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Four Marketing Ideas We Presented This Morning

We are often invited to present current marketing trends to CEOs at clients of our business partners. This morning, Aileen Pisciotta, attorney at Executive Counsel, invited me to present current trends in marketing to her clients. The reception was great and I appreciated the chance to interact with some bright and interesting business leaders. Here’s a summary of what we discussed:

Even though new marketing ideas emerge on a daily basis, we believe that going back to the basics is often the right answer for CXO’s who ask, “What marketing should we be doing?” While you need to key an eye open to the various social networking strategies that have become prevalent over the past few years, particularly Facebook and LinkedIn, all of the marketing strategies we are deploying still go back to answering two key questions: (1) Are we offering the market something of value and (2) what market are we actually trying to serve.

Have a clear definition of what your marketing is intended to do.

Your marketing activities and practices should drive sales, market share, and other business goals. Think of marketing comprehensively as go-to-market planning, development and implementation processes that your company takes to achieve market leadership. Many people also put Public Relations (PR) in the marketing bucket. PR is really designed to get your company third-party validation. Its intent is to get reporters, bloggers, journalists, the media and other important industry influencers to publicize or write about your firm for you. While PR is often considered a part of the marketing mix, the way it is executed is very different than other marketing communications tactics.

Companies should also work on developing and deploying vertical marketing strategies. This means creating a positioning that puts the company in a leadership position in the critical markets that they serve. In the DC metro region, there are 7 defined vertical markets: government (although within the government itself there are over 20 vertical markets), government contractors, bio-tech, legal, associations/not-for-profits, high-tech, and media. The more you can focus on building out your vertical positioning, the more likely your opportunity is for quicker growth. Your employees, customers, partners, and prospects will understand the role you play in the vertical and see how well your company serves it.

Also, remember that “Marketing that does not lead to revenue reward is a HUGE waste of time and money.” Your marketing efforts must go to bringing in sales.

Social Media: Why Linked IN and Facebook are Important.

Plain and simple, this is where your customers are. People are going to the social networks for new business opportunities, information and leads. They are also going to find employees, contractors, and partnerships. As a start, you should consider building a company page on LinkedIn and Facebook and you should also ensure that everyone in the firm’s LinkedIn profile is fresh, up-to-date and reflects the company’s positioning. A great deal of our business development still relies on referrals and social networking is a strong way to build them.

Forty Two Touches

We’ve heard that an Ivy League Business School study once showed that it takes as many as 42 touches to turn a prospect into a customer. This means sales calls, advertising impressions, demonstrations, price lists, references, etc. In other words, marketing and sales are processes that may take a long time but need to be continually monitored and nurtured. The tactics may change over time but at the end of the day, the consumer decides when and how they purchase. Thus you need to continually create ways to engage them. Two easy tactics are a regular newsletter with industry information and events that bring your clients together with peers.

Why the Web is So Critical

The web is the most important part of your marketing strategy, after ensuring your offering is sound and that your market is strong. Your search engine strategy needs to be clear. Content-related marketing is a big trend right now. People are looking for information that will help them do their jobs better and help them win new customers. Whatever you can offer them that will help them do this will help you grow in relevance.

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