So far in this series, we have focused on online marketing tools (Websites, email, Social etc). Perhaps this isn’t surprising ans online offers so many cost effective opportunities, but we must not forget off-line too. Our mantra has always been “Joined-up Marketing”, but to be truly “Joined-up” we need to include off-line as well. Although many traditional media have less relevance in the modern world (take yellow pages advertising as a great example) some are just as relevant as ever; especially in more traditional markets like Engineering and Manufacturing. Trade Journals, Exhibitions, Networking, Seminars/Events all still exist, and deliver some excellent marketing opportunities. By integrating these with on-line tools, marketing becomes truly joined-up and powerful. I can illustrate this with a couple of examples:
Using on-line content in off-line media
Generating content is expensive and time consuming. It’s a shame if you only use it once, instead, try to spread it as widely as possible. A good example of this is the BSA “Growth Matters” column in our local paper. About 6 months ago, we go the opportunity to write a business-focussed column in our local paper. The up side of this is that we get the company name in print every week, alongside a half page of editorial. The downside was that we have to produce 500-800 words of copy each week, every week. However, as we have been writing for the Marketing Matters blog, and already produce at least 6 articles per month for this, finding content to send to the paper is not too much of an issue. The additional resource required to take advantage of this opportunity is manageable. This concept can also be applied to trade press. You are already writing engaging copy for your website news pages, so why not build a database of trade press editorial contacts and send out the same copy as a press release. Again, extra exposure for your content for minimal extra work!
Networking to build email lists
Networking is a great tool for making new contacts, but what do you do with these contacts? Many of them will be relevant to your business, but may not have immediate requirements. It can feel a bit soul destroying when contacts made at networking meetings don’t immediately turn into new business. Adding newly made contacts to your email distribution list ensures that they are continually reminded of what you do until they have a requirement to talk about.
Integrating exhibitions with email, web and social media
Let’s not beat around the bush, exhibitions are expensive! It is important to be sure you squeeze every ounce of value out of them.Leading up to (and during) an exhibition, email and social media can be great tools to build anticipation and to promote what you will be focusing on during the event. At the exhibition itself, you are going to meet and talk with a lot people, only some of whom will have current opportunities for business. It is important not to forget the others. Like networking, exhibitions are a great source of contacts for your email lists. Add them to the list, and you will continue to communicate after the exhibition is long gone.
Joined-up = Consistent
As final word on joining up on-line & off-line marketing, joined-up marketing requires consistency, and consistency requires planning. To be joined-up, marketing activity needs to happen in the context of a sustainable strategy, targeting all activities at delivering a measured and appropriate objectives that move your business forward.