Choose marketing tools that align with your immediate sales goals
By Richard Rutigliano, PriMedia Inc.
In today’s economy, money is tight, and marketers need to allocate marketing budgets with care to deliver immediate results in sales.
Start with what you want to achieve. Are you looking to add new customers for a specific product? Is there profitable opportunity in a new branch of your field? Have you launched new services that you can cross-sell in your base?
Before identifying the right tools for the various jobs, let’s look a take a moment to consider where your website and overall web presence fit in this kind of targeted approach to marketing. With the rise of Internet-centric marketing, the company website is a keystone of your success. After the absolute operational essentials of employees, vehicles and inventory, nothing is more instrumental than a professional, interactive website.
The website is where new customers find you and current customers prefer to interact with you. As such, website deployments belong in the capital investments discussion, not in the operational budget conversation. Many companies still need to improve their websites and address their overall web presence. If you fall in that category, think about waiting another year to buy that additional piece of equipment to find the money, or delay improving your offices so you can address the website this month.
Place the same kind of priority on your web presence. You need to be highly visible on the web to compete in today’s market, so make sure you take advantage of every visibility opportunity from Google Maps to Yelp to Yahoo Local and beyond. Mobile websites and social media presence are also approaching indispensable status. Without a professional, dynamic presence on the web, virtually any marketing move you make will be less effective.
As you allocate this year’s marketing dollars, be sure to pick the right tools. Here is a look at some likely company priorities and the tools that support them most effectively.
Recruiting Full-Service Customers
Declining market share makes it difficult to find new customers, so a company needs to make itself very attractive and visible. Develop a clear idea of what kind of customers might be available; how (and whether) they can benefit your bottom line; and what it would take to attract them.
Full-service customers are the top priority, and they might be available in decent numbers this year if you are offering a new product or if any of your competitors fall on hard times and disappoint or desert their customers. Estimate how many customers might become available and what they might be looking for. If you sense opportunity, get in recruitment mode now.
Here are some steps that might make sense for you this year.
Recruiting COD Customers
If you have a way to make a satisfactory margin selling your products COD, or charge on delivery, through a subsidiary company, try to increase your market share.
Recruiting New Service-Only Customers
If you offer specific service, why not see how much market share you can capture? Develop a service program that includes plenty of profit for you and then promote it aggressively.
Selling additional products to the Customer Base
If you make a good margin selling your products and there is good opportunity within your base, hit the additional sales.
Cross-Selling New Products and Services
If you have launched new products or services, or you want to improve sales with a service that you have under-promoted in the past, target your base with an aggressive campaign.
The marketing toolbox contains dozens of options. If you’re operating on a smaller budget than you’d like this year, choose with care and select the strategies that offer the most direct and immediate support for sales.
Richard Rutigliano is President of PriMedia, Inc., a full-service Advertising/Integrated Marketing Communications/New Media firm with offices in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.