Action Beats Intention
Ready for growth? Slow down for a moment and think about what your company does best:
- What are customers asking for?
- What do they appreciate most?
- Who are they?
- Where do they hang out?
- What’s hot right now in your industry?
- Can you pitch to media?
Once you have the answers determine which channels will be best to broadcast your message and reach your target audience. Online, print, conferences, tv, radio, social media, blogs, e-newsletters? Do you have media contacts? Is your service or product available in a small geographical area, do you sell throughout your state or internationally?
As much as we’d like to offer a step by step marketing formula for you to follow, all business marketing solutions are different. From retail stores, e-commerce shops, member based nonprofits, trade associations, healthcare, higher education, or service companies, each has a unique selling proposition. A thorough understanding of your business and your market is critical to discern the best approach and components for a successful PR, advertising or marketing campaign to bring positive results. If you can take the time to connect with your inner marketer you will have the answers you need to put a plan in place customized for you.r business.
What is your company doing currently and what has worked in the past? Although internet marketing. social media, email marketing, and cable tv has changed the marketing and PR landscape, traditional media such as tv and radio can still be effective for many industries. Combining traditional and non-traditional marketing channels with advertising and PR, can help you reach multiple markets all the while keeping your brand messaging consistent.
Regardless of your budget and your goals adopting integrative marketing practices is the best approach for small business marketing campaigns. By coordinating different promotional methods that reinforce each other, your marketing objectives can be achieved. For instance, create a targeted email to your contacts and design a website landing page with a strong call to action. Or volunteer to speak at a local event and reach out to media for local radio or tv interviews to increase exposure for the event and your brand.
How do you choose the media channels for your campaign?
One of the best ways to begin, besides working with a marketing firm, is to know where your customers get their information. Another way is to take stock of what your competition is doing. Where are they advertising? Do they have an outside sales force? Are they selling to customers in a unique way? For instance are they offering package purchases or free items, extending credit, etc.? Are they getting interviews in media? Are they filling the radio airways with radio spots? Even if they have a higher budget for marketing and advertising you can adopt some of the marketing methods they utilize to reach your customer just on a lower scale.
Are you a member of a trade association or do you subscribe to industry publications? These are also great resources for learning what similar companies are doing successfully. Keeping current with your industry news can also offer newsworthy tips to pitch to media for free PR.
Another helpful way to choose your approach is to answer the question: Do you have more time or more money in this stage of your business? If you have more time than money PR may be your best option. If you have a good story to pitch to media and it gets picked up the return can be tremendous.
Not sure how to pitch media? Or are you nervous about being in front of the camera? Check out our favorite media coach, Michigan’s own media goddess Shawne Duperon at ShawneTV.com. Shawne speaks to groups and offers media mastery bootcamps where you can learn what to do and what not to do when pitching to media. She has cds and programs with Michigan media contacts, on camera tips, and even tips for make up application for tv spots. Follow Shawne on Twitter or sign up for her email announcements that contain seasonal pitch ideas for a variety of industries.
What is the message you want to pitch?
Determine your marketing goals and determine the next steps to reach them:
- If you want to increase sales, do you need to increase your customer pool?
- Have you added new products or services that could benefit your current customers?
- If you want to increase brand awareness, what topics are hot right now that relate to your industry? Can you pitch to media?
- Are there trade shows, expos or networking events your company can attend or sponsor?
- What other marketing channels/methods can you integrate for a greater return?
- Historically what sales and marketing efforts have worked best? (advertising, brochures, etc.)
- What is your competition doing?
Marketing and media options:
TV, Radio, Magazines, Internet Advertising (Google Adwords, Yahoo, Facebook, Niche Websites/forums, etc.) Billboards, Newspaper and Directory advertising, etc.
Internet marketing, Social Media Marketing, Print Marketing, Direct Mail, Network Marketing, Marketing Research, Market Analysis, Specialty Promotions, etc.
Public Relations (PR):
Press Releases, Writing & Media Distribution, Interview Opportunities, Publicity Campaigns, Consulting and Strategic Planning, Product/Service Launches, Press Kit Creation, Event Publicity and Promotion, Event and Trade show Management, etc
Sometimes you have to dive deep for the answers to all of the questions above but they are always there. If you are having a hard time tapping your inner marketer, take a good customer to lunch and ask them the questions you need to know. Contact us it you need help creating your marketing plans or cleaning up your corporate brand visuals.
Stay connected and pitch to media!