How Integrated are your Marketing Channels? For over 9 years now, we have worked with small-to-medium businesses (SMBs). One thing always remains the same: little to no integration exists across marketing platforms and there is no broad long-term strategy to connect the platforms. What we tend to see are business owners or marketing companies strictly focusing on whatever tactics cost the least or have the biggest return on investment–either minimum dollar or maximum results. To be fair, this is a good strategy for getting a quick return on one or two campaigns, but how does this stand up to a long-term strategy? It really doesn’t stand up and here is why…
Let’s use an imaginary plumbing company called Joe’s Plumbing. Joe’s plumbing has been in business for 10 years and has a small marketing budget. Joe hired a web developer and created a nice, yet simple website that shares information to Joe’s potential clients about his plumbing services. Joe has a few office employees and five plumbers in rotation. Joe is not a tech savvy guy, so he relies on his office staff to keep him up to date on his technology needs.
Joe has over 500 past clients, but all of his records are analog. There’s nothing housed electronically and he has a very basic Facebook page that is rarely updated. His office staff has very minimal understanding on how Search Engine Optimization works. He is one of those “old school” kind of guys who thinks radio spots, billboards and direct mail will work for him. Currently, Joe spends $2,000 a month on radio and direct mail with the occasional $1,000 add-on for a monthly billboard. This strategy was great 20 years ago when Joe would net a 25% return on his investment. In the past few years, Joe is so overwhelmed with the rising costs of advertising and changing technologies, he sees a 5% return as being successful.
We have a similar conversation several times a month on the air and in person with business owners. Even now in June 2017, they are still just as frustrated and overwhelmed as when they began–there’s so many options for them to choose. We could drone on for hours about all the solutions available. Instead, let’s give a quick, simple, low-cost solution on how to integrate Joe’s marketing strategy and get him back to seeing great returns on his investment. The same can be said for your business.
First, convert your records from analog to digital. Spend a few bucks on a reliable cloud based CRM. For example, PipeDrive is a favorite of ours at the radio station. This CRM is more basic than most, but very robust for the individual business owner. It gives you a list of past business with the ability of grooming them for more sales in the future through nurture campaigns and follow-up automated tasks. In fact, our CCO wrote a 2-part blog on 3 top cloud-based CRMs. They are 2 blogs well worth reading! When you think about your podcasting channel, think about how you can integrate your audio into a CRM. Link your downloadable shows within your emails or electronic content on top of what you already have. Don’t overload your readers, but sprinkle your new additions on top!
Make sure your website has strong calls-to-action and matches your current marketing strategies. Design and develop a direct mail piece that supports these calls-to-actions. Duplicate them into your social posts, website blogs, monthly newsletters and especially your face-to-face interactions. You can support these calls-to-actions with additional social advertising promotions as well as Google AdWords or other third party marketing streams.
All this may sound like a lot of work. It may sound very expensive. However, for less than half of what Joe was spending a month, he could reach up to 10x his previous monthly campaign as well as all of his previous clients. The most important part is developing the strategy first, then making sure all your platforms support that strategy.
Now that you have an idea, talk to the experts. Do what you do best and let the experts handle the rest. As the old African proverb goes: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Thank you for your attention!