How do we create our marketing plan in an environment of internet and technology overload? There is not just one answer to this question. You have to look at the whole picture for your business and you really need to try a bit of everything to stay out in front of potential clients. Just doing one thing no longer fits the bill. I’d like to share some general advice on the various methods you should consider when addressing your marketing plan.
Let’s talk about email. Email is easy and cheap, but it is not green by a long shot. It uses much energy to do emails blasts and light up those screens by the thousands. It is also very short lived and can be deleted before it is read. An overload of contact via email actually becomes very annoying. You should use email as one of your sources to touch your clients and prospects, but mix it up with some other media.
Print is the next item you should put on your list. I hear so much about how paper kills trees. “Let’s be green, don’t print”???? The truth is that the paper industry is exceptionally green and forests used for making paper are managed to help the environment, not hurt it. The paper industry in the US has done an amazing job of forest conservation and should get the kudos they deserve. Print is actually the best bang for the buck if you use if properly. Just took part in a survey about a newsletter I receive from an organization where I’m a member. Stats came back on the survey and it was about 50/50 on membership who still wanted a mailed newsletter versus those who would rather read the newsletter online. Printed material has longevity, folks take it with them, or file for reference, it has a much longer shelf life, and can be customized to the audience if you wish to do so. Many folks who get the online version hit the print button on their computer and print it anyway. The technology available today, like our digital presses here at FrontEnd Graphics, make reaching out to the customer a very personal experience. We find it to be especially successful for clients with development campaigns of all levels, such as our nonprofit clients, and institutions of higher learning seeking alumni donations. It is very successful as a loyalty program, frequent shopping club, cruise lines specials, general advertising by demographics or interests and various other categories for client data per industry. We can talk at great lengths about all of the above, but that is another blog for another time. If you want to know more, just give us a call. We are very good listeners.
Social Media is widely used for communications these days and there are many options here and some cool technology of late that allows you to post once and output to many sources all at once. It is a great way to create buzz and you should choose to get involved. It is here to stay just a question of what and how you would like to use it for your business. There is a ton of really great information available through these sources. I have my favorites, and you should look at all of them and choose where to put your time and effort. There are also an enormous number of experts out there who will gladly help you for a fee, just be sure you are getting the proper ROI on your investment. At the end of the day the goal is to sell your stuff, or to sell your clients’ stuff. What is the cost of that transaction? It must be measured.
Mobile is hot and getting more and more interesting every day. This year they broke records at the electronics show and it was filled with publishers and advertisers all trying to figure ways to make money with the technology. So many choices, so little time.
Don’t forget the most important part of business, face time. All the email and print in the world doesn’t make up for some face time with your clients. I never suggest campaigns without segmenting the list data, so we can actually follow up with a sales call. Seminars and lunch and learn sessions are also inexpensive and it is good to be the expert!
The important thing is to market. Stay visible and out front. They won’t know you are there unless you are visible. You need multiple touches to your clients.