Lessons Marketing

Investments in Marketing

We recently advertised with USA Today after being covered in one of their editorials. Typically, we do not advertise in print medium, but this seemed like a worthwhile experiment since it was reinforcing the article.

Over the years, I have seen “what works” for marketing change dramatically. Twenty years ago, print media and trade shows were the best way to spend marketing dollars. The best (and perhaps only) electronic marketing was the fax and self-managed bulletin board system. We also saw great benefits in public relations efforts – which indirectly reaches most marketing mediums if done well.

As you know, electronic mediums (particularly through the Internet) are the way to go now. Most everyone is involved with computers and the Internet to some degree. Face to face communication has been supplanted by this medium often times too. Brick and mortar businesses have lost much of their foothold over virtual ones. The mail has been replaced first emails and next by tweets. Print marketing (including magazines and newspapers) have lost much of their impact that they once held. Even television has been impacted with DVR’s that let people watch what they want when they want – and skip the commercials. With the cost of travel (dollars, time and frustration), trade shows are attended by fewer busy buyers.

Obviously, the web site is an important part of marketing in today’s world. Unfortunately, you need to create your own traffic, which relies on new and old marketing mediums. Digital signage is probably one of the biggest potentials to leverage your existing marketing collateral to motivate your staff and communicate to your customers (in house and on your web site). I still believe in the public relations route since it can be seen as someone else talking about the product – which helps to build trust in the product, brand and company. When focused, trade shows are good to expand into a new market. It helps to get the “buzz” out about a new product. When combined with an article, I will let you know if an ad works. Taking time to be involved in your market (in non-promotional ways) is probably the best way to build traffic. Create (and update) a blog. Answer questions on industry forums. Offer your knowledge as white papers. Tweet about relevant topics. And of course, don’t plan on immediate results – unless you pay millions for it.