Though the gentleman that rides a unicycle through my neighborhood isn’t wearing a Darth Vader costume like the guy in Portland, he has still captured my attention and my imagination. For over a year now, I have watched him practice his craft, up and down the country roads near my home, occasionally while juggling small objects. Though I don’t know what he does for a living, I like to imagine that he is a corporate VP who has taken up this bizarre hobby as a means of self-disciple – to reinforce the lessons in success that are a must for his business.
These lessons are critical to integrated marketing as well, and we apply them to the work we do for our clients each and every day.
Among Marketing Channels
Though putting all of your eggs in a single basket has never been recommended, this is even truer than ever in the diverse world of marketing. The varied online and offline channels available can be combined to work in harmony, achieving a better result than any single channel. However, we’ve seen many companies allocate their entire marketing budget to a single spend, perhaps a tradeshow, a series of print ads or a promotional video for their website. A video on your website can be valuable, but only if you have tools in place to drive people to view it.
Download our free Marketing Roadmap to organize activities across different marketing channels. The grid format will help you see how all your channels will work together to move prospects toward a single end.
Among Funnel Stages
Similarly, many companies place all of their emphasis on a single stage of the sales funnel. We recommend dividing your budget to cover all three: top, middle and bottom. This approach is especially true when developing content. A short tip sheet might be perfect for generating new leads online, but your automated lead nurture process should offer content with greater substance as a prospect is moved through the funnel. An eight page whitepaper might be overwhelming for someone hearing about your product for the first time, but it can be just what you need to poise a hot prospect for the close. Check out our Marketing Tip of the Week video on this topic.
Did I mention that Unicycle Guy is out practicing all year long and in all kinds of weather? It impresses me to no end but also reminds me of the rigor necessary in my own field.
Marketing in fits and starts is a common problem. Whether it is due to time or budget, it can be hard to keep your marketing efforts regular if there is not someone wholly devoted to this function. We see this problem most consistently in two areas:
Especially when a company is new to online lead generation, efforts may be put forth to generate leads without fully planning for lead follow-up. We have seen this happen with inbound marketing efforts; leads are collected, but no one reaches out in a meaningful way to grow the relationship. The marketing arm of one midsized company held a successful webinar that generated 180 leads only to find that Sales had labeled all of these leads “disqualified” after placing a single call to each lead on the day before a major holiday.
80% of sales require 8-12 touches to truly connect with a lead. Also, if your prospects are under the age of 35, reconsider your use of voicemail. Data has consistently shown that our younger colleagues view voicemail as an intrusion in a way that their older colleagues do not. If you do not have the staff available to be consistent in lead follow-up, consider outsourcing these efforts to someone that can qualify your new leads and move them past the first stage of the funnel.
The fact that you posted to social media four times in one day last month does not mean that your company “does social media.” In order to be effective, you must be posting regularly and on a variety of topics that are not strictly limited to self-promotion. Being part of your industry’s overall professional conversation, sharing information that your customers find interesting and reposting information about your customers or prospects are all important ways to remain active on social media.
A few weeks ago, I noticed Unicycle Guy juggling three bowling pins. The following week he had four. He’s always trying something new, and you should be as well. Not every new marketing trick will be right for you and your company, but you have to be open to new tools in order to identify those that are a great fit for you.
We recently met a CEO in the photonics sector who reported having great success with Vine videos because his target customers were young, West Coast engineers who were using Vine in their personal lives. Similarly, we know a medical device company that gets more qualified prospects from their marketing efforts on Instagram than their use of more traditional social media platforms.
Last year, a professional services company we worked with created business cards for a tradeshow; the cards featured employees’ pictures and a “Find me with questions” tagline. This approach increased sales by 2x for prospects secured at the tradeshow.
We just finished our second Medical Device Product Launch blog series in conjunction with Novatek Communications, a documentation and training firm specializing in medical devices. This experiment brought in some of our best leads last year, so we repeated it this year.
If you are trying something new, remember to A/B test it whenever possible. For creative ideas, check out Marketing Profs or Marketing Sherpa, our favorite marketing blogs which often include data along with descriptions of the newest techniques and trends.
Though Unicycle Guy may not think of himself as a brand, the frequency with which he comes to mind reminds me of the three tenants of branding to which our team ascribes: Be unique. Be memorable. Delight your customers.
The other day, Launch Team decided to order pizza for lunch. My coworker remembered that we previously ordered from a place called Stromboli’s and that their box featured a treble clef symbol. We had only ordered from them once before, but the unique logo – and frankly, darn good pizza – made it a memorable experience which we were delighted to repeat. Furthermore, the musical imagery is a clever reminder of the restaurant’s location, across the street from a music school.
When branding your business, be true to who you are, but don’t be afraid to break out of the box. Also remember to incorporate your branding throughout your various marketing media – from advertising to white papers to trade show booths. Check out our Creative Portfolio for some examples.