy of everydayplus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net — 2nd Image courtesy of pat138241 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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An Online Presence is No Longer Enough for Marketing

March 11, 2016

I happened upon a blog post the other day about targeting and integrating all your social media marketing efforts. As I read through it, I realized that this is one of the next big hurdles for online marketing. An online preID-100263554sence is now standard, but it’s necessary to do more. Over the years, I’ve worked with countless organizations of all sizes, for which I’ve developed and expanded social media as well as performed some SEO and SEM. Many more recent clients appear to have all the “right” online elements in place but it isn’t helping their bottom line. I have found, through my standard analyses, which look at all outreach efforts, including social media, press, events and public relations, that a few common elements are almost always missing.

“An online presence is now standard, but it’s necessary to do more.”

First, and most important, companies need to keep their customers in mind when creating any marketing materials. This harks back to the most basic of marketing concepts – your core competencies. You need to determine what makes your company or product better than the competition. Why should customers/clients choose you? What makes you stand out? And, what exactly interests your potential customers? What keeps them coming back? Do you have the very best product? Are you the cheapest or quickest? Maybe you have the best customer service.

Core Competencies

A high percentage of social media outreach does not address these questions. It’s not enough anymore to simply have a presence. You have to determine what will attract and keep your clients coming back. What’s in it for them? Why should they read your posts and ultimately become a client?

Target Market

And who are your customers? This is equally important, and a lot of people miss the mark. For example, if your market is executives, you need to talk big picture and return on investment. If your market is the people on the front lines, you can include tips and specific information. Each of these two audiences will not be all that interested in the other information. If your information is not targeted to your main audience, you’ll be overlooked.

Second, you need to cross-promote. Ensure your web site, blog and social media are all connected and all addressing the same message. You can tailor your messages a bit more specifically for the different apps but it should all reinforce your brand and core competences to the correct audience.social-media-marketing-concept-hand-pressing-icons-blue-world-map-background-48170178

Third, online analytics are essential. I worked with a company that had a large social media presence but used mostly Facebook because that’s the app with which they were most comfortable. However, they had no idea where most of their clients found them. I performed an online analysis and determined that 75 percent of their clients found them on LinkedIn. After much grumbling, the company president agreed to increase their LinkedIn activity, and he was surprised to see the business grow. My favorite online app is Twitter, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore all the other channels.

CALL TO ACTION

Lastly, you should include a call to action: email us for a quote, call us for an estimate, sign up for our tips. You get the idea. My call to action: if you’d like some specific suggestions about how to increase your bottom line via your online and other marketing efforts, call or email me. My web site is www.techsavvympa.com. I’ll give you a few tips for free.

Next post: Marketing encompasses more than digital outreach; don’t neglect other outreach vehicles.

 

*First image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Edit with Respect

June 27, 2013

As a communications professional or manager, you are likely tasked with editing the work of others.  How well this editing is received depends upon you and your attitude.

writing pic

A few years ago, a young woman on my staff asked me why her colleagues seemed to be so offended when she edited their work.  After observing her in action, I realized that, while her editing was right on, her attitude was not. She treated people in a condescending manner and incredulously asked one person how it was possible that he did not know a basic grammar rule.

Rule number one for communications professionals is RESPECT. Respect your colleagues, subordinates and managers, regardless of their writing skills. It will go a long way towards developing and maintaining good work relationships.  (This is a good rule for all workplace interactions regardless of your position or responsibilities.)

My standards vary depending on your occupation. I hold my staff to a very high standard, with respect to grammar, spelling and typos. We are the ones who should do it right. For people in other departments, I cut them a little slack. That doesn’t mean I don’t correct them, but that I do it with lower expectations. Although I do expect a certain professional standard across all departments, if someone in a “non-writing” position, such as a numbers person or salesperson, makes a grammatical error, my approach is quite different.  My corrections will be prefaced by something like, “I’m sure you don’t know this because you’re a numbers person, but…” or “There’s no reason you should know this, but the rule is…” I usually end the conversation by saying, “Feel free to ask me about this anytime, especially if you think something doesn’t sound right. It’s my job to know this and I’m always happy to help.”

 


Are You Still Behind if You Don’t Tweet?

September 4, 2012

If you feel like your company is behind everyone else in utilizing technology, you’re not alone, and chances are you’re not as behind as you think.

Twenty years ago, it seemed as if every company but mine had a web site. So I created one. From the kudos I received, I realized we were right in the flow, we weren’t behind at all, that was just my perception. When I publicized the new web site, I unintentionally perpetuated the notion that EVERYONE (except you) had a web site.

Now the onus has shifted to Twitter. So many people tell me they don’t like Twitter, don’t understand it, and even think it’s stupid, but they know they need to get their company on there, because EVERYONE tweets except them.  You are not the exception, although in another year or two, you likely will be if Twitter sticks around. (Some people will disagree with that last statement and insist that you ARE way behind, and they’re entitled to their opinion; I just don’t agree with that yet.)

So figure it out. Dig into Twitter and start using it. Take a class. Do research. Ask other people how it works. I began using it simply because I didn’t understand it and wanted to know what it was all about and why it was becoming so popular. To my amazement, I became a big fan.

I offer the same advice for all the other innovations out there, way too numerous to name here. I started to list some but then realized it would be impossible to list everything and I’d likely leave some out – like the one that just launched yesterday that I haven’t heard about yet. Don’t forget about the industry-specific applications and groups either.

As you integrate Twitter, FaceBook, a blog, other applications and social media into your company’s communications, remember that integrate is the key word. Your communications vehicles, modes, programs, plans – whatever you call them – should all work together. Your publications, press releases, web site, blog, speeches, Twitter and FaceBook accounts, keywords, conventions, events, outreach, etc. should be publicizing a consistent message or messages. They should reflect your company’s philosophies and goals, and enhance your reputation. They should be integrated throughout the company programs, so every employee and every endeavor is aligned.

This is a really exciting time for those of us in the marketing/communications field. After all, effective communication is all about building relationships, and there are more ways to do that than ever before.


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