In today’s society we are bombarded by around 3,000 marketing and sales messages every day. The burden to ensure that your marketing communication is noticed and more importantly, acted on, is intense and marketing managers and directors are under increasing pressure to deliver a high ROI whilst aiming to keep marketing budgets to a minimum.
Technology and the methods by which people now prefer to source information, shop and make purchases means that marketing communications are leaning towards online communication channels. These preferences can provide inexpensive platforms for reaching individual and multiple target audiences.
One recent ‘side-effect’ of taking communications online is there is less emphasis on maintaining offline marketing activities. However the marketing industry has always suggested we should have a full ‘marketing mix’ of communication channels.
The tendency is to try and include a rich mix of platforms in order to ensure that you are not missing a trick. However the danger is, by delivering marketing campaigns that make use of every conceivable marketing channel, you could be bombarding your target audiences with quantity rather than quality.
In this instance it’s important to take the more strategic and considered approach. A brave stance to adopt is to actually stop, consider which platforms are actually the most appropriate for your product and/or service and accept that there might be a number of both online and offline platforms that are not right for your business.
Know your influencers
The trick to getting the right blend is to consider what should influence your online/offline marketing mix. There are multiple factors that must be taken into consideration when identifying the most appropriate methods for achieving reach, connection, communication and interaction.
Location of existing and potential customers – are your customers local, national, international?
B2B and/or B2C audience?
Breadth of customer personas – how varied is your customer base? How would you describe your customers?
Which platforms do your customers prefer? Is your typical customer more likely to utilise online/offline or a combination of platforms?
Customer databases – do you have an accurate, up-to-date database of all your customers?
Empathy – understanding your customers – listening etc.
Your sector/industry – are there particular communication platforms that are more suitable and/or popular in your industry?
Your product/service – when communicating about your product and/or service would certain marketing platforms be more suitable and effective?
Your brand and brand image – which marketing communications would best suit your brand style?
Your marketing objective(s). Are you trying to achieve:
Brand/product awareness or reinforcement
Budgets – what marketing communications can you afford in the short, medium and long term?
Internal resources and levels of team buy-in – do you and/or your team have the time to effectively deliver, monitor and respond to sustained marketing communications?
Required Calls to Action – how do you want your customers to get in touch?
Measurement – which platforms are going to be more suitable from a measurement and ROI perspective?
If you are in a position to identify all of the influences above then you are in a position to make informed and considered decisions about your marketing communications strategy. If you do not know the answers then it may be a worthwhile exercise to stop, and take the time and opportunity to review and reflect.
Regardless of the size of your business, it’s all about the marketing journey. It’s about undertaking the right actions in the right order and having a considerable level of awareness and insight into your business, your competitors, your clients and your industry in order to inform your decisions.
Yes, it is essential to engage your customers through multiple touchpoints and a balanced mix of online and offline platforms but not at the expense of diluting your core message.
A useful technique for perfecting your marketing mix is to discuss your ideas with non-competitive equals - Intergage host a quartlery event to provide you with just that opportunity.