Are your marketing efforts building the strong customer base you’re looking for? The business environment around you is constantly changing as technology advances and customer needs change in your industry. Your marketing efforts need to change along with the environment in order to yield consistent results. Let’s look at three ways you can get the most out of your marketing efforts.
Create a Strategic Marketing Plan
Shrinking marketing budgets require you to focus your efforts and achieve maximum results while responding to changing market conditions. You need a strategic marketing plan that spends each dollar wisely and offers the best advantage for your business. Do you have a marketing plan? Is it up to date and current based on the needs of your customers?
Start by evaluating your current marketing efforts. Do you track responses? Do you understand where your leads are coming from? If not, develop a procedure to help you identify the source of each lead. Ask customers how they heard of you. Track responses from advertising and direct mail campaigns. Find out what works and find out what doesn’t.
Revise your marketing plan using a slash and burn mentality. If you are getting very little out of that magazine ad, for instance, remove it from your playbook. Get lean and efficient with your marketing dollars. Cutting underperforming efforts will free up financial resources for new, innovative campaigns.
Step Up Your Online Game
Most businesses today have a website. Many companies stop at that point, however, and never get involved in the most effective forms of online marketing. Don’t be one of them. Consumers aren’t the only ones that look to the internet when making buying decisions. Your business to business customers are online too.
Use social media to your advantage. LinkedIn is the social media outlet of choice for B2B marketing and professional networking. Establish a company profile on LinkedIn and strongly encourage your sales and marketing teams to develop personal profiles and begin networking aggressively in the LinkedIn environment. If your team is unfamiliar with LinkedIn, consider hosting a workshop or sales education event to get everyone up to speed.
LinkedIn, when used properly, will generate more high quality leads than those face to face networking groups and events your team is attending. All it takes is a desire to connect with people via LinkedIn and the discipline to log on regularly and interact in groups and forums.
Integrate Your Online and Offline Marketing Efforts
Leverage every marketing approach by combining efforts. Here are some ideas for pulling your online and offline efforts together to create enthusiasm and excitement:
- Give a promotional or information product away free on your website. Publicize the promotion on LinkedIn and through a direct mail campaign. The goal is driving traffic to your website and gaining contact information for use in email marketing, direct mail marketing and future promotional events.
- Support a charitable cause or community event. Include website information in the press releases and articles regarding the event. Publicize the event on your website and via LinkedIn.
- Invite members of your LinkedIn group to visit your booth at the next trade show you participate in. You will be surprised at the number of warm contacts who will visit your booth and introduce you to other key people they know. Offer a discount or promotional item for contacts that either know you through LinkedIn or are willing to connect with you now.
- Create an email newsletter with information about your industry, products and services. Encourage visitors to your site to subscribe to the newsletter. Include articles and press releases about your company or your products in the newsletter and establish your business as an expert in your industry.