I’m asked on a daily basis the following question: Tony, what is the best marketing mix I should use for my business or non-profit? This question is crucial and here’s why: too many people are lazy and operate in a vacuum of marketing denial!
I know it sounds like I’m being a little negative here and that’s not the goal. The goal is to disrupt you right now and to remove from your mind that there’s a silver marketing bullet to solve all of your marketing challenges.
Newsflash: it doesn’t exist. The best way to capture attention, win minds, and sales
is through an integrated attack employing both online and offline marketing
strategies. It’s not easy, but more and more people are coming around to this way of
thinking, especially if they want to get and stay ahead in business.
Let’s discuss Three Great Reasons Why Both Online and Offline Marketing Makes Smart
#1. The attention challenge. This has been the core anchor of my teaching and
writings for almost a decade. Let me reveal something that I shared last summer with
direct marketing legend, Dan Kennedy, when we sat down for three hours at his home
to discuss joint ventures and marketing.
He asked me what I felt the #1 challenge in marketing was, and without hesitation I
stated, Getting Mind Capture or attention in a world addicted to digital and short
attention spans. He agreed with me. Not that I was surprised, but it once again
validated my case that getting this sacred commodity known as attention, is and will
get even harder to capture.
The adage that familiarity breeds contempt is true in marketing, but here’s the
danger: too many businesses abandon tried and true marketing channels wholesale, then
wonder why their promotions aren’t getting as much attention or response.
The answer’s easy. No two prospects are exactly alike. People are unique, even if
they fit into a nicely sliced demographic bucket. What one prospect may deem as junk
or a ‘sales pitch’ another may look at or be somewhat responsive.
The elusive challenge we all face as marketers is keeping steady anchors in our
marketing in play while also adding new communications to the mix to make things
fresh and not boring. I’ve said for years that another one of the key issues in
marketing is not being boring. So much marketing is devoid of life, personality, or
anything remotely exciting, so guess what happens to most of it? Yep, it’s ignored
#2. People process messages differently than you do. A 50-year old looks at and
views media and messaging much differently than a 20-year old. Seems like common
sense, but here’s the danger. Far too many marketers still operate in a myopic
bubble of bias believing that the way they view marketing is how others do as well.
The reasons for this are many, which I’ll spare you, but for simplicity’ sake, here’s
why it’s wrong: we’re all different and process media via custom filters and time
preferences that we find best suited for our lifestyle.
To assume that a 53-year old man doesn’t check his email or use Facebook is not only
foolish, but hugely inaccurate. Conversely, to assume that a 21-year old doesn’t
read her mail is also wrong. Now, here’s the big point of difference: the 21-year
old might respond better to a postcard with a QR code or short message driving her
to a website, versus a long form sales letter.
In addition, when you layer a combination of online and offline messages towards a
prospect, it may be a voicemail or text message that finally gets their attention
after they’ve requested more information via Facebook or email. They might have been
in your email follow up sequence and ignored multiple messages, but the old school
phone message or the new school text message finally gets them to respond and
re-engage with you again.
#3. It helps you stay relevant versus becoming a relic. Imagine if you had said in
the mid-1990’s, “I hate computers and we’re sticking with the fax machine only.” I
know it sounds a bit outlandish, but please stay with me. A lot of businesses treat
the new forms of social media like this.
They dabble with it, dislike it and frankly think and hope it will go away. If this
is you, or preferably your competition, then they are in BIG trouble. Not only is
messaging changing, but many ‘old forms’ of media are in the decline. This doesn’t
mean they’ll soon disappear, but the messaging and value of their importance in the
marketing mix will change accordingly.
For example, look at the newspaper industry. In the last five-years they’ve had to
quickly scramble to integrate online media and marketing with their print product
based on changing technology and demographics.
The smart ones were already on board a few years before this, while many other
newspaper organizations sat with their head in the sand and denied that the world
was changing and quickly, even while profits were falling like a failed rocket.