A Not-So Creative Marketing Approach
Do you know the Jitterbug?
Not the dance, the Samsung Jitterbug flip phone – the one with really big numbers on the keypad that is marketed to seniors – folks who want to stay connected but are not comfortable with smartphones. You might not use social media to market the Jitterbug directly to seniors. However, you might use social media to connect with influencers, like their grown children and caregivers who are likely to buy the phone for them.
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According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, one of the definitions of Marketing is:
an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer.
An aggregate of functions, a combination of things, more than one.
Advertising by itself is not marketing. AdWords alone is not marketing. Inbound is a part of marketing just as tires are part of a car. We don’t say “Honey, I’m taking the tires to the city!”When we say: “I’m driving into the City” we presume you are taking the car along with the engine, the seats, the trunk, the tires and the rest of the components that make up the car with it. Yet, we insist on telling everyone we are advertising on Facebook.
- Digital marketing
- New media marketing
- Social media marketing
What do these terms have in common?
They are all a subset of marketing. It’s time to stop making each of these components an individual answer to all your marketing needs. They are PART of marketing. You’re on social media? Good for you — as long as it supports your overall marketing objectives. If it doesn’t, stop doing it.
In other words, deliver information to the location where your customers are likely to be and in the format that is easiest for them to understand and take advantage of.
So, if you are in charge of selling the flip-phone with the large keypad, the best place to market your product might be the AARP magazine because that’s where your customers are. Just don’t forget about the influencers.
- Begins with your goals.
- Involves understanding the needs and desires of your potential clients.
- Provides content that educates prospects and helps them become smarter buyers.
- Positions you as a thought leader.
- Creates content that teaches prospects about the industry you serve.
An integrated strategy
Strategic marketing takes an integrated approach. It means you’ll consider all avenues that take you to your marketing destination. Smart marketers deliver content to potential buyers where they search, live and work.
Other definitions of Marketing according to Webster are:
No wonder businesses are baffled when it comes to marketing…
At Crest, the primary purpose of marketing is to generate a consistent supply of high quality leads. How do we accomplish that? By distributing timely, relevant and meaningful content to potential customers.
Remember the Grimm’s fairy tale of Hansel & Gretel? They leave a trail of breadcrumbs so they can find their way home. Marketing is the process of laying down breadcrumbs and measuring which ones are picked up by your prospects as they that make their way home to buy from you.
Not all breadcrumbs are made equally
Breadcrumbs are great for getting attention. But prospects desire different types of content, in a variety of formats, which they can consume all the way to your cash register.
A study of learning styles reveals 7 distinct types of learning.
Each of us usually has a primary or dominant method by which we learn best. Most people learn from a combination of the above styles. Since individual learning styles vary, it’s important to vary the format of your content as well as the delivery vehicle.
Different situations may require us, as marketers, to connect and teach via different learning styles. For instance, an auditory learner my ‘get’ your message more easily from a podcast (or radio advertisement) while visual and linguistic learners may prefer a written document (eBook or printed brochure).
It’s unlikely you’ll meet everybody’s preferences at each interaction. Test a variety of formats. Be mindful of what’s working, reformat your content to accommodate several learning/buying styles and fuel the highest-converting (most profitable) ones.
Even the most successful strategies are bound to lose effectiveness over time. Beware of putting all your eggs into one basket. Individual preferences shift and trends change; a balanced approach based on consumer behavior can act as an insurance policy when things do change.
Certain industries lend themselves to visual delivery of content. If you’re in hospitality, real estate, retail or fashion, you need to show your customers and prospects your goods. They expect to see what you offer in a visual way. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Yelp and YouTube are delivery mechanisms that will resonate with people in your pool of potential customers.
Think Like a Customer (and Dance!)
Many doctors, lawyers and engineers are drawn to content in the form of whitepapers, .pdf documents and blog posts. That’s important to know if you sell to them. Their clients, on the other hand, often require the benefits of what these professionals produce explained to them in a different format. Often we see a disconnect between business owners and their prospects because they each have different learning preferences.
For example, a dentist who is focused on the technical aspects of her work often forgets that potential patients are more concerned about the final results and may require visuals to understand the benefits of treatment. Never more has a picture been worth a thousand words.
Perhaps the widespread appeal of webinars can be explained by these learning styles as well. In one pass they accommodate prospects that prefer visual, auditory, verbal, group social and individual self-study formats all at the same time.
Digital marketing tools are helpful and, in fact, critical to most businesses today. Your website needs to be search engine friendly. Each of your website pages requires keywords that correlate to the copy on it. But along with that digital conditioning, you need to know when an email campaign or a weekly newsletter might better serve the needs of your prospects.
We’re fortunate to have so many new ways to reach customers today. Not long ago most businesses were limited to print, radio, junk mail or the Yellow Pages. As a marketer, consider all forms of media.
You don’t need to be everything to everybody. You do need to determine what will serve your customers best, and communicate with them through the medium that will most successfully convey that message. So even though Facebook’s stock is hot because it’s selling lots of advertising – or another digital app is this week’s focus of the futurists who are paid to prognosticate – consider the entire landscape of marketing in order to achieve your goals most effectively.
Want more high-quality leads for less money? Give us a call. At Crest, we’ll help you create a marketing strategy and choose the appropriate tactics to reach your goals.
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At Crest, we help companies
- Create content that separates them from their competition
- Become subject matter experts in their field
- Measure the effectiveness of their marketing $$
- Generate a consistent pipeline of high-quality leads for less
- Turn clients into evangelists