Marketing is multifaceted. The suite of marketing tools available these days means there are a wide range on offer for you to place what you do in from of clients and prospects. To me, these “tools” can be categorised into 6 key areas which are –
Cold calling (canvassing) – Appointment making rather than selling
PR – This can be press releases and/or public relations
Advertising – Online and offline, both fall under the heading of paid for publicity
Direct Marketing – Not just direct mail but selling direct to customers rather than through a 3rd party
Print – Company brochures and literature
Conferences, seminars, exhibitions – Placing your skills and services in front of an audience
None of the above should be used as a singular entity or a solus route to a successful marketing campaign. In my opinion, all of the above could and should be used when developing a holistic marketing strategy. Each initiative must be used for the right purpose, with the right objective, at the right time, for the right target group.
I appreciate that the 6 above could be added to, but I didn’t include telesales as this is more about making a direct sale over the phone than the Cold Canvassing indicated in my list. There are cross overs between the skills required to sell a meeting and to make a physical sale, but the intrusion factor is quite different!
Similarly, there are other marketing related initiatives such as offering free samples or special introductory price offers and I haven’t included the wonders of client entertainment, but I don’t really feel I have much to offer here. Obviously taking a client or prospect out and plying them with alcohol or food at a sporting event can play a very lubricating role in your sales and marketing process, but it is really a form of bribery!
Think about what your marketing objectives are. These objectives have to be business related. Aiming for a date to retire or an annual turnover figure are more personal objectives really. Once you set your objectives, allocate a budget and a timescale. Plan what you want to do and more importantly why. Not everything you do will be a success so prepare to test activities and remember, you are unlikely to be an expert. There are good companies out there who can help!