By Rich Webb…
By taking marketing activities which you already know and use, and combining them with new marketing strategies, you can make real gains in your sales and marketing efforts. It may be easier than you think to vastly improve your marketing results.
Traditional marketing would have you believe that broadcast advertising works or that online lead generation works or that direct mail works, depending on your business or market. Some marketers speak of online and offline media options like there is a war that will be won by only one approach. But there will never be a single winner. Rapidly advancing technology means the only way to win is to integrate. The days of single effort marketing are behind us.
If, for example, you combine direct mail with a follow-up phone call and a well-designed website that delivers valuable, relevant content while collecting contact information, each one will help the others to have a more powerful impact. In today’s world when you capture someone’s interest or attention in your offline advertising, consumers often immediately go online to search for more information about you or your product.
One way to better understand marketing is to realize that all marketing activities by consumers can be fit into one of four categories. A marketing consumer will either:
- “Do”, or
For example, if someone hears your ad on the radio or an internet broadcast, they “Listen-to”. If they see your TV commercial or magazine ad they “View”. If they hear about you on TV and then “google” your company or they get your mailer and fax in a response card they “Do”. When you give them a follow-up call after they entered their contact information on a website response page or they search for comparable information online after receiving your brochure they “Review”.
The first two activities are passive–where consumers sit back and expect to be entertained. In these media your messages need to stand out, capture prospects attention, and engage their emotions. The second two are interactive and means prospects are already actively engaging with your company or message–and they are researching, comparing, responding or learning more–trying to get something done.
Your offline efforts are great at getting attention and starting conversations; your online and follow-up efforts can be great at continuing them and building actual business relationships. Your greatest power to keep your prospects and customers involved with you is when you integrate both online and offline and get your prospects engaging in as many of the four marketing activities as possible. When you can get them to “Listen-to”, “View”, “Do”, and “Review” they are most likely to become a customer and continue to buy as much as they can from you.
Single effort marketing or one time advertising doesn’t work. Marketing combinations are what work! Studies show that it takes an average of between 5 and 14 impressions or contacts to make a sale; or to move the prospect along in the decision making process to the purchase point. When marketing activities are integrated and combined, reinforcing the same message and educating the prospective buyer—each activity enhances and supports the other. This produces a faster and more powerful end result.
The results are increased exponentially. It’s as if 1+1+1 = 6. For example, one of the most effective integrated combinations is to send out a response-oriented direct mail piece and then to follow up that mail piece with an outbound telephone call. A courteous personalized phone call has an advantage not available in most other marketing. Instant feedback!
In every case that I have personally witnessed (over 100 test cases), following up a mailer with a telephone call has always at least doubled the rate of return. And in some cases the follow-up phone call will increase the response rate by 300% to 500%. That’s anywhere from 2 to 5 times the response rate by adding a follow-up phone call to the marketing mix.
If the mailer and phone call are used in combination to collect contact information and gain permission to continue to educate the buyer with dynamic video training sent through email, –or the mailer and phone call drive prospects to an online link where (in exchange for their email address) customers get some coupons for free products or services—you will be sure to generate even more sales from your prospect list.
It seems so simple but not many companies understand this kind of integrated campaign. They are still sending out ads that don’t take advantage of digital and mobile media’s ability to gather customers contact information for future digital communications. Or on the other side of the coin, some businesses have gotten so used to the convenience and low cost of digital communication that they have forgotten the advantages of a live, interactive, telephone conversation or the impact of an old-fashioned, personalized greeting card.
Offline media can do the heavy lifting of identifying and finding customers that normally wouldn’t come to you on their own. Online media offers them a feedback and interaction mechanism where they can subscribe to your newsletter, engage in your social media channels and send their friends your emails or coupons.
The old days of one-shot marketing campaigns where the seller dominates and controls the sales process are long gone. Today’s consumers are more sophisticated, have more choices, use more technology and are likely to be better informed. Because of this they want to feel that they are in control of the decision-making process and their human nature demands that they try to make the best possible deal or decision for them.
They want integrated marketing combinations that…
- educate the buyer,
- facilitate their decision making process and make it easier,
- allow them to be in control and
- build stronger relationships by using personalized contacts that deliver real value…
These combinations will lead to the highest possible number of sales and a more loyal customer base.
Multiple personalized contacts through integrated marketing combinations produce the best and most cost effective results. This is the best way to provide consumers with a low-risk way to enter into and continue to move along your sales cycle. This approach is not only guaranteed to produce more new sales and revenue, your customers will demonstrate greater loyalty and actively help you to grow your business through referrals and endorsements.
They will perceive that they are in control of making the best possible purchase decisions for themselves and that you are the expert that solves their problems, relieves their pain and provides them with the things they need. They will develop an emotional bond or connection with your company or products and be much more likely to continue to purchase from your company and to strongly recommend their associates to you.
All of this is a result of multiple, integrated marketing contacts or campaigns that educate and build your case to the buyer with emotional hot buttons that are important and relevant to them and provide the buyer with a low risk way to move ahead in the buying process.
Once you get them interacting or buying don’t fail to follow-up and review, follow-up and review, follow-up and review, follow-up and review and—well, you get the idea. But don’t forget you must always follow-up with something interesting or valuable; don’t commit the ultimate marketing sin of being B O R I N G. Keep sending them rewards for being engaged with you.
Remember, exponential growth means that 1+1+1 can equal 6. Add a follow-up telephone call to your mail pieces. Add a low-risk response mechanism that educates and builds your case to the mailer and the phone call. Capture contact information and use CRM and digital follow-up activities to enhance and improve all of your other marketing activities. Add automated email responders to the mix. Double or triple the results of your current marketing by adding integrated combinations of personalized contacts that deliver appreciation and value.
It’s so important that it’s worth repeating.
Additional personalized contacts that deliver appreciation, utility and value always improve response rates, increase sales and create stronger customer relationships. Bottom line results can be doubled, tripled and more.