Back in the day, TV, print, and billboard ads were the gold standard for marketing.
There wasn’t much finesse around these tactics, either. Companies simply pushed their name in front of as many people as possible in an attempt to build brand awareness.
But fast forward to present day. Customers now want personalized, one-on-one interactions with brands. And it’s finally beginning to dawn upon marketers that taking a targeted approach can stretch budget further and generate leads faster. This realization has changed nearly everything.
Let’s take a look at a few ways that you may be lagging behind the curve, then jump into how you can move into the new era of marketing.
Ditch the traditional marketing approach
Print, radio, and Super Bowl commercials — there’s only one reason companies spend money on these marketing methods: bragging rights. They have little to do with actual branding and lead generation.
But you probably knew that. What you may not realize is that many companies still use techniques that seem hyper-personal and new but actually don’t move the needle.
Here are some conventional methods that are missing the mark:
Cold calling: Although the B2C world has long rejected this method, B2B companies are discovering the faults in this strategy, too. Buyers want to establish their own solutions and work out their issues online. Marketers need to offer as much information as possible online, or potential clients will find a competitor who does.
Blast emails: Many people still swear by email marketing. A mass-delivered message just doesn’t work for most companies — even if it’s delivered by email — because one message can never resonate with a general audience.
Join the new marketing era
Every successful marketing trend these days stems from knowing your customers, where they congregate, and how they form trust. Marketers no longer “think” of campaigns; they build them around buyer needs. Personalization has become the key to generating ROI for your marketing efforts.
Knowing your buyer is the most effective marketing tool you can have. Start with buyer personas, and dig deep into who your customers are to figure out how to reach them.
Once you understand your customers, consider these marketing tips to make your strategy work harder.
Start with content marketing
Customer-driven content marketing can help your company address potential concerns and convert customers with more precision.
Too often companies blindly produce content, throw it out into the world, and hope it brings in leads. The content often centers on what the marketer thinks is important, instead of what is useful or relevant to customers. With few metrics to accurately measure content’s success, many marketers have difficulty gauging its effectiveness.
Still, when done well, content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates three times as many leads.
Use marketing automation to help you scale
Marketing automation software helps companies market across multiple platforms. These services do everything from organize leads to create hubs that launch digital campaigns across many networks.
Marketing automation specializes in lead nurturing, lead scoring and process management — not demand generation. In short, it takes the new names you add through pay-per click, search-engine optimization, content and third-party initiatives and warms them up.
If your organization passes new names directly to sales, marketing automation will actually decrease lead flow because it’s adding a filter between new leads and hot leads.
Working with a consultant is a great way to ensure you’re avoiding these pitfalls and getting the most out of your marketing automation investment.
Use social media to extend the conversation
If content marketing starts the conversation and marketing automation scales it, then social media perpetuates it. Find out where your potential customers hang out, then speak their language. Don’t offer e-books on Twitter, for example. Join the conversation on their terms.
Don’t forget the old ways
Personalization doesn’t mean you should completely reject older methods. Instead, personalization can transform those old techniques into efficient marketing tools.
One example is direct mail. Mailboxes were constantly stuffed with junk a few years ago, so no one noticed a good campaign. But so many companies have stopped sending mail, and buyers are becoming much more receptive to a good mail campaign. This presents the perfect opportunity to create a targeted, direct-mail message that potential customers will find refreshing.
Traditional marketing campaigns all bring a single company message to a large pool of potential buyers, but that just isn’t cutting it anymore.
Consumer trends are shifting toward personalization, and marketers need to take note. Buyers want results, and when you tell a compelling story that directly relates to them, they’ll believe your company can deliver.
Content marketing, marketing automation, social media, and even traditional outlets can all reach potential customers effectively. But make sure your campaigns home in on buyer personas and address their specific needs. Then you’ll have customers for life.
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