The customer journey and your brand…are they on the same path?

Social media and search engine marketing (SEM) are growing by leaps and bounds.  And, they should.  That said, in this new world of social media and SEM, we often forget that the best marketing campaign is often an integrated campaign, not just one that is offered solely through the internet.

So, even though I am a big proponent of social media and SEM, why am I recommending an integrated campaign?  That’s because we need to focus on the customer experience or journey (as some people call it) and not on any particular marketing methodology—that we like or we even good at.  The customer’s journey to our product or service brand can be as varied as ways there are to experience our brand.  So, to be most effective, we need to have our brands presented in the most positive manner in as many of these journey pathways as economically possible.

So what type of integrated campaign is right for your brand?  Well, as you might expect, it depends.  It depends on your current and potential customer targets.  Here are some of the contact methods that you should consider for your brand:

  • Traditional Media—these are the tried and true “old school” marketing methods.  And make no mistake, these are useful for both B2B and B2C campaigns.  These would include:
    • Print advertising—best used for building awareness of your brand to a wide audience.  The key here is to focus your advertising on publications that focus on your target markets and not on national and expensive publications in which your brand may get lost in the shuffle.
    • Direct mail—best used for increasing consideration of your brand and presenting more complex offers.  Many companies have gotten away from this type of marketing, so this type of interruption marketing can be very effective.
    • Faxes—yes, faxes.  This will probably shock some people, but it can be very effective reach method for hard to reach B2B prospects.
    • PR marketing—thought these were mutually exclusive?  Not anymore.  Effective PR campaigns can be even more successful than a well-defined marketing campaign.  The key?  Making the PR meaningful for your audience…not your father’s or grandfather’s press releases.
  • Internet Marketing—these are the new methods that have all buzz nowadays.  These methods can be effective for both B2B and B2c prospects, though some of these methods are clearly more focused on the younger segments of the market than us old folks.
    • Online advertising—these are the banner ads that are pervasive on virtually every commerce-based website out there.  While online advertising has sort of been the redheaded stepchild of the online marketing set, it truly can be effective if done right.
    • Social media—these are the listening and engagement tools in your marketing campaign.  These include such sites as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube and Myspace.  Remember, this type of marketing is very different than your typical internet marketing campaign.  This method has a much longer “tail” as we say in the insurance business—meaning that the sale can take longer than it would with other methods.
    • E-mail marketing—spam, spam everywhere…e-mail marketing can be effective, but for most it isn’t.  That’s because many marketers are spamming people, even if they don’t realize it.  If you are going to do e-mail marketing, make sure you engage a professional.  Even if e-mail marketing is essentially free, it can cost you a lot from a brand perception perspective if done incorrectly.
    • Mobile marketing—ads on my cell phone?  Say it isn’t so.  Actually, with the geomapping software now available, this type of marketing truly is a brave and exciting new world and possibly a “win win” for both the marketer and the consumer.  How great is it that I can receive a coupon for my Skinny Latte as I enter the proximity of a Starbucks?
    • Search Engine Optimization/Your Website—some companies put way too much focus on other internet marketing efforts without putting enough effort on ensuring that their website can be found organically on the internet.

There are many ways you can be visible on your current and prospect customers’ product and service search journeys.  The key is to identify what methods allow your brand to be most visible to your targets, for the most effective cost.  If you’ve got the money, integrated campaigns are usually the way to go.

Happy marketing!

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3 responses to this post.

  1. very nice and informative details i have found on this page, well keep it up and best of luck

    Reply

  2. Great, concise post Sharon. I’ll be spreading it around. Well done!

    Reply

  3. Posted by sharonmarkovsky on June 10, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Larry,
    Thanks for the kind words and getting it out to folks. I am planning to flush out each concept I presented in a bit more detail in future blogs.

    Thanks again!
    Sharon

    Reply

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