We live in an overwhelmed, time-starved society. Communications and websites are “glance and scan” and ideas are absorbed in sound bites. You can no longer rely on audiences to read the detail, only the headlines. First impressions are the only impressions.
How do you connect to the right audience when there are so many technologies and tools now available? How do you choose what’s going to work and not spread yourself too thin? Do you incorporate mobile marketing or social media because they’re “hot” and creating plenty of buzz?
Even within diverse industries, different audiences and varied sales channels, there are still many common denominators when it comes to generating marketing results.
Start with the big three:
- Know your audiences … who is your best customer? That person or organization represents your best prospect, too. Think age, lifestyle, role, why they choose you, who they are.
- Articulate your value and benefits in language that your audiences will recognize and relate to, not your terms or acronyms. It’s not about just listing what you do; it’s about identifying what’s in it for that target audience … why should they care? What’s the result they can count on from using your product or service? How do you benefit their company or their life?
- Reinforce and support those messages consistently in all of your communications. You will get tired of it long before your audience does. For time-starved audiences, it’s vital that you maintain consistency of image, message and key communication points every time you reach out — website, trade show booth, sales literature, emails … etc. If you don’t, you’ll waste time and money re-introducing your organization each time you communicate. If you’re visually consistent, they’ll recognize you. If your message is simple, direct and speaks to benefits, they’ll get it.
So what about social media?
There’s no doubt social media has captured attention in the media, created buzz among your peers and induced enthusiasm in marketers. And mobile marketing is also hot, as the population adopts smartphones and all of their capabilities.
Social media can be a great tactic … for the right organization reaching certain audiences. But before you add social to your outreach, run the big three. Then take a hard look at your website.
Because even if you’re using social media in your marketing mix, the end goal is to move traffic to your website.
What happens when someone lands on your site? Does a visitor understand at a glance the value and benefits you offer? What’s in it for me? Is there a clear call to action? Or is all the content “we, we, we, we, we”?
Once you’ve defined the big three, integrate that foundation of knowledge and key messages into your website. That’s where to start, whether you’re reaching consumers or other businesses.
On a side note:
We don’t have the space here to discuss the many digital marketing opportunities:
- social media programs and management;
- inbound marketing on websites;
- repurposing print communications for digital applications and access;
- mobile marketing to be user-friendly for audiences with smartphones;
- email campaigns that link to targeted landing pages;
- online E-commerce systems and methods;
- analytics that measure successes from multiple promotions and diverse channels.
That’s why we’ve diversified too. We’ve added a new position to Creative Company’s team — Director of Digital Marketing. We’ll dig into each of those strategies in future blog posts.
Just keep in mind … it’s always about your target audiences.
Think first from their point of view, where they choose to communicate, and how or where they are most likely to engage with your product or service. Once you’re clear about who you’re trying to reach, what they expect and how they communicate, you’ll have narrowed down the tactics you should choose.