Access to everyone all the time has posed a critical problem for marketers that are grasping to reach anyone that might be buying in this economy. With social media and online communities, in addition to traditional media from billboards to TV, it is often overwhelming for marketers‘ budgets and time. The strategy quickly leads to targeting which medium is most effective in reaching the most number of people, when in fact; it should become more about targeting the right person in the right location with the right content.
A more conventional, yet understood analogy is billboard advertising. If you are selling healthier, less expensive grain, it is better to be in Kansas on a community traveled road in the spring vs. in Times Square. Unfortunately, many marketers often get caught up in the numbers of reach versus being in front of their target audience in a premium position with a compelling message. Following your competitors on search, social, or traditional media is one approach, but it would be much better to be exclusively in front of your customers when it matters most-when they are deciding what to buy.
With the growth of mobile-marketing communities such as FourSquare, it is clear that consumer marketing is utilizing location as a strategy. “Beyond targeting audience by keywords, brands can now access potential customers not only away from the computer screen – but also as they’re mere feet away from their physical stores,” Gina Gotthilf, Social Media Strategist states in “The New Age of Targeting—Real-Time Location Marketing.” In addition, Inc. writes about how “Real Time Marketing Technologies Boosts Business” in small consumer companies.
However, in business-to-business it is not only about location, but about placement and understanding the right time within the buying cycle that the potential customer is looking for education, product information, or where to buy. (In the b-to-b space) “You have to listen very closely to where the conversation is happening—about your products, category and brand—and who those influencers and advocates are,” Tom Hoehn, Director Interactive Web Marketing. Kodak has also shared its Social Media best practices for consumer and b2b marketers at http://www.kodak.com/US/images/en/corp/aboutKodak/onlineToday/Social_Media_9_8.pdf.
As a result, it is important to not only generate leads, or to be present at the location where the buyer makes the final decision, but to also present your solutions at the beginning of the buy cycle as they are understanding thought leading solutions mapped to leaders in the industry. When establishing a relationship with a customer vs. a transaction, it always helps to act as a trusted advisor, which requires not only sending the invoice, but educating, interacting and leading the customer through the buy cycle.