To read the previous post(s) in this series, start here:
Getting back to our series, we’re at Step5. In order to have a strong marketing foundation, you need to make place for the mighty trio sure to generate leads:
ADVERTISING – REFERRALS – PUBLIC RELATIONS
- Advertising – potential high cost, often lower credibility, high, in fact ultimate, control – turn the ad on and off when you choose – control is the best part about advertising, you can launch a promotion on the day you want or need more leads and then turn it back down when you don’t
- Public Relations – cost can be low, credibility is high – often a tiny mention in a publication can bring more leads than a full page ad in the same publication – readers love the third party endorsement, control can be low – you can’t really dictate when and if you will get any pub
- Referrals – again, cost can be very low, credibility a little dependent on the source of referral but often high, control also out of your hands and based on your ability to educate sources properly.
In terms of advertising and promotion, there is a place for both traditional offline efforts as well as the contemporary online presence. Depending on your type of business, your mix may vary in percentages to how much effort you spend in traditional offline vs. online. I will challenge you to consider an online presence, even if your first thought is “oh, in our industry, we’re still old school.” If your customers are online looking for your solution, and they don’t find you, then you’ve lost the game. If you wish to understand how to get online, enroll for our 4-session marketing course for only $99! We originally were going to start it this month, but because of schedules and upcoming holidays, we decided to launch it the first week in January. To get online in ’09, go here!
Public relations encompasses alot of things. You need to think strategically about how you want your customers to perceive you – what do you want them to know about you. It’s got to be authentic. Don’t make a big show about being green, but when people really dig around on you, your trash in in the back is full of paper that could have been recycled. Authenticity is critical. Employee creative promotions that highlight, authentically, what you are about, your values, your personality. Use online news releases to make news of anything and everything! David Meerman Scott’s an excellent resource for understanding the “new rules of marketing and pr” – click here to download.
When thinking of referrals, think about two groups. First, there are loyal customers who want to refer you. Make it easy for them to do so, instructing them even in how you want them to do it. Consider, too, if you need to reward them for doing so (cash, discounts, unique access to special products and services). Secondly, think about strategic partners who you can devise a system of give-n-take. A plumber may want to work up a relationship with other contractors who can become your strongest advocate when they are in the homes of their clients. An automotive repair shop may wish to cultivate a strong relationship with a local tire dealer. When people come to the tire store and needing unique car repair that the tire shop is not equipped to handle, the first thing a customer of theirs is likely to ask is, “do you know any good mechanic?” In return, when someone at a repair shop needs tires (providing you don’t provide them yourself), consistently refer your customers to this tire shop.
NEXT UP – Step 6 – Automate and Dominate: making your website and email marketing work for you 24/7!
– Randy Vaughn – Fort Worth’s Only DUCT TAPE MARKETING Authorized Coach
In order now: