Most MSPs and small business owners don’t want to embrace (or give recognition) to one of the core principles of success in their marketing plan – their marketing media.
The more marketing media you can use simultaneously for a given market, the more response you’ll get overall and the more money you’ll make! Knowing how to use multiple media sources to get a customer in the door consistently, profitably and cost-effectively also makes you a lot less fragile and vulnerable to a serious competitor, an economic downturn, and/or media disruption such as the no-call list, Canada’s irrational anti-spam laws towards businesses, Apple’s new privacy protection for its users, etc.
So, why don’t more MSPs work to figure out how to use multimedia (also called multi-channel) marketing?
Because everyone – and I do mean everyone – wants cheap and simple marketing like:
- The e-mail list they can buy for two cents and spam to get clients.
- The FREE social media hack that takes five minutes a week and will drive two to three new high-paying MRR clients a month.
- The $5 referral incentive plan that gets clients to refer like crazy.
- The “one thing” that is more important than everything else.
Give me an EASY BUTTON, for goodness’ sake!
But the reality is, no business gets rich depending on ONE media, ONE strategy, ONE anything. There is power and stability in diversity and complexity. Sure, you have to start somewhere, and often “one thing” done is better than doing nothing. But as quickly as you can, you have to move beyond simple to complex. From one-shot messaging to multiple media, all interwoven, all supporting the other, all driving toward the same outcome. So, let’s break this down and start by explaining how media plays into your overall marketing strategy.
The 7 Types Of Media You Can Use
So, let’s talk about MEDIA. There are basically seven types of media:
1. “Authoritative” Print: Magazines, newspapers, books, and industry research.
2. Broadcast: “Real” TV and radio, NOT YouTube, not podcasts
3. Social Media: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
4. Direct Mail
5. Digital Media: E-mail, texting, retargeting ads, organic search, PPC, bloggers, etc.
6. Phone Calls
7. Human: Networking events, trade shows, referrals, canvassing, salespeople, etc.
Within each of these categories, there is a lot to know and MANY ways to screw something up.
The list is long. With lots to do. But when done right, any one of these can deliver results – but when done simultaneously, the results are exponential. One of the reasons is due to the fact that there is no one place where “everybody” is (meaning your prospects). Example: Despite what Mr. Zuckerburg will tell you, there are still a lot of people who aren’t on Facebook. A large portion of the population is, but not all the prospects you could potentially sell to are. If you ONLY do marketing on Facebook, you’re limiting yourself to only that segment of the marketplace that uses it regularly enough to see your ads and posts to engage.
A friend of mine sells catering software to restaurant owners. His best platform for scraping leads is Yelp. The second best is Facebook. But a very distant third is LinkedIn. For whatever reason, most restaurant owners are not on LinkedIn, and if they have a profile, they haven’t touched it in years. Does that mean he should abandon using LinkedIn altogether? No – in fact, he can get leads from LinkedIn very successfully, but it’s not in the quantity that Yelp provides.
As long as media provides leads and new customers at a cost you can live with, you should be using it.
If you look at the most successful companies, they aren’t using just ONE media to sell. They are using ALL of the above media, or at least most of them. Look at Google as an example. Despite the fact that they own search, they frequently use direct mail, trade show advertising, HUMAN marketing (call centers that are essentially sales departments, as well as sales executives who sell AdWords to major accounts), distribution channels (via social media marketing companies and ad agencies), and print advertising to sell digital marketing (pay-per-click). They ARE the social media platform, and they still use these methods of marketing.
What I do for my own company – and for my members – is create integrated campaigns that use multimedia to lift response.
Offline driving to online, to then follow up with e-mail, retargeting, and sales calls. Another flow is leads generated then followed up with direct mail, telephone calls, and e-mails. Essentially taking multiple lines of twine, and weaving them into a strong rope. And in today’s grossly DISTRACTED environment, it is becoming more and more critical to utilize multistep, multimedia marketing to even get someone’s attention and generate reasonable results.
It used to be we could send out a letter with a fax-back form and get responses. NOT TODAY. Even in my own business, I’ve had to create a far more complicated, sophisticated approach to selling than sending out a single letter or postcard as I’ve done in the past. This is happening to ALL of us – all marketers and all businesses. We live in a highly distracted, highly saturated marketplace that is not in NEED of your services, with MORE distractions and interesting things to read, look at, listen to and watch than the ad you’re sending. If you want more clients, the bar has been raised, and the level of difficulty has been multiplied.
Here’s why most marketing fails:
It’s ONE channel, ONE step. Direct mail without phone follow-up. E-mail sent without a phone call. Also, TOO FEW emails were sent. A client recently complained because he “wasn’t getting results” with the marketing. When pressed, he sheepishly admitted that all he had done was send out 10 prospecting letters to an ice-cold list over a three-month period with no follow-up in any other media (LinkedIn messages or phone calls). Yes, that’s an extreme example, but even if he had sent out 300 without some additional follow-up, results would be poor to nonexistent.
How to instantly lift results:
In summary, one instant action you can take is adding at least one additional MEDIA touch to every campaign you send out, and definitely to the follow-up of leads generated. For example, if you’re e-mailing your list regarding a webinar, add a couple of phone calls to the people who clicked the link but didn’t register (first), then calls to everyone who never clicked. Doing so will instantly lift results and registrations.
If you’re sending out a postcard, follow up with a phone call within 24 hours of it landing on someone’s desk and an e-mail that mentions the card (and, more importantly, the offer) to lift the overall response. I can tell you that adding three to five follow-up phone calls to a postcard or letter will often double the response of a campaign.
So the question is, how many steps or media touches are enough?
The answer is as many as it takes to get the result. Variables come into play, making it impossible for a simple answer to that question: Quality and relationship with the list. The offer and copy. TIMING. Who else is talking to them…who is the incumbent provider?
This prompts a secondary question that is, how MANY is enough? Again, the same variables apply. It should be determined by working backward from a goal. Two new clients a month will require eight appointments if the close rate is 25%. Eight appointments will (most likely) require at least 16 leads generated. Generating 16 leads from a list of warm, prequalified UNCONVERTED LEADS may take a list of only 500 to 550 (3% response) IF the copy is powerful, the offer irresistible and the message actually delivered and read. To an ice-cold list, 16 appointments may require a reach of 3,000 (0.5% response) due to the lack of a relationship.
Of course, the right answer to all of this is to test!
If you have a process that is already producing results – be it a lead generation campaign or a follow-up sales process – then add on a few additional touches with media you’re currently not using and see how it impacts the overall effectiveness of the campaign. If positively, then you build that into the system overall and it becomes the new control or system – but I will say that you don’t want to just add more touches of the same media (sending five e-mails instead of three, for example), but more touches with an entirely different media altogether, to get the best lift in response.
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