by Patrick Zuluaga, PMZ Marketing [Download Article]
As we look forward into 2011 we will all need to review and adjust our marketing activities to reflect the realities of an ever expanding online interactive digital world! We must make sure that our marketing programs reflect these realities to remain relevant and effective for our target markets.
In your review you will consider the most important and all pervasive communications trend which is your target customers now largely controls the ‘when and what’ they would like to hear, view and/or read from any communications source.
One critical aspect that is unlikely to change is people will continue to buy at an emotional level, generally when they trust and have confidence in the carrier or seller of the message.
How will you know your marketing is working?
It is fairly obvious that the only way to know is to measure the results of your marketing efforts. Unfortunately, many a business owner and manager still cling to their own unique perspectives and biases when dealing with marketing. The knowledge and belief systems that they bring will largely determine their success. Resistance to change and habit are reflected in the way they have always done their marketing activities without measuring the results of their efforts.
Moving forward set aside all your assumptions and biases as we start the review process.
Action 1: Measure the results of your marketing activities
Measuring and tracking results will allow you to determine the most effective marketing programs allowing to drop those that are not producing results and to ramp up those that are effective. Measuring includes testing your marketing programs before full implementation to allow you to fine-tune the components of the marketing message to improve your results.
Action 2: Integrate your marketing efforts
Make sure your marketing messages spans across the different communications mediums that your target customers prefer to use. Your marketing messages need to be where your customers are and not what you prefer to use or are familiar with.
Action 3: Create opportunities to interact with your target customers
These can be as simple as allowing your content to be shared and be distributed to various information distribution channels like FaceBook and Twitter. You can provide multiple mediums for them to share their views about your products, services and facets of your company that interest them. These mediums come in a wide variety from blogs, surveys, interviews, web site forms, comments, events, webinars...etc. Use these opportunities to listen and secure feedback from your marketplace.
Action 4: Maintain continuous communications with multiple touch-points
Marketing requires patience as it takes multiple touch points over time to pay off. Be prepared to measure and track results over a long-term and be aware of the impact of any seasonality on your marketing efforts.