4 Ways to Enhance Targeted Marketing Efforts

Do your marketing efforts make a personal and immediate connection with your audience? Do you use a proactive approach for telling them how your business can specifically help their needs?  If you feel like you should improve your campaigns but are not sure how to, take a look at these four tips to help you get started!

Speak to Your Audience.

It’s human nature to pay closer attention to something when it is more relevant to you, so why not apply this methodology to your marketing efforts?  With variable data printing, you can instantly give that personal touch to your marketing pieces but having the recipient’s name, address, and a variety of additional information included in your messaging. Think bigger and incorporate Augmented Reality, QR codes or NFC in as well. This will help you stand out from the many marketing messages they may receive each day.

Address Specific Needs.

The next time you create your next marketing campaign, avoid the generic “About Us” path, and focus more on the recipient.  Ask yourself, “What are their needs, what would appeal to them, what would they request information on if they were to call my business?”  For instance, if you created athletic uniforms for schools, a great summer campaign would be a back-to-school-themed campaign featuring fall sports.  Take advantage of the information you already have about your audience and blow them away with your proactive approach to how you can help them.

Key Resource You Need Today: Guide to Selling Marketing Services

Highlight Services.

What happens when you receive a promotion and the majority of the promoted products and services do not apply to you? You discard it and usually ignore future promotions that are similar to that one.  You must remember that your customers may use your products and services differently than other audiences.  Create audience-specific campaigns by promoting the top three services that each of your audiences would utilize the most.  You want your audience to see what they need right away and be able to take advantage of the promotion that is being showcased in the marketing piece.  Avoid making them look for what they need, be the expert by presenting the best tools for them from the start.

Optimize Delivery Time.

Each industry operates differently throughout the year.  For example, retail stores may be extremely busy during the fall yet incredibly slow during the winter.  Universities may focus its marketing efforts to potential students in the spring, but then focuses on alumni funding in the fall.  If you develop campaigns around these audience-specific cycles and trends, you may be the perfect solution to your audiences’ needs during the time they need you most.

By using these tactics, your marketing efforts will grab your audiences’ attention because of its targeted messaging and strategic delivery time.  Be sure to always stay engaged with your customers’ timely needs so you will always remain relevant to them.

For assistance with your next marketing campaign, let’s connect!  Me and my team would love to consult with you and help you deliver an effective message to your audience. Learn more here. From on-site consultations to complete marketing plans, we’re ready to help your business succeed!

Telling Your Story with a Multi-Channel Approach: Content Marketing World 2012

Content Marketing World Speaker Badge: Our CEO John Foley, Jr. is speaking at this event on the subject of multi-channel marketing.I’m quite excited to share news that I’ll be speaking at Content Marketing World 2012! Here is an article that I’ve written to tease my presentation.

I love marketing.

As a result, I often get excited about new channels and technologies that appear. Over the past few years, this has included such things as QR Codes, Near Field Communication (NFC), and of course various social networks. Perhaps you also have the tendency to get excited about new channels and opportunities that arise!

However, one of the biggest things that I’ve learned throughout my business career has been this — you can never rely solely on one channel to get the job done! No matter how buzz a channel or technology may come up, the best way to effectively reach your audience is through an integrated, multi-channel effort.

In today’s world, it may seem harder than ever to stand out and get noticed. But during my presentation at Content Marketing World, titled “Expand the Reach of Your Story with Multi-Channel Marketing”, I will demonstrate how you can effectively use a mix of traditional and newer marketing channels to tell your brand’s story more effectively than ever before!

I hope to see you there!

In the meantime, I’d love to connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or Pinterest!

A Return to Strategy

Defining your Strategy!

“Tactics, Tactics, Tactics…. Everywhere I look, all I see is tactics!”

Perhaps you have also felt that same way recently. We hear about tactics across nearly every marketing channel out there. QR Codes. Personalized URLs. Augmented Reality. SMS/Text-Messaging. Mobile Email. Social Media Advertising.

Those are just a few of the terms that we hear and talk about quite frequently in the marketing world. I know that I can often get quite excited about them!

But, while there is nothing wrong with diving in and understanding specific tactics, we run the danger of thinking of those things as bright and shiny objects that can solve all of our problems!

Instead of falling into that trap, we must be willing to increase the amount of effort and focus that we put on having a strategy.

Long-Term Solutions Come From Having a Strategy

If our business primarily consists of providing marketing services to our customers, we certainly need to pay close attention to new tools and technologies that could improve our offerings.

However, we must ensure that the things we do add (for example, a QR Code or PURL on a postcard) are not treated simply as add-ons. Rather, we should focus on integrating them into the overall marketing strategy that supports our customer’s goals.

Often, the development of a strategy will consist of us asking critical questions. The answers to those questions will not only help us decide which tools and technologies should be used, but also, how should we best use them.

Yes, I realize that some clients may come to you with a fully thought-out marketing strategy. But in today’s world, many CMO’s are running around at a frantic pace; thus, they could benefit by having a service provider offer some consultation and suggestions. If you do find yourself in that position, here are 4 steps that could help you develop and/or analyze a marketing strategy for your clients:

  • Describe the Business: This sounds simple, but it’s crucial. It may help you to define key characteristics that affect branding and messaging.
  • Define the Goal: The goal will help us to avoid using a new tool or tactic simply because it’s new. Rather, it will help us to ensure that the reasons we decide to do (or not do) something are done for a reason.
  • Understand Who the Audience is And Where They Are: Think about QR Codes for a second. If your client is going to be placing print advertisements inside of a subway station where there is no cell service, do QR Codes really make sense? Or, if you are going to send information that is highly sensitive or private in nature, will a personalized URL actually cause people to not respond?
  • How Will You Measure Success?: As a service provider, we may be constantly looking for ways to demonstrate and prove our value. However, in the rush to incorporate a new tactic, we may overlook what steps are necessary to help us measure the effectiveness of a specific tactic. By answering this question ahead of time, we will increase our chances of being able to present valuable data to our customers during the marketing campaign.

These are just a few of the questions that can help us to develop and deliver solutions that increase our revenue now and in the future. I hope that you find them find helpful! Yes, there will be always be new tactics that catch our attention, create some buzz, and get us excited (me included!). But no matter what the tactics are, having the right strategy will help to put us on the right path.

 

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New Marketing Technique that Google and Facebook Are Using

Google Adwords: Direct Mailer

Did I get your attention with that headline?

Alright, here’s the truth: Facebook and Google have both been reaching out to prospects recently, perhaps a bit more aggressively than ever before. And guess what? They are using direct mail and print as part of their marketing effort.

Yep, that’s right. The two biggest companies in the worlds of online marketing and social media are using a channel that many marketers continue to shy away from.

In both cases, Google and Facebook are reaching out to people to promote their advertising platforms (Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, respectively)

  • If you are a marketer, than this may be worth paying attention to the next time that you contemplate cutting direct mail or print out of your marketing budget.
  • If you are a service provider (print, mail, fulfillment, etc.), this may be something that you can add to your sales repertoire for the next time you are pitching a campaign to a prospect. “Google and Facebook are still using direct mail and print to make an impact on their target audience. I think we can do the same for your efforts.”

Integrating Direct Mail with Social Media

As someone that recently attended the MFSA Mid-Winter Conference and Dscoop 6, I can attest to the fact that there are plenty of companies making their living in the worlds of print, mail, and fulfillment.

However, social media was also a very hot topic at both events.

So… can direct mail and social media work together?

Here are 5 ideas to make it happen:

Put the Social Media Badge on your Direct Mailer

Alright, this one is probably the easiest and most obvious of the bunch. If you’ve invested the time in creating and managing social media profiles for your company, you need to make sure that people know about them. Sure, some might find about them via links that you’ve added to your corporate website or via their own searches.

But to ensure that everyone knows, try adding the “badge” of social media icons to your direct mail pieces.

Simply seeing the “Facebook” or “Twitter” logo on your postcard may help your target audience become aware that company is sharing information via those channels too.

Post Links to Your Landing Page on Social Media Sites

Let’s say that you’ve created a landing page that is filled with compelling information and a form that asks the perfect amount of questions. Will people only get to that page if they receive a direct mailer that contains a personalized URL?

Give this a try — in addition to the personalized landing pages, create versions that will be available to the general public. Then, post links to the general version of the landing page on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites that your audience uses.

Throughout the campaign, measure  how people are getting to your page. Is it via the PURL on the direct mailer? Or via Twitter or Facebook? These types of reports may help you to better invest your resources in future campaigns when it comes to segments of your audience.

Make the Mailer Interactive with a QR Code

Companies of all sizes and varieties are creating videos with their Flip cameras and smart phones and uploading them to YouTube. (Did you know that 35 hours of video are uploaded per minute?!) Those videos can certainly help to spread a company’s message and to increase their SEO efforts.

But online video can also be re-purposed to make a direct mail piece interactive.

Simply create a QR Code that points directly to the YouTube video or to a mobile-optimized site that provides a link to the video. Place the QR Code on the direct mailer with a call-to-action, and then watch how your growing mobile audience responds.

Enable Landing Page Visitors to Easily Share the Link with Others

This might be the one idea where you can truly start to see growth in the overall success of your campaigns. When someone visits your landing page, make it easy for them to share a link to your content on their social media profiles.

This could be via a simple “Tweet This” button for Twitter, a”Like” button for Facebook, or some other sort of social media plug-in.

If your content is truly helpful and you make it easy for people to share it, your audience will grow with the help of others.

Drive People to Your Social Media Sites from the Thank You page

Let’s say that someone responds to the call-to-action on your direct mailer, types in their PURL, and fills out your response form… What do you then? Do you simply say Thank You?

Well, you could do that and then follow-up with them later. Or,  you could try to further the engagement at that moment.

Try integrating your social media profiles into your Thank You page. This could mean simply putting icons that link to your social media pages. It could also mean embedding a YouTube video onto the page as well. Since the person has already shown interest in your company, perhaps they’d be more than willing to take a few minutes and learn a bit more about who you are and what you can do for them.

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These are just a few ideas for integrating direct mail with social media. We hope that they help improve the success of your marketing and educational efforts.