Technology moves at breakneck speed, fueling constant shifts in how prospects and customers seek, consume and act on marketing information. What worked yesterday might not work today – and there’s a very good chance it won’t work tomorrow.
Is your company behind in the marketing evolutionary curve? Here are five questions to ask yourself. If you answer “Yes” to any of them, it might be time to take a hard look at your priorities and spending.
1. Do you think it’s possible to truly measure the success of social media marketing?
Many businesses are reluctant to get involved in social media marketing because they subscribe to the old-school model of being able to measure an absolute, dollar-based ROI on everything. But times have changed.
ROI from social media marketing efforts doesn’t necessarily correlate to dollars to the bottom line. It all depends on the goal for social media strategy – public relations, customer service, consumer research, brand monitoring or some combination. Metrics can only be defined after a true sense of the goal is determined – and they won’t always directly correlate to a dollar figure.
It’s a different way of thinking. What’s the value of resolving a customer’s complaint so quickly that he turned from sending angry Tweets to gushing about the quality of your customer service? What’s it worth to have your message reach 10,000 new decision makers?
Metrics can only be defined after a true sense of the goal is determined.
2. How well does your website look and perform on mobile devices?
Traffic to business websites – both B2B and B2C – is increasingly coming from mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers. Twenty-nine percent of American adults own tablets or eReaders – up from 2 percent less than three years ago. Ten percent of global internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. If your site doesn’t display correctly on their various screen sizes, you’re missing out on valuable traffic.
Fortunately, the advent of modern coding languages – read: not Flash! – has brought with it a cost-effective solution: “responsive design.” It’s a design and programming technique that alters how a page renders depending on what type of device is accessing the site. With responsive design, elements of your website are automatically resized and reorganized depending how the site is accessed.
If your website doesn’t display correctly on various mobile devices, you’re missing out on valuable traffic.
From the largest desktop to the most compact smartphone, the site should be easy to read and use. And because responsive design does not entail the creation of an entirely separate mobile website, it’s an economical and forward-thinking solution – no matter what device is released next month or next year.
3. Is your brand messaging up to date and compelling to customers and prospects?
You and your sales team are probably so busy drumming up and chasing leads that you haven’t had a chance to step back and evaluate the message you’re sending to the marketplace. Here’s a quick test to run: Send a link to your website to people you know – but not to customers, prospects or suppliers. Ask them to tell you, in 100 words or less, what your company does and what your main products or service offerings are. If they can’t, you have a problem.
Business moves at lightning speed. If the latest news item, press release or product introduction highlighted on your website is dated, it sends a message to the market that your company hasn’t done much lately worthy of recognition. Likewise, if your messaging has become disjointed over the years, you might be passed over in favor of a company that presents its offerings more clearly. If prospects can’t tell what you do, they won’t be doing business with you.
4. Do you look at a trade show as a single point in time?
Trade shows represent a significant investment – both in time and dollars. Still, too many companies fail to manage trade shows using a long-term strategy. A proper trade show strategy starts six months before the event. That’s when you need to start thinking through what you’re going to promote, how you want to position yourself and, especially, how you’re going to use your other marketing channels to raise visibility and awareness in the weeks leading up to the show. Make sure visitors to your website know you’re going to be at the show, and where they can find you. Use your social media presence to promote your attendance. Send out an email blast.
Trade shows are expensive – use every tool at your disposal to make sure you get your money’s worth.
These days, public relations is a 24/7 endeavor, fueled by your web presence.
5. Do you think “PR” just stands for “press release”?
These days, public relations is a 24/7 endeavor, fueled by your web presence. It’s thought leadership distributed thoughtfully. It’s case studies designed to make customers look brilliant for using your product or service. It’s speaking engagements – and the promotion of them. It’s involvement in online community. It’s blogging. It’s SEO. And yes, it’s traditional tactics, too. These days, public relations is a 24/7 endeavor, fueled by your web presence.
If your PR plan consists of simply producing some press releases, posting them to your website and sending them to a few media contacts, you’re leaving too much on the table.