Simply put, traditional marketing isn’t enough today.
I’ve had businesses in the past call me to help put out a direct mail piece. “All I want is to say I’ll help fix their snowblower for winter”…. So I ask some more detailed questions, “Who is it going to?” “What message do you want to send?” “Where will it take them?” “What is the call to action?”. Sometimes the response was, “Huh, I didn’t think of that.” Most of the time they didn’t care about those questions and wanted to send it to EVERYone. That’s like pointing a shotgun in the opposite direction of your target and hoping some of the shot meet the target. Not happening.
I’m sure we’ve heard or done this ourselves; “I created a Facebook page, had no strategy, I don’t engage it much and no one is liking it! I put a sign out front that we have a Facebook page! Social Media doesn’t work!” Yeah, I see why.
If you want your business to grow these days, you have to create a strategy with your marketing. Oh, there are those rare businesses that open their doors and the business comes streaming in, but that is the exception. Your strategy can’t surround your 13 year old son because he’s “good at Facebook and good with computers.” Seriously, I know a business that is using that strategy. Your strategy also can’t be done on the cheap. There are plenty of things you can do within a budget.
Maximize your budget by using integrated marketing communications
In order to maximize your dollar and get the most exposure is using what is called integrated marketing. Put simply, it is combining every form of advertising and communication into one strategy, spread across various forms of media. It’s no longer enough just to “get the name out there” and hope for the best. There needs to be consistency, targeted messaging, a plan and an end goal to a marketing plan.
Here is an example. A widget maker creates a video that happens to go viral which has an embedded link to an online survey. There is an incentive given to complete the survey (maybe a gift certificate or a percentage off an order of widgets). The widget maker analyzes the data to determine who is most likely to purchase their product. They then create a new marketing campaign targeted to who their data said was their most likely buyer. Profits grow, bells ring, angels sing. It’s not always that easy, but you get the idea. It does take a risk and an investment. Sometimes it won’t work as planned. Sometimes the campaign needs to be tweaked and done again. Ultimately, the right combination of media will work and there will be a sweet spot of engagement, growth, understanding and attention given to your company’s brand.
So, what can you do now to try and integrate your marketing?
- Send out a direct mail piece by purchasing a targeted list of individuals or businesses. Use that piece to drive traffic to a social media account. Be prepared, however to begin to engage with the new followers. No one remembers a company or brand if they’re not actively engaging their followers
- Create a viral video to direct viewers to a landing page on your website. Create some funky, creative campaign that rewards the user somehow
- If you have a new product coming out, try getting the entire company involved by handing out cards or little trinkets that create buzz in the community about “something BIG is coming”
- At a trade show or expo? Create a hashtag contest over Twitter and make the prize something really cool that the winner will want to tell everyone about
- Use augmented reality in some paper advertising to spread a message to mobile device users
Those are just a few examples of integrated marketing techniques you can use to get the message out about your company. What else can you think of? Leave your comments below.