Which is the best route-to-market?
Do we need both?
Often I find myself waxing lyrical about the marketing ‘balance’ as I call it. One thing that really frustrates me is when ‘media experts’ make claims such as:
“Traditional marketing is dead; online marketing is the only way forward”. While I cannot stand intolerance(!) they are able to show plenty of evidence that social media campaigns can bring significant new business.
Likewise there are others who shun online marketing, regarding it as an unnecessary evil where the ‘experts’ simply talked up the need and created the market by claiming it as the next version of sliced bread. Some ‘traditional marketeers’ believe themselves to be more in-touch with their market because they actually talk to them, as opposed to ‘engaging electronically’.
Me? I have a foot in both camps. Both sides have a valid point but neither sees the whole picture.
I go for a balanced approach! BOTH approaches are valuable and can be used to compliment each other in a well designed marketing plan.
Four essential points to consider:
1/ Your target market. If the decision maker is over 50, their use of the internet is likely to be somewhat less than that of a 20-25 year old. They may respond better to tactile or ‘traditional’ marketing than what appears on the screen...and vice versa.
2/ Internet marketing relies on avoiding spam filters. It can also have an engagement time of only a few seconds. It appears on the screen and then disappears as the reader has other things to do on their computer. Traditional marketing is often tactile and will stay on their desk for hours, if not days, until a decision is made to file, dump or action it.
3/ Online marketing requires knowledge of the systems needed to integrate the contact engagement into an effective marketing campaign or plan. This means you will either have to learn how to do it yourself, or pay others to do it for you.
4/ Many companies rely heavily on the internet to locate suppliers. If they cannot find you there, they will use another company. Sensible and planned internet marketing can be hugely effective in promoting your business and products.
- Traditional AND online marketing are needed in a well balanced marketing plan.
- Consider your target market and decide the best method of first contact, and then compliment every initiative with other forms of engagement.
- Learn to use both approaches to greatest effect. This done, you will have a very powerful platform for attracting new business. But, don’t forget to make sure you have a really effective marketing message ready to transmit with your preferred route-to-market, AND the necessary sales skills to convert the interest generated into valuable sales!