Archive for the ‘Traditional Media’ Category

Economy Fight Back

With the current market instability over the Big Fannie-Mac Attack, I have been scanning the marketing and business blogs for some relevant and useful information to share.  There is always an opportunity for those who seek it out, so here is an article that may offer some new ideas if you’re feeling a less than pleasant pinch in your bottom line.

It is an article by John Jangtsch with Duct Tape Marketing called “7 Time-tested Ways to Dig out of a Recession”.

Scan the headlines each day and you won’t have to get very far to stumble upon the word recession or its more palatable cousin “economic downturn.”

It’s times like these that send many small business owners on a quest for the magic recession fighting marketing tip. Today I would like to share my top seven quick fix marketing strategies with the caveat that you understand nothing beats building a marketing system based on a narrowly defined ideal customer and core message of differentiation.

Being the practical guy I am though, I also know that sometimes you need to hear about ways to start getting out of a hole before you can really listen to the message of long term fix. The good news is that these seven strategies, applied effectively, can help you make your business recession proof and unswayed by the various and inevitable cycles in the economy.

Take these seven tips and re-energize your marketing today!

1) Partner with other businesses – Proactively creating strategic partnerships is a great way to generate new leads and build long-term momentum. The trick is to do it ways that are win-win and simple for all parties. Number one rule, only seek marketing partnerships with organizations that you would have no problem referring your best customer too. Adhering to that logical rule alone will make this strategy more effective. Creating motivated strategic partners is simple if you can find a way to tap their self-interest. Take them an effective white paper or seminar idea and let them co-brand and co-sponsor it. That way they have a ready made and logical way to partner with you and you’ve done all the work.

2) Reactivate past customers – Where did I put that customer anyway, I know they are around here somewhere. Sad but true, sometimes we don’t bother to communicate with current customers unless they call with an order. By the time they have decided someone else appreciates their business more, it’s too late. Reach out to lapsed customers and make them an apology, promise to never ignore them again, and make them a smoking hot deal to come back.

3) Get out from behind the computer – Building personal relationships is always in style. It’s very tempting to sit and write blog posts and participate on social networking sites, and while these aren’t always bad things – sometimes you need to go out and shake some hands. Make it a point to go to several industry conferences every year. Join an industry or chamber type group and go to events where you can make connections with prospects and partners. Join a referral group such as BNI and participate. Go visit your customers and ask for referrals.

4) Speak at events, hold workshops – Marketing is essentially a trust building game. Few things build trust more efficiently than getting in front of a group of potential customers and sharing your expertise in an educational setting. Go propose to conduct a hot sounding workshop for your bank, accounting firm, law firm and insurance firm. Check local libraries, chambers, and associations for opportunities. Look in your local business papers and see what groups have speakers listed in calendars of events. Get two of your best customers to help conduct peer2peer webinars to discuss best practices and issues with peers you invite.

5) Fix your follow-up – lead generation and conversion is not a one shot deal. By automating your multiple follow-up messages, scheduling routine marketing touches and sending the occasional thank you, hand written note, you can stay top of mind when the buying and referral decisions are made. The longer the sales cycle for your industry or service the better your follow-up needs to be. There is so much that technology can do for you here, let it!

6) Repackage your products and services with offers to act – This goes along with differentiating really, but sometimes you’ve got to give that tired old dog a new look. Find simple ways to relaunch yourself, your people, your products, your services, your packaging, to give yourself a new start in your market. You don’t need to start from scratch, look for innovative ways to repackage, reprice, redeliver, reguarantee and recommunicate about what you do. Make them an offer they can’t refuse, make it so bold they must rehear you.

7) Fix the marketing gaps – In every way, shape, and form that your business comes into contact with your prospects and customers it is performing a marketing function – good or bad. You must look at all of your customer touchpoints and turn them into positive, brand-building opportunities. Tear down the lead generations touches, sales touches, service touches, delivery touches, follow-up touches, transaction touches, and billing touches and make sure that every single one of them is a performing a killer marketing function for your business.

Maybe by now you’ve surmised that all of the items above are good for business, no matter the economy, it’s just that sometimes you need a fix or two to get restarted.

Automatically Tracking the Source of Phone Call Leads

It is easy to track visitors that come to your site from a search engine, a Google PPC campaign or who have emailed you from your Contact Us page, but tracking what led to a customer picking up the phone and calling you has been a bit tricky.  For years, we have had to remind our clients to make sure to ask “How did you hear about us” everytime they recieve a call from a new lead.  A simple solution on the surface, but it is not always a question that gets remembered to get asked or if it is, it might not get officially logged anywhere.  Also, large businesses might have many employees who answer the phone and not everyone might know to ask this important return-on-investment question.  But now, believe it or not, there is a way to automatically track and log how many phone call leads you get from all your marketing campaigns.

How it works is we can setup a local or toll-free number for various advertising campaigns you are doing – one number for a billboard, one for a newspaper ad, one for a radio commercial, one for your yellow page ad and one for your website.  Then, either by logging into the your Call Tracking Console or by recieving your weekly Call Report you will be able to see reporting for average call time, calls by state, zip code, time and date of the calls amoung other stats.  This way you can find out which of your ad campaigns is generating the most leads for you – was that billboard worth the investment?  Is it time to drop the yellow page ad?  You will know with call tracking.

An example of the reports available to you

An example of the reports available to you (click for a larger view)

Also, we can setup Instant Contact on your website so you get an immediate call when some fills out your contact form.  Here’s how: an interested prospect fills out your Contact Us or other related form.  Once they have submitted their information, Instant Contact will initiate a call to your business and read aloud the pertinent prospect information.  You are given the option to accept the prospect and be connected back to them live and in real time.  And all this happens within seconds of the form submission!  Imagine the conversion rates with that kind of response time!

These are some really cool tools to help you simplify and improve your marketing efforts.  Feel free to call me at 1-800-709-3240 / (352) 732-7700 to find out more.

Large Format Printing – We Can Do It

Repost from my November 2007 eNewsletter:

“NetSource Technologies is proud to offer large format printing and graphic design solutions to meet our customers’ needs. Our state of the art printer, an HP DesignJet 3000, produces both indoor and outdoor graphics, up to 48 inches wide for custom banners, tradeshow displays, life size posters, and so much more.”