Three Marketing Must-Do’s
by Chia-Li Chien | July 03, 2013
Summertime makes me think of the summers of growing up and then later, raising my own daughter. Remember when you got maybe three channels and actually had to walk over to the television when you want to change channels? My daughter doesn’t remember that, but she does remember going to the pool in the summer, where the chlorine was so strong you could smell it, and it burned your eyes and turned your hair into straw. By the middle of the day, the surface of the pool was littered with grass and little bugs that would not get vacuumed by hand until after the swimmers left for the day.
Today, the most updated pools are salinized and gentle to the eyes and hair, and automatic and updated vacuuming and filter systems keep the daily debris to a minimum. Most TV viewers not only have hundred of channels available right from the remote in their hands, but these same consumers exercise their option to fast forward or skip altogether television commercials by watching their favorite programs via TiVo, DVR, Hulu, AppleTV, Netflix, etc. Radio fans may opt for Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Pandora, Spotify, etc. and skip those commercial announcements that interrupt the music.
These changes in traditional radio and TV mean that for you, more and more consumers may be opting out of your advertising. It’s not the same old summertime any more. And combine that with Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007 and Do Not Mail lists, and you have to begin to ask yourself if your marketing methods are still a good return on your investment (ROI) or beginning to be outdated and less effective.
What worked for your business in the past may not work going forward. I repeat that over and over when speaking at various business conferences and events. And the most interesting changes are due to the advancements in technology and the digital spaces. Things are moving so fast, you might miss or skip a generation of a technology, platform or method without even knowing it if you don’t make an intentional effort to keep up.
When it comes to marketing mid-sized and privately-held businesses, we are perhaps still holding on to traditional marketing departments and methods such as public relations, print, TV and radio advertising, etc. But with all the content marketing, digital advertising and relationship marketing tools available today, even with a limited marketing budget, you have the opportunity to test, integrate and deploy new messaging, and be especially strategic in how you will spend your marketing dollars.
Marketing tools and methods now at our disposal are so vast and exciting that I hesitate to even list any here—for fear the list could be outdated by next week—but these are a few I’ve found success with in my own business: SEO (Search Engine Optimization), RSS (Really simple syndication), blogging, building multi-media content (YouTube, webinars, Vine, Instagram), and of course social media marketing such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Google’s Pay Per Click for search marketing is a still an effective marketing technology that can be leveraged to a targeted audience and may also be a good use of your advertising dollar. Facebook and Twitter also have targeted advertising options that are also pay per click methods of gaining more followers or likes so that more users can see your great social content and messaging. Because you ARE making sure it’s great, right?
As business owners, you should expect your marketing efforts to convert to sales, with or without a salesperson. Many businesses are abandoning their large general advertising agencies and now turning to niche agencies to help them rebrand, for stronger SEO, content creation, or digital media buys. Hopefully, your internal marketing efforts and/or agency partners are increasing conversions and sales no matter which marketing strategies you continue to use or plan to test and integrate.
To make sure you are getting the most bang for your adverting buck, here are 3 Marketing Must-Do’s:
1. Have a clear target audience. In real estate investing, the best realtors or brokers will remind you it’s “Location, Location, Location” in order to make the smartest real estate investments. In marketing, it’s more like, “Target, Target, Target.” You see, because you can’t be all things to all people, you must know who your target audience is. Create audience “personas,” which will help you understand your target audience’s drivers, lifestyle and content needs. Targeted marketing will increase your results and make a measureable difference.
2. Strategically use Pull Marketing. Pull marketing is defined as a way to pull all resources and customers to you. Push marketing, such as websites, brochures, radio, TV, print advertising and PR can be integrated with newer pull marketing tools so readily available, for better results across all mediums.
3. Attract Market Makers. Market makers are defined entities or people who have the same target clients or customers as you. As a part of pull marketing, market makers are desirable ways to pull customers to you. Please reference my published article ““Are You Leveraging Pull Marketing Yet?” at womenentrepreneur.com & Fox Business online for more details.
How do these 3 Marketing Must-Do’s build business value? To begin, your investors or potential buyers of your business won’t be interested in buying potential—they expect solid historic financial records to prove how effectively you pull in leads, creating a sound return on investment they can see on paper. Having strong pull marketing strategies and tactics on the front-end helps your investors clearly see how an investment in your company will look in the next three to five years. Always create your marketing strategies and plans with an end in mind (building business value), and also from your buyer’s perspective.
This summer and for the rest of this year and those that follow, the marketing strategy you deploy must ultimately create value for you and all other stakeholders. It should create and build value within your business to compensate you for the amount of risk you assume when you spend your advertising and marketing dollars for service and media buys.
Technologies will change and evolve, trend and peak, as will customers, products or services. Keeping in mind these 3 Marketing Must-Do’s will constantly renew and revive your marketing results, and ultimately your business. It’s a whole new, exciting marketing world. Jump in! The water’s fine!
About Chia-Li Chien
Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; Chia-Li “like JOLLY,” Succession Strategist of Value Growth Institute, dedicated to helping private business owners increase their company equity value. She is the award-winning author of the books Show Me The Money and Work toward Reward and a faculty of the American Management Association. Her blog and newsletter was named a Top Small Business Resource by the New York Times You’re the Boss blog. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (704) 268-9378 .