In the past, marketing channels were big pipes through which you pushed everything from direct mail pieces to newspaper adverts to radio spots to inform the public of your service or product offerings.
This scattergun approach to selling and branding a business was unfocused, making it expensive. You may pay a wad of cash for a four-colour spread in the local newspaper but not everyone reads the paper. (Just check circulation numbers for proof.) And not everyone who sees your ad in the local press is in the market for what you’re selling. Your message is delivered to everyone and all you can do is hope for the best.
Today, small and large businesses have more options to reach out and touch very specific elements of the foundation of their success. Consider.
You have an existing client base. You have hot leads, warm leads and stone-cold calls to prospects who have better things to do than listen to a 15-minute scripted pitch from someone who doesn’t know you or your business and is making minimum wage to sell your company.
It’s not effective, it’s pricey and it’s totally yesterday. Today, with a variety of tools, you can more specifically target your marketing, identifying “grains” within your company database, “grains” who have contacted you but haven’t been closed, “grains” who’ve expressed mild interest in your products or services, and you can even target “grains” that have never even heard of you or your business.
Modern marketing is more specific. The message is more specific and it’s sent to a more refined, specific list of recipients at various stages within the sales arc.
Through the use of a variety of tools and resources, you can more narrowly focus your marketing, sending the right message to the right person at the right time. Example?
Take an email site like constantcontact.com. Using Constant Contact, you can target email marketing campaigns with greater and greater specificity by analysing the metrics these email site provide as part of their offering. Send an email to every existing client, past and present, and using the metrics provided by Constant Contact you know who received your email newsletter, who opened your email and, when you see a spike in inquiries, you can easily determine cost per acquisition with a simple calculator.
Using metrics, you gradually refine your marketing efforts, targeting clients, leads and prospects with greater and greater specificity and greater effectiveness.
For example, a cold call creates a warm lead and captures an email address. Over the course of several weeks you drop an email to that prospect in a series of auto-responders – emails that are sent in a specific sequence based on the response of the recipient.
The whole point of targeted marketing is simple. You don’t contact everyone in the telephone book with the same message at the same time. You target specific prospects with a highly targeted message at just the right time.
And timing is a critical part of marketing. Let’s say you’re a car dealer who’s had a prospect walk onto the lot but hasn’t bought yet. An email AR that offers free service for the life of the car, sent two days after that prospect met with your top salesperson, just might close that prospect and make that sale.
Surveys are another useful tool that can be used to breakout your existing database of clients and prospects, and there’s plenty of free survey software that equips you to develop a specific survey to answer specific questions from specific buyers.
Using our car dealer as an example, it just makes good sense to send out a customer satisfaction index to find the holes in the delivery of your dealership’s services. These surveys are simple, adaptable to any business and they provide invaluable information on how to improve client relations and prospect closing ratios. They tell you what clients and leads want so you can deliver.
Mobile phone apps enable you to push information, promotions, money-saving coupons and other incentives to existing clients and warm leads. Once you capture that smart phone number you can send text messages, helpful informational content and other goodwill building text regularly – to the right people at the right time.
Today, your business can have its own smart phone app built for a couple of thousand dollars, opening a new conduit to push information to clients and prospects, keeping these people and companies tethered to your business.
Lots of companies employ pay per click (PPC) advertising like Google AdWords that show up on the right hand column of search engine results pages (SERPs). Now, here, you can get very specific. Let’s say you sell storage devices that sync up with mainframe computers. And you have a lot of inventory that you need to move.
Okay, using a PPC program, you choose the keywords that help search engines place your AdWords cube on the most relevant SERPs. So, if your only keyword is IBM DS8000, your PPC ad only appears when a search engine user enters that make and model into Google’s search box.
Now that’s targeted marketing. You’re reaching out to a very narrow demographic – IT professionals looking to purchase a huge storage device with the product name IBM DS8000. This cuts your PPC costs down significantly to reach only those individuals who are looking for this product by name and manufacturer. You save money and develop a more effective PPC campaign thanks to targeted marketing strategies.
Passive or Pro-Active Marketing
Traditional marketing outlets are, by nature, passive. A billboard is seen by thousands of drivers but very few are actually looking for your services as they whiz by. Same with a newspaper advert or radio spot. These marketing channels hit everyone, making them expensive, unfocused and unproductive.
Using targeted marketing tools and strategies targets clients, leads and prospects with pinpoint accuracy. You deliver the right message pro-actively at just the right time to close the sale.