Is technology getting in the way of your marketing

Technology is supposed to simplify things. To make them easier and quicker. But for marketing, technology has made things more complex and distracted businesses from what they need to focus on – the customer.

In the pre-internet days a small business would think about where their customers would go to look for their product or service. There weren’t many options:

  • The Yellow Pages or equivalent
  • The local paper
  • The newsagent’s shop window (you know – the little postcards offering cleaning etc.)

Add to that leafletting and possibly local radio advertising and that was about it for a small business.

Today there is e-mail marketing, Twitter, Facebook, Google search and ads, Instagram, Pinterest, podcasts, webcasts, Periscope – the list grows almost daily.

So many business owners have a go at one or more depending on their comfort level with the technology in question. They also hear the mantra that you need to have multiple marketing pillars so they strive to add channels to expand their reach. But in reality the real question is, is technology is getting in the way of your marketing

But they’ve forgotten the key message from the old days – where their customers go. In the old days, if you wanted a plumber you’d go to the local edition of the Yellow Pages. A year or two ago, you’d have probably started with Google search or Yellow Pages Online. Today, you’re probably looking for recommendations so you’d start with Streetlife or Checkatrade.

The key here is where are your potential customers going to look for your product or service. If it’s a product or service you need to make people aware of – that you want to prompt them to think about buying – where do those customers hang out in the biggest numbers?

So the first thing to think about is your market, not your marketing. Who are you trying to speak to and where do they congregate? You need to be as specific as you can so that you can tailor and target the next part. You might say that anyone can benefit from your business but you can’t market to everyone at the same time with the same message.

For example, let’s say you are in the weight loss business. Your marketing to post-childbirth mums needs to be very different to the over 50’s trying to lose that middle-age spread. Their reasons for buying will be different even though the ultimate goal is the same.

Having identified the ‘who’ and where that who is (or what technology they use) you can start to craft the message. This is where copywriting comes into its own. You need the right sort of headline to appeal to you ‘who’. You then need compelling messages well-crafted and laid out to draw the reader further into the piece. Finally you need a great offer or call to action. One that is a ‘no-brainer’ for the customer.

So we’ve identified the market and the message. Only now do we consider the media. What media do your target market consume information on. How is your message best projected. As a general rule, images perform better than text alone and the right video can be the best performer. But the size and length must be driven by the market.

The media is only the delivery mechanism, not the focus of the marketing.

That’s why I like and recommend LinkedIn for any business selling to other businesses. LinkedIn announced recently it has hit 400m user profiles worldwide so you know your market is on there.

The combination of niched Groups and LinkedIn’s powerful search capabilities, your target customers are easy to find and connect with.

LinkedIn provides all the facilities you need to get you marketing messages across.

And whereas the majority of e-mail marketing messages get deleted without a glance, most LinkedIn messages get opened and read.

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