3ps-marketing-strategy

The 3 P’s of Marketing Communication

There are three main strategies when it comes to your marketing communication plan, and they are the three Ps; push, pull and profile. From my experience these can be, and arguably should be, used as a blended communication strategy rather than just one – however, this can depend on a number of factors, which are mentioned below. So what’s the difference between a push, pull and profile strategy? Push Strategy A push strategy is a more direct form of communicating with your clients; it’s about ‘pushing’ your products to them with as little advertising as possible. An example of this would be direct selling and exhibitions where a great deal of personal selling is involved. This is a useful strategy for when there’s low brand loyalty, many good substitute products available, or perhaps for impulse buys. Other examples of push strategies include: Direct face to face selling Forging agreements with retailers to stock a product Making supply chain enhancements Promotion through packaging design In store displays Pull Strategy A pull strategy is a softer, but potentially more costly approach, where you encourage customer demand through advertising and promotions, such as free samples, coupons and competitions. This is a good strategy …

How Has Digital Changed PR?

There are two answers to this question, both of which are equally valid; not a lot, and loads. It is certainly true that PR has gone through a transition / new awakening in the last few years, particularly with regards to how it capitalises on social media. However I would also argue that the fundamentals of PR – communicating a message to a stakeholder to influence their behaviour – have not changed. Fundamentally PR is the same as it always has been. It is for that very reason that we don’t position ourselves as a digital PR agency – there’s no such thing! It is also worth bearing in mind when reading this that my time in the PR industry has always been ‘digital’. Unlike my more learned colleagues I have never fundamentally had to change the way I work to fit into a new ‘digital age’. I have never sent out a press release with a fax machine, or heaven forbid via post, and the 24-hour news cycle and online newspapers have always been my playground. I’ve always worked in the technology sector too, so I’ve probably embraced the digital lifestyle a little more than, if not perhaps earlier, …

New Year, New Marketing

It’s a new year and that means new resolutions, a diet and less drinking after the festivities… It’s also a good time to evaluate how your marketing is working for you. No doubt the run up to now has been hectic, manic and crazy, ending in a welcome break. As you think about how to get back into it (and if you’re easily bored like me) coming up with a more effective plan of action is a great way to jump in with maximum momentum! So, what is a good way to start? Well, apparently you’ve already stumbled across it. By seeking the newest trends and expertise in the area you’re finding where to make the most impact. Here’s a handy checklist you might like to apply to your efforts: 1. Website It has become more and more apparent recently that there’s been a bit of a revolution recently with HTML5, CSS3 and JQuery. These fantastic new tools have shown how powerful, engaging and usable the web can be. Designers have jumped at the opportunity and developed a whole new look and feel for the modern website, throw into the mix mobile first responsive design and automating your marketing and …

Are Traditional Christmas Cards Fighting Back Against eCards?!

I’ve certainly noticed the shift from people sending traditional Christmas cards to sending eCards over the last few years and I too have made that move in my professional life. Now with the physical cards the minority, this is the first year that for me, eCards have become a bit annoying and real cards stand out! Looking back I suppose it was always a possibility that eCards would eventually get lost amongst all the other emails and because the amount of post we receive has reduced, that traditional cards would once again make an impact! This year we decided to send eCards – it’s better for the environment and we also donated the money we would have spent to charity – so both those are great causes. That said, from an exposure point of view, we only got a 34% open rate…I’ve opened and read all of my Christmas cards this year but I’ve barley read any eCards… So food for thought – although writing a load of cards to send to your customers may be time consuming and costly, that personal touch leaves an impression. Not to mention the fact that they’re not lost in a storm of mail …

What’s The Difference Between Telemarketing And Telesales?

Both Telemarketing and Telesales are challenging roles and to succeed in them you have to be resilient and personable. I’ve already written about how we all hates ‘Sales calls’ (the collective term for both activities) – but in my opinion they play an important part in the marketing and sales cycle. But what’s the difference? As suggested in their name, both use the telephone as their main communication tool and this is backed up with emails and social media activity e.g. research on LinkedIn. There are similar types of calls made during both roles – from contacting ‘cold’ prospects through to managing existing clients with an already strong relationship. To a prospect there isn’t much difference between Telemarketing and Telesales, especially during the initial stages of a cold call i.e. simply trying to speak with the decision maker. But it’s the second part of the name where things change and the key difference is the overall objective of the two roles. Telemarketing The objective of a Telemarketer is to generate brand and product awareness, building a ‘leads’ momentum through the marketing cycle into the sales pipeline – their end goal is often to book a meeting, webinar or promote an …

Re-enforce Your Marketing Messages Using Email Signatures

If you’ve read my article on email marketing you’ll know how highly I rate emails as part of an integrated communication strategy. Well it’s not just a monthly e-shot that can add value – think how many emails you send a day at work…both to internal and external contacts. What an opportunity to re-enforce your event, new product or even your company weekend away – and that’s where your email signatures can come in. Here’s an example Alex Ashley-Roberts / Owner d: (+44) 0845 xxx xxxx t: (+44) 0845 xxx xxxx f: (+44) 0845 xxx xxxx e: [email protected] w: www.simplydigitalmarketing.com You need a scalable solution With the support of your IT department it’s relatively straight forward to add a banner to everyone’s default email signature – but one isn’t enough as a single message clearly doesn’t fit all, so you need to be able to create multiple signatures and make it easy for people to use them. There is software available to reduce the admin – an example being eMailSignature. This gives the Marketing team some control and makes it easy for everyone to select the signature they want when sending an email, tailoring each message to the audience. This …

What Is Marketing Collateral?

Marketing collateral is simply an industry umbrella term used to cover all of your marketing materials & e-media assets e.g. brochures, whitepapers, videos, datasheets, case studies, testimonials etc. There are many types of collateral and each one adds its own value – this is fully discussed in our integrated marketing collateral article – but there are pieces of collateral which is used as the initial ‘bait’ to attract your audience and then material which is used to help progress prospects along the sales cycle. The types of collateral you use depends on your market – some subjects, products and audiences react better to videos, some respond positively to written material such as a whitepaper. Over time you should build up your collateral base so that you can use them to shape future campaigns. Having this collateral ‘treasure chest’ will allow you to be flexible and respond quickly to movements in the market.

Integrated Marketing Collateral

This article is written from the view point of generating sales; however the principle is the same for all communication which is designed to prompt an action. What is integrated marketing collateral? Most worthwhile sale cycles I know are quite lengthy, so prospects need to be ‘nurtured’ and a consistent and timely flow of marketing messages is the best way to do that. This not only means that you must have integrated communication lines e.g. TV ads, emails, online advertising, Social Media etc. but also integrated marketing collateral. The term integrated marketing collateral simply means that each piece of material complements the next and helps progress your prospects through to a sale. Working example If you were selling an ‘online software solution’, you may need to take someone from little to no awareness of your solution through understanding its value, to making a purchase. So this is specifically from a collateral point of view and not a look at communication lines i.e. how you distribute the collateral to reach your audience – that’s a different matter. 1. It may all start with the download of a whitepaper which helps someone understand the subject matter. At this point you may have …

A Marketing Manager’s Job is Never Done

This has a fair amount to do with personality, but also the progressive nature of the subject. In my experience even the best planners and calmest marketers are always busy – and I might add the best ones too! We don’t have time to relax because we’ll get over-taken! That said – and I’ve said this before – sometimes it’s important to make time to look around but that’s part of the job, so our work is constant. Personally I thrive in this environment, I enjoy positive change and love smashing through my ‘to do’ list. In my role multi-tasking is a must – I don’t buy the fact that ‘men can’t multitask’ but I do understand that some people are better at it than others! This is where priorities come in – they could be dictated to you by your boss, clients and team or it may be down to what makes the biggest impact and brings the greatest return. My tasks are driven by a mixture of all these, so I need to be flexible. My main fear is a drop in quality, over the years I have become good at striking a balance between speed and quality …

Stats, Stats and More Stats!

I’m a stats man and I think marketers can get a bad name for being obsessed with impression rates, click through rates, open rates, cost per click etc. etc. – but we need these stats to build on and improve our marketing strategies. The key is staying focused on the overall objective and the stats which truly represent tangible results. One thing which was always drummed into me (and rightly so) was ROI, ROI, ROI!! Marketing spend can be high, campaigns cost money and we need to justify those costs with a return and what better way to do that than through statistics. That’s one of the reasons I love digital marketing – it’s so much easier to measure than say a direct mail piece. There are loads of statistics available and ‘the stats don’t lie’, but they can be ‘noisy’ making us lose focus on what’s really important and that’s profit and sustainable value. Email marketing is full of great stats so it’s a good example of where things can get heavy. Your objective in this case is engagement, you want the reader to take action! I think there are two levels of stats here, the first are the …

“Marketing b****cks” gives us a bad name

I can understand why some internal people look at marketing as a load of fluff. On the face of it we all talk about PPC, SEO, SEM, CTR’s, OR’s and ‘Nurturing’….so to someone who isn’t as passionate about marketing or has a different focus, it can seem like a load of rubbish. To a marketer though, it all makes perfect sense! As a marketer we need to be good at internal communication and relationship building – not always easy when we’re all trying to get things done – but none the less, it’s our responsibility to develop the marketing department’s internal brand. With this in mind it’s important to consider your audience when in a meeting or who’s within ear shot of casual office chat…as you know, brand perception can make or break people, departments, projects and businesses. Creating the wrong image can doom things to failure and although it’s as much others responsibility to be positive, you know how important it is to send the right message. I think it’s fair to say that too many acronyms get on people’s nerves, not everyone knows what they mean and it can alienate people and make us sound pompous. I’ve heard …

Even Sales People Hate Sales Calls! But…

Telemarketing/sales is an important part of most communication strategies – it can significantly progress the sales cycle if done well. The problem is, people are difficult to get hold of and can be reluctant to give you much of their time – no doubt something you understand, as most of us behave in the same way when we receive a sales call, closed and a bit abrupt! I’ve heard some funny stories about how people deal with them – some just go silent and see how long the sales person hangs on for…others put on a fake foreign accent, whilst others do the classic yo..u…’re b.r..eak…ing uuu.p – quite amusing really. So I think it’s fair to say you can waste your time as a sales person, just as much as we can all waste our own time taking an unwanted call. I probably get at least one sales call a day, some more interesting than others – I don’t always answer them…but I’ve found that by ignoring them they don’t actually go away…more on persistence later – I should have known better because I’ve always say that tenacity pays off! The more I work in Marketing and Sales the …

PR 101

As a (relatively) seasoned PR veteran, SDM invited me to share some of my thoughts on the PR industry. Given the audience, I thought the best place to start was with my thoughts on what Public Relations (PR) actually is. It was also a good opportunity for me to attempt to define what it is we do all day… While some people may disagree with me on this, I have always considered PR to be an extension of the marketing function. In the private sector at least, our aims are largely aligned – to ultimately support the sales of our company’s product or service. While public sector PR is a bit different, private sector PR is ultimately about selling. The only difference is the tactics we employ. In PR, our main weapon is advocacy. It is our aim to educate anyone who may influence our company’s success, be it a shareholder, a customer, potential customer, employee, analyst or a journalist. We therefore aim to deliver our influence via proxy, since, after all, endorsement of a product or service by a respected third-party is more credible than when a company says it themselves. Traditionally, the PR function spends the majority of …

What Is A Typical Email Unsubscribe Rate?

The industry norm is around 2% – I’ve always experienced between 0.5% and 2% depending on the age of the data and where I acquired it from. You will often find that the unsubscribe rate is higher for the first couple of emails you send to a new lists, but the percentage depends on how you acquired that list i.e. did you buy it or build it up yourself? Bought data often yields poor open, click, bounce and unsubscribe rates (even though people apparently opt in), so keep that in mind.  How do you reduce your unsubscribe rate? Most experts agree that you should make the unsubscribe link clear. Receiving lots of unwanted emails without a clear unsubscribe option frustrates people and can damage your brand and reputation. At the end of the day there’s little point in having people on your list who don’t want to be on there. That said, there are guidelines to follow to minimise your unsubscribe rate – here’s what I recommend you do: • Manage your data – Adding any old email address to your system will not only reduce your open rate, but will increase your unsubscribe rate! So keep your records up-to-date …

Clever Marketing Or An Irrelevant Shock Tactic?

I like to receive interesting marketing mail, good or bad – it’s great for my marketing wall and acts as a source of inspiration or a reminder of what to avoid. One of my colleagues brought me this latest piece with a look of queasiness on her face…”what do you think of this?!”, she said. As you can see from the photo, it’s a guy pulling teeth with a pair of pliers and attached is the extra shocker of a fake tooth in a bag! I’m immediately interested. The headline reads “One less source of pain!” – I like how the “source of pain” is in red, it adds to the gore. The ad itself is for disaster recovery software by STORAGECRAFT. I know from experience how hard it is to create that all-important emotional connection between a customer and a software solution – so although I have no experience in disaster recovery, I can only assume from this mail that it’s a painful task and that their software makes it easier?! Some people in our office liked it, some felt it was a step too far and would put the squeamish off reading it – personally I like it, …

Does Twitter Really Add Value? Or Is It Just A Waste Of Time?

WARNING: This may sound like a bit of a rant in places but there’s a point. I’ve been using Twitter full on for a couple of years now and I manage a handful of corporate and personal accounts. They’re not difficult to manage, but they can be time consuming and with so much to do, is that time well spent? I think Twitter adds the most value to people in the public eye – it helps bring them closer to their fans. But what about you or I – is it worth our time? I can use Facebook for my mates, or even send a quick text – so why would people I don’t know, or indeed know nothing about me be interested in what I have to say? Well apparently over 2000 people are… When I first started using Twitter, I have to admit I wanted 10’s of thousands of followers, that was important to me – it was a numbers game, but I quickly learnt that was pretty pointless. A heavy following is good for perception and in theory exposure, but only if people are following you because they are interested in what you have to say. Early …

Email Isn’t Dead, Long Live Email!

I was asked the other day about the future of email and if I thought it has had its time…this was my summarised response. Email has been around for years and doesn’t look to be going away any time soon. Technology moves so fast and today’s idea is often tomorrow’s fad, but in my opinion email has a lot of legs left in it! Social Media has changed the way we communicate online, no doubt about that – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Skype mean that I don’t send emails to my friends anymore, so email may have lost some ‘social’ ground, but emails still dominate my work life. I get emails from colleagues, work partners and organisations promoting their services – and I do exactly the same. I would say that email marketing is the most prolific communication line I use at work. Does that make me old fashioned? I don’t think so – emails are quick, a great way to stay organised and can buy you thinking time. But more importantly from a marketers point of view, they have a big reach and you can measure their success! And in an age where return on investment is so …

Interview: Digital Marketing For Independent Retailers

When we were asked by Hayley Lingard – a final year student studying Fashion and Textiles Management at The Nottingham Trent University – for an interview to support her disitation on digital marketing for independant retailers, we were only to happy to help. This is how the interview went: 1. Can you give me a brief summary of your company, and the services that you offer? Simply Digital Marketing is an online resource which offers insights and free templates designed to simplify digital marketing. Our aim is to help students and professionals build their knowledge and do their jobs. At the moment our main focus is to pass on our insights and simplify digital marketing for everyone. 2. Why do you think digital marketing is so important for brands, companies and retailers? For me digital marketing is the current, modern digital communication and delivery arm of marketing. Digital Marketing gives a brand ‘dynamic reach’ i.e. an online ad or video can be sent down a range of integrated communication channels and if the message needs to be different per audience, that’s fine, it can be dynamically changed. All of the modern communication channels such as Social Media can enable the right campaigns to go ‘viral’. In the …

Reach Your Audience with Digital Marketing

One of the reasons digital marketing has grown so quickly is its accessibility, reach and interactivity, not to mention it’s better for our trees! There’s an ever growing number of digital communication channels and having run more marketing campaigns than I can remember, I thought an article would help you consider the main communication channels available to you. Understand Your Target Audience You’re either going to communicate with people for whom you already have their contact details (existing customers, leads or various other stakeholders) or with those who’s details and custom you are trying to get. The first thing you should therefore consider is where your target audience will be looking – understand what communication channels they use, read, listen to and watch. Here are some examples: – If you want to communicate with your existing clients or the leads you have email addresses for, an e-shot would be a good option. – Perhaps you want to send a message to your website visitors – if so a site banner would make sense. – Finally, maybe you’re after some fresh leads – why not try using PPC ads to grab their attention. The important thing is that you send your …

Writing Great Headlines

Writing a great headline isn’t as difficult as you might think and in my opinion it’s often over complicated. The most important thing is that your headline tempts the audience to read on – that’s what good copy does – simple! 🙂 To do this you need to attract the readers who are interested in what you have to say; therefore your headline must clearly explain what your article is about. It’s tempting to write a clever headline to get more readers, but if your audience aren’t actually interested in what you have to say, they won’t read on…so enticing people with a catchy but irrelevant headline is a false economy. The goal therefore is to write a headline which clearly explains what your email, article, white paper etc. is about, without writing an essay…easier said than done! I always find writing a small article summary with some keywords helps me focus on what the article is about and why someone should read it. Here are some examples of what I could’ve gone with for this article: – The Art of Writing Great Headlines – How to Write Captivating Headlines – Tips For Writing Catchy Headlines These headlines are all …