Just as vintage clothes stay popular and vintage cars appreciate in value, there are some marketing principles that may seem ‘vintage’ in this twitteriffic world but they will certainly be fashionable a decade from now. While social media is changing the rules of marketing and public relations, in essence, it is just another form of engaging and communicating with target audiences. It’s important that we don’t forget the foundations of marketing, as everyone is spending their time blogging and vlogging and tweeting …….things like:
Brand Image: Consistent brand image, and well constructed brand architecture matters no matter what medium. Just as we often talk about managing our online brand image (and that is suddenly hip to talk about) we shouldn’t forget that every brand touch to a customer from a telephone greeting, to a ‘for sale’ sign needs to be consistent too, if you want to successfully establish brand attributes
Value Proposition – no matter how far reaching your online presence, you can’t get around the need to articulate a tangible value proposition at the core of your marketing messages. Why work with you? How are you really different? What are the proof points? How sustainably different is what you offer? Eventually, thousands of friends on Facebook won’t replace the need to deliver something of value to clients.
Be (appropriately) where your customers are: – again, just like the time and effort media planners put into targeting their audience with ad placements – the right TV spot, the perfectly placed print ad, the high profile sponsorship, eye height shelf space – thought really needs to go into where you ‘hang out’ online as well. More is not always better. Some social media venue attendees will actually form a negative brand impression if you try to ‘sell’ in what is more of a social setting. It’s a fine line with Facebook and YouTube advertising and I think the jury is still out on where it will end up. Either way, just consider your online placements – you wouldn’t run an ad for your fine dining restaurant in “Waste Management Monthly” now would you?
Business cards: They may be going electronic, or replaced by the swiping of an iPhone, but the objective is still the same. Customers needs to know how to find you, so make sure your information is accessible on all your online profiles – a well crafted email signature is elementary, links to your social media profiles important and an email address that is easy to remember and makes sense for your business really helps. And let’s not forget to do a reality check on what for many customers is now meaningless data like fax numbers and street addresses. Better to include information you would actually like them to use such as your IM identifiers, your LinkedIn profile and the like.
Crafting a Message: Well structured, well written content will never go out of style. The day of the high expense, 16 page glossy corporate brochure may have passed, but professional writing hasn’t. Don’t think that just because you are writing in a digital forum that you can abandon the rules of creating a compelling, memorable and relevant piece of content. Sure show your personality and your own voice, but always keep a healthy respect for your customers and remember they have discretion as to where they will take their business. Don’t go overboard with your personality at the expense of including information that aligns with customer need. It seems to be the norm to spend hours revising content for printed collateral, but in some cases much less discretion is used about what goes on a website or a blog.
Do I sound like a dinosaur? I hope not, because just remember during the dot.com boom everyone said economic fundamentals had been turned upside down and traditional ratios no longer applied in the e-business world!
Well look what happened next….