If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times, “Our marketplace is not that advanced.” What is often the subject of this discussion is the type of marketing vehicles that can be used in an industry. And what is often being discussed at that time is using marketing techniques like social media, virtual events or even developing white papers and videos. It is time for all of us to realize that our prospects are not single dimensional. They have a life outside of their industry and that life often includes Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and even gambling sites with high resolution graphics and ecommerce. If you feel like your industry has not yet adopted these techniques – then consider yourself lucky. You can be among the first to bring these ideas and solutions to your prospects and believe me, others will be quickly following your lead.
Don’t get me wrong, while I believe that the use of these tools is now engrained in most B2B prospects, I still believe there are ways to go too far with the application of these solutions. Thankfully, there are well understood boundaries that have been documented in easy to find best practices. If you are not getting SmartBrief email updates on social marketing, then it is time to subscribe (http://www.smartbrief.com/socialmedia/). Smartbriefs, and many other similar products help keep marketers up to speed on what is and is not working out there. With a short read, you can be brought up to speed on the advantages and biggest pitfalls of today’s marketing mix. This type of insight, connected to a well thought-out marketing strategy will keep you on the path to terrific marketing results.
Another consideration is getting the mix right. For most companies there is a list (or at least a corporate memory) of the programs that worked really well for your business. Taking time to think about why these programs went right and possible ways to extend that success needs to be a part of your marketing strategy as you move forward. Can adding a microblogging solution to last year’s runaway successful sweepstakes help you reach more people or perhaps help get those that participated last year to do something new like send you a video to address a challenge? The answer is probably yes, and the stakes for being wrong are too low not to give it a try. I recently started receiving a series of emails from a long standing vendor of mine asking me to submit a photo of their products in action at my location. This material is collected and used as a super light case study on their site. The company posts hundreds of examples of their product being used across the globe and for what the content lacks in technical description, it more than makes up for with interesting photos and a large quantity of them. Whoever said that “Pictures are worth a thousand words” was not only very clever, but was also predicting the impact of photos on social media programs.
The moral of this short story is to get past what you or your competitors have or have not done in the past. Focus on the future and the development and refinement of a strong marketing strategy. Let that strategy dictate the vehicles that are right or wrong for your particular situation, application and industry. Consider a more traditional marketplace a unique and wonderful opportunity to be first with well executed, tightly-focused, multi-media programs. Learn from the lessons that other’s can teach us and be prepared for stellar results and a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your prospect and what is possible.
Written by: Dan Hirsh, Partner at MediaSolve