I am a fan of multi-channel, multi-touch, fully integrated campaigns. I believe that our audiences should be hit from all angles with a consistent brand and message that is relevant, targeted, measurable and, well, a little bit different.
Regular readers of my blog will know of my appreciation for social media. It’s crude scope and ability to attract mass audiences to content is something the marketing world lusted over for years. I have also been following the Direct Marketing world with interest and strongly believe that Direct Marketing is back. It has the potential, when carefully blended with new world, social marketing to have massive impact.
So let’s look at how this can work. For argument’s sake, we are selling wooden toys and wooden household objects through a website. The website is in pretty good shape in terms of a store, but doesn’t have the social clout it deserves, or requires. We need to attract customers, we know social channels work, we know we can exploit the 850m users on Facebook and the 350m on twitter with some carefully crafted social campaigns, but what is going to make us different? I’ll tell you what, targeted, relevant, multi-channel, cost-effective marketing.
1. Define the demographic
In this example, mums and grandparents of children between 3 and 10 are the ideal audience. The website’s primary focus is beautiful, hand-crafted oak toys, carefully manufactured and painted to specification. They will never be as cheap as the toys in Ikea or Argos, but their sublime quality won’t be found in these stores either.
2. Create the message
A collection of lovely, hand crafted things. A company tagline that sums up exactly what they do in just 7 simple words.
3. Define the social strategy
Create a Twitter feed that can drive your social activity. I don’t really believe that Twitter’s value is in the timeline, it’s about its integration capabilities. Get Twitter doing the work for you and integrate it with Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to reduce duplicate posts and maximise efficiency. You can of course use it to search for leads too
A Facebook page is a must, it feeds right into the demographic as females in their 20’s and 30’s are some of Facebook’s most frequent users and the over 50’s market is one that is growing faster than any other. Use their advertising platform to display PPC ads to your defined target audience. PPC doesn’t have to cost the earth. In fact, a well run campaign for a company like this should result in low-cost, high value sales opportunities.
Google+ must not be ignored for many reasons. It is after all developed by the company that dictates what the internet is all about. If you run a web-based company and you’re not thinking about G+, think again.
Finally, LinkedIn is worth a shot. I know it’s primarily focussed around B2B marketing, but I find it quite refreshing when I receive a B2C focussed message on there. There are also a number of groups that could greatly benefit most companies whatever their line of business.
The point of social is reach. Join the leading networks, tweet, blog, share, like, poke and see what works for you. And don’t forget to use your own personal networks on these sites. You will be amazed what reach you can get.
4. The Differentiator
So, social is sorted, but remember we said we were going to make ourselves different. Everyone is doing the social thing, if anything, it’s being overdone, as e-mail was in the 90’s and Dm was in the 80’s. So it needs to be integrated as part of your overall strategy. I would like you to think about rolling your social strategy into personalised print. I have worked with a company called XMedia Marketing (XMM) for a number of years.
They produce stunning, highly personalised direct mail that has produced some amazing results for the businesses I have worked for. 1 lead from their creative approach resulted in a £1.3M ($1.8M) order. The customer still remembers the direct mail piece today, some 18 months on. So back to the wooden toy company. Lets assume they send a piece of direct mail to you. For the purpose of this example, your name is Gemma, your child is called Jack and it’s his birthday next week. Imagine receiving this postcard in the mail:
Would you be instantly engaged? Would you want to make an enquiry? The point is, it’s targeted, on the reverse of the postcard is a personalised message, to you. Yes, personalised DM requires data and data is extremely important in this process, but companies like XMM can help you with this too. I have always and will always be of the opinion that single channel marketing is simply ineffective. Digital print has moved on to a level where examples like the one above are available for pence/cents, not pound/dollars.
If you’re planning your next campaign, think about how social and modern, digital printing can give your audience an experience they will react to and remember forever.