Lions and Tigers and Bears
Clients often ask us what media tactic(s) are best suited for their business? With today’s wide variety of marketing and media, and people of all ilks living and breathing on more than one media source, this is not an easy answer. Think about it? Just a few years ago, most marketers only had to concern themselves with handful of marketing tactics which may have included Email, Advertising, Broadcast, Online, Direct Mail, Print and a few others. Now there are several forms of social media, mobile, QR codes, and who knows what else lurking around the corner to consider for your marketing mix.
The good news is that most of these new forms of media are relatively inexpensive. However, each takes time, strategic planning and careful execution to achieve optimal results. Balancing your marketing mix is serious business and therefore should be thought through well, before firing marketing guns in several directions.
Who’s Using What and Why?
eMarketer published an article on May 23, 2011 entitled “For Small Business Marketers, Are Fewer Channels Better?” reporting on the effectiveness of marketing tactics used by US small businesses (see report included to the right). It’s interesting to note that email marketing was sited as most effective, with website, phone and PR close behind. (notice social media ranked seventh on this list). This tells me that more ‘traditional’ forms of marketing should not be overlooked and, rightfully so, because they still work! Sure, it’s easy to get caught up in the latest, greatest and most cost-efficient contemporary forms of marketing, like social, blogs, etc. but let’s not forget about your website, email and, heck, “p i c k i n g u p t h e t e l e p h o n e!” (something I hear newly graduated college student employees are adverse too).
Another eMarketer article from June 6, 2011 entitled “Social Marketing’s Benefits Rival Email for Small Businesses” included stats on the reasons why SMBs (Small to Medium-sized businesses) are employing various forms of media. Once again, it’s interesting to note that email topped the charts as most easy to use and for cost effectiveness. Not surprising that most SMBs are still not fully comfortable with social and mobile media tactics.
eMarketer reported “Still, its value for money spent has helped social media adoption rise quickly among small businesses. Regarding frequency of use, Pitney Bowes found that social media was used more frequently than direct mail, though still behind email and advertising overall. And it was the marketing tactic most likely to have been adopted in the past year, with 20% of respondents having taken it up in that time.”
What does this all mean?
One thing is certain—times are changing dramatically. The way we communicate with and influence our customers is different than it was yesterday and will be different tomorrow. Social media and mobile continues to evolve and prove itself as a cost effective means to distribute your message and support your sales and marketing goals, whereas traditional forms of marketing still work, marketers are comfortable wit them, and a certain level of response and results can be counted on.
To stay ahead of the curve it’s advised to continue to employ fundamental strategic planning tactics (as a reminder; some things never do change…) such as:
– Know who your customers are. (Understand their demo and psycho graphics)
– Understand where they live and breathe. (What media do they frequent? Where can you find them most often?)
– Identify what your customers respond to. (Think carefully about your messaging, how they are influenced and how your company and/or brand will interact within their sphere of influence)
– Know what your competition is doing. (What is working? Or not? Are you missing out on an opportunity or are they wasting valuable resources?)
– Realize your resource limits and be realistic about your capabilities for marketing including the tactics best suited for your target audience. (What budget or resources do you have access to? What do you know about new forms of media? Should you consider outsourcing the marketing function to be more efficient?)
– Be sure to define success and track your efforts closely. (Be sure to include metrics with each effort. This could include new customers gained, number of impressions, sales, profit, etc.)
If you don’t treat your integrated marketing mix as a priority, your business could suffer dramatically down the road leaving you and your business in the dust, having to make up for lost time, intelligence and lost customers and sales. There’s really no “one size fits all” in today’s varied marketing tactics world. Therefore, choosing the tactics and the marketing mix that best suits your business and generates the best results, based on the time and resources you can allocate to this function, is critical, moreso today than ever! Your mix will likely be different from any other business and will, most likely, constantly change. Think strategically and execute effectively and you will achieve success that will allow you to gain or sustain a competitive advantage.
About the Author
Angelo Biasi is General Manager of SMART Marketing Solutions, LLC, a leading full-service integrated marketing company in Naples, FL since 2001. He has helped create and execute marketing plans and integrated marketing solutions for companies such as Playtex, Bic, Rogaine, Tauck, and over 35 colleges and universities, to name a few. Angelo has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut and has taught Marketing at New York University for over five years. For more information or to learn more, email him at abiasismartmarketingllccom (abiasismartmarketingllccom) , visit www.smartmarketingllc.com or call 239.963.9396.