Barry Harris MBE, a senior advisor to Proelium Law LLP and a widely experienced businessman, shares a series of blogs offering practical commercial advice.
Historically Marketing has been pushing messages to convince prospects to take action. The overwhelming influence of the internet is about engaging them in conversation and leading them to the point of taking action. Marketing is now about participation and connection.
There is a significant amount of material available about Marketing. This Blog is an attempt to avoid cliched catchphrases, and provide some “outside of the box” thinking about Marketing.
WHAT ARE THE NEW RULES OF MARKETING?
- Marketing is more than just advertising.
- PR is for more than just a mainstream media audience.
- You are what you publish.
- Nobody likes spin; people prefer the real thing.
- User experience and participation are stronger than propaganda.
- Instead of causing one-way interruption, Online Marketing is about delivering content at just the precise moment that it is needed.
- Marketers must change their thinking from the mainstream of Marketing to the masses, to a strategy of targeting vast numbers of underserved audiences on the internet.
- PR is not about the boss seeing the company on TV, It’s about your target buyers seeing your business on the web;
- Marketing is not about winning awards, it’s about the company winning business.
- The internet has made PR public again.
- Great online content is needed to drive prospects into the purchasing process.
- Blogs, online video, eBooks, news releases and other forms of online content engage directly with potential customers in a way they will appreciate.
- Marketing and PR have blurred
Targeting the safe middle market is not necessarily a safe marketing strategy. Today, it is about Social Selling.
THE SOCIAL SELLING MANIFESTO
Social Selling is about building relationships, not just pipelines. Above all treat people with respect, just as you would your friends and family members.
Use social technologies to facilitate real human interaction, not avoid it. Remember Social Media connects you with people not faceless targets or records in a database.
Share your expertise without expecting anything in return. Help first and sell later. Giving builds trust. Be clear upfront that you sell something for a living.
Sell value – sell something that enriches lives and customers will find you.
A one-way stream of messages is not selling it’s yelling!
Respect people’s boundaries. Be human; admit when you have messed up and do what is necessary to make it right.
Tell the truth, connect with others for the greater good not just for your benefit.
Adverts are useful; they can entertain and attract attention. Conveying too much information can confuse the target audience and weaken the message. It is better to inform customers about one thing that is important to them, rather than everything that is important about the product or service. One advert – One message, adverts do not work well on their own and need to be a part of a campaign that features different information in different adverts, and may reach more customers, as those who overlook one advert might respond positively to a different advert for the same product or service.
BLOGGING IS MAINSTREAM
Blogs are a conventional transport for companies to get their ideas into the marketplace. Readers of Blogs view the information shared as one of the few forms of authentic communication. Advertising is often tainted by the viewer’s skepticism, and announcements by CEO’s out of touch with reality. An excellent Blog commands attention.
Try using bloggers, online news site, eBooks, public speakers, and consultants that reach the targeted audience your company requires.
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AND MARKETING
Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are phenomenally popular. The numbers reached are in the multi-millions, while those figures are impressive what does this mean to Marketing? Consider the reach of influential people on social networking sites, rethink the notions about who can best spread ideas and tell stories. Many involved in Marketing want to be quoted in an important publication or have their products or services mentioned on TV. These media hits are the holy grail of marketers (and who would not want to be on the BBC), but is that the best thing for your business? Consider who has the power to reach your target audience, Bloggers using Social Media or mainstream media?
A Marketer might be tempted to create a page on lots of Social Networking sites; this might be necessary, or useful since each one appeals to different users. The top Social Networking sites are often viewed as directly competing with one another, but the fact is that each site occupies a slightly different niche.
The following are some ideas to get the most out of Social Networking sites for Marketing:
- Target a Specific Audience – Create a page that reaches an audience relevant to your organisation. It is usually better to target a small niche market.
- Be a Thought Leader – Provide valuable and interesting It is better to show expertise at solving a problem than to babble about a product or service.
- Be Authentic and Transparent -Do not impersonate others, be original.
- Create Lots of Links – Link to your sites and blog, and those of others in the same market sector, and network.
- Encourage People to Contact You – It is the most compelling call to action, make it easy to be contacted, and be sure to follow up personally.
- Participate – Create groups and participate in online discussions. Become an online leader.
- Make it Easy to find You – Tag your page and add it to subject directories. Encourage others to bookmark the page.
- Experiment – Sites are always trying new things, and that makes them great if it’s not working, tweak it or remove it. There is no such thing as a Social Networking expert – we are all learning all of the time.
START A MOVEMENT
An interesting aspect of Social Media is that people talk about you and the company, its products, and services. Much of this discussion takes place outside of your influence. However, it is possible to be creative and guide the conversation. This strategy is to bet on the continuing omnipresence of the internet, and popularity of Social Media. Social Media takes that pervasiveness further, and, what is certain is that Marketing on the internet will continue to evolve – success comes with experimentation. The trick to benefiting from Social Media and Online Marketing is to participate in it.
The internet provides a fantastic opportunity to reach niche buyers directly with targeted messages at a fraction of the costs of the past where there were two significant choices: buy expensive advertising or get third-party ink from the media.
The internet is different. Instead of one-way interruption, Marketing on the web and via Social Media is about bringing useful and insightful content at the precise moment that a buyer requires. The internet has changed the rules. Today, companies and organisations communicate directly to the purchaser. The internet makes public relations public again. Blogs, online video, press releases and other forms of online content allow communications directly to the customer.
The main ways to generate attention, awareness and activity in the marketing landscape of today are:
- The profile can be raised by purchasing TV commercials, magazine adverts, trade show floor space, and through direct mailing.
- Knowledge can be related through editorial gatekeepers at Radio and TV companies, Magazines, and Trade Journals.
- A Sales team can generate attention one person at a time, calling, emailing, meeting leads.
- Awareness can be earned online by creating something interesting and publishing online for little or no cost.
Opportunities can develop very slowly; it may be years from the time a new lead is made until it grows into business. Waiting to initiate a Marketing effort may be too late to help get through a downturn. Do it now!
Propel your enterprise to a thought leadership position through Online Marketing and Social Media without a huge budget. It will drive sales:
- If a boy meets a girl and tells her how much she is loved, how beautiful she is, and how he can’t live without her – that’s Sales Promotion;
- If a boy meets a girl and immediately impresses upon her how wonderful he is – that’s Advertising;
- But if the girl seeks him out because of what she has heard about him – that’s Marketing!
“Marketing involves all types of activity. It is about making your company and its products and services as visible as possible. Do it, and have a plan!”
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Cultural differences between people in a company, or between the employees of two companies working together in a joint venture, can create difficulties in terms of communication, teamwork, motivation, or coordination, and the impact on performance can be significant.
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