Posted on May 15, 2017
The evolution of marketing continues as we move toward even more online marketing. Your storefront is really your website homepage. Integrated marketing communications for any company now brings even greater opportunities with the ability to address your target audiences 24/7, 365 online. As buyers allocate more and more of their research and decision-making activities online, sellers must carefully align their marketing strategy. And, with this increased activity, we have even more opportunity to attract prospects and drive them into our marketing funnel.
So, what does it take?
A Strong Brand Image
If your company logo and look reflects that of an old Savings & Loan from the 80s, it’s time for an update. In the age of Pinterest, we are barraged with beautiful imagery all day long. According to eMarketer, U.S. adults now spend 12 hours and 7 minutes a day consuming media—on multiple screens.
Many consumers know good design from bad. A brand must look the part – cutting edge, contemporary, and sophisticated. And, if bad design extends to your website that’s a triple whammy!
The Right Messaging
As you articulate your brand messaging do you have a brand promise? A brand platform? What’s your value proposition and how do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Can everyone in your organization articulate the essence of what you deliver. If not, it’s time to refine your brand messaging.
Knowing Your Audience
Today’s customers expect every stage along their journey—from initial research to selection to purchase to brand advocacy — to be seamless across all channels and devices. Different buyer personas are likely to take completely different paths to purchase. Do you know your audiences and do you understand their journey as they seek out opportunities to purchase? Customer Journey Mapping can help you understand when to reach your customers and where.
Understanding the Importance of Public Relations
Spreading the good news about your business successes, establishing strong relationships with media in your sector, having the media training to properly engage with the media and being able to handle any crisis within your organization is where PR helps you shine. And, with the lines between PR and social media blurring, a well-placed press release can take off in social media and help drive sales.
Understanding the Importance of Social Media
If you think that Twitter is just for 30 somethings, you’re wrong. Multiple social media platforms should be embraced by your brand whether you are b-to-b or b-to-c. Social media can help you build trusted relationships with your potential customers and your real-time voice can give your brand more personality.
And, the integration of paid media and social advertising is key. Content is discovered and consumed via social media. Through behavorial and geotargeting, you can hone right in on your potential customer with paid online media and then drive them to your website. Advertising in social media then allows you to target very specific consumer segments within premium audience platforms, reaching people where they are active daily users and with the benefit of advanced data sources. As you build audiences, you also build affinity with their connections. Within each platform you develop deep levels of consumer insight and you can translate that into a true business asset that offers an ever-evolving competitive advantage and insights that feed into the entire marketing mix.
And speaking of your website, it should be considered the cornerstone of your marketing efforts. It’s the place where you drive all prospects for the deeper dive on your brand. To that end, you must make sure that your SEO and keywords are structured and used across all channels.
Increasing Sales by Using the Right Tools
Funnel Management programs execute the tasks required to attract prospective buyers into the top of the sales funnel, engage them through the buying process, and convert them to sales-qualified leads which are passed on to the sales team. By utilizing the opportunity to continually feed prospects content (white papers, thought leadership documents, infographics, eblast, digital advertising) we can tell—depending upon how much consumption of the content they’ve done—when they’re ready for us to send in the troops. The sales cycle can be handled online until the prospect is well on their way to deciding to buy.
So today’s smart marketing, combines traditional and digital marketing with brand development, funnel management tools and much more. Complicated? Sometimes. Essential? Absolutely!