Five Core – but Too-often Overlooked – Marketing Fundamentals
In every industry, there are standard tricks of the trade that create success. Here, I’ve compiled five marketing fundamentals to keep you on track and make the most of your efforts.
1. Thank your customers.
It’s a basic rule, but one that’s too-often overlooked. Take care of your customers and you’ll earn their loyalty and referral business.
At Altitude, we equate launching a website with having a baby. It’s lots of fun creating it, but once it’s born (launched) the ongoing work and maintenance kicks in. So in a nod to the memorable moment, just after launch, we started a tradition to send the client a gift basket and a note of thanks for entrusting us with such an important part of their business.
When we launched the new Lehigh Valley Auto Credit site for our friends at Vinart, Andy Wright was pleasantly surprised. “I’ve never received anything like that before from a technology company,” he said. It’s a small gesture like this (along with kick-ass work) that will keep customers for years to come.
2. Repurpose good content.
We work hard, but we also work smart. Every piece of content Altitude develops – a blog post, case study or video – is used in as many places as possible. During a discussion with a new client about what’s worked for them in the past, we learned they had examples of many effective single-use ads, email blasts, stories, that were never used again. If something’s good, use it over and over.
For example, a case study we developed for a client was well received … and well used. It went into their e-newsletter. An excerpt was posted on LinkedIn. A series of nuggets was tweeted. Portions were pitched to land speaking engagements. Other portions were used for awards nominations. And it formed the basis of a pitch to the leading trade publication with the bulk of the content being snapped up to use as the cover story. Twelve months of marketing fodder – all from one case study.
3. Have an SOP for sharing good news.
Social media is a powerful tool that can enable a company to garner a lot of attention for a lot less money than it used to take. A client recently earned a marquee customer. A press release was posted to both companies’ websites and sent out to a group of industry publications and blogs. The news stopped there.
This client has about 200 people working for it – most of whom are tied into industry groups via LinkedIn and other business networking groups.
Just think of the added exposure for this good news if there was a standard operating procedure that spelled out what employees could do with the company’s good news. If half shared it on LinkedIn and each had an average of 250 connections, the impact of the announcement would be exponentially greater while only requiring about two minutes of each employee’s time.
4. Implement best practices for design and push e-newsletter recipients to your website.
I constantly receive e-newsletters that seem miles long, one verbose article after another. Last week, I was scrolling, scrolling, scrolling to the bottom of one such e-newsletter and saw a headline that grabbed my attention. Finally.
Best practices are to provide a headline, some teaser copy and link to read the rest of the article. That link should be to a page to your website, where the full article lives. This plan of attack does several things:
- It lets recipients determine quickly what articles they want to read.
- It gets them to your website.
- It provides them the info they were looking for.
- And it provides them info about your company.
This tactic also helps with SEO as posting meaningful content to your website improves your ranking, whereas locking that content up in an email does nothing for your site.
5. Say it with me: Integrate.
Done right, integrated marketing is a highly effective guiding principle. It means that your messaging, visuals, tone and approach are all in sync and your tactical efforts level reinforce one another and tie together. There are no outliers, no piece of collateral or project that doesn’t fit with your overall marketing strategy. In other words, there aren’t any one-offs.
Marketing fundamental #2 above is a good example of integrated marketing. By taking a white paper and using it everywhere – from blog posts to e-newsletters to video vignettes, all which pushed readers to the client’s website and created buzz – we saw real results.
The number of RFPs coming in to this particular client tripled. Precisely the metrics – measureable and anecdotal – we wanted to hear.