Johnny Cash’s song, San Quentin, begins, “I think I understand a little bit about how you [the inmates] feel about some things, it’s none of my business on how you feel about some other things and I don’t give a ____ about how you feel about some other things. But I tried to put myself in your place and I believe that this is the way I would feel about San Quentin”.
Great song, great legend, and in business, the right attitude. In fact, marketing helps businesses understand a LOT about how customers feel. Recently, I encouraged business owners and marketers to start a 2012 marketing plan, create an editorial calendar and get referrals. Today I want you to think philosophically: What is the value of marketing?
Connect With Current Customers
Good marketing keeps customers happy. Think of marketing as an ongoing conversation with your customers. You find out their problems and steer them towards solutions. You engage customers in several ways: through personal phone calls, print brochures and mailings, advertising, newsletters, emails and even on Facebook,Twitter and YouTube. Marketing is not pushing constant advertising messages.
One recent trend I have observed in marketing is people using their gaming systems, like Wii or Playstation, to access the internet and client web sites. These numbers, in addition to accessing websites through mobile phones, are steadily climbing. If your marketing doesn’t play nice with the way your customers want to interact with you, watch out, they might start looking elsewhere.
Stop Playing Hide And Seek
Good marketing helps new customers find you easily, which is why location marketing is so important. Marketing is often confused with advertising. While advertising is a component of a marketing program, it isn’t the only thing. The constant chase of new customers can lead to the alienation of existing customers. That is where marketing can go off track. Marketing works best when the message addresses the following:
Value and ROI
How valuable is marketing? VERY. Have a firm grip on how you make others feel in a business transaction with you. Marketing is a continual investment of time and effort. Often clients just “want to get that web project done”. That is the wrong attitude. A website is an ongoing, breathing representation of your organization and it must be fed. Not only to impact SEO, but to continue to highlight how your business stays current and help new customers find you. Marketing is as essential to business as staples, copiers, paper and pens. It is not something you can “Set It & Forget It.” If you forget about marketing, your customers may forget about you. Recreating brand awareness costs you more time, effort and money trying to win those customers a second time. In business, you get a second chance, only once.
This morning I saw the following article on William Shatner and his new viral video. He recently created a spoken word album and made an accompanying video to the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”. It had over 600K views in 3 days. This 80 year old celebrity has a handle on what marketing will work for customers-amazing. The author, Jeremy Scott, summarizes, “But let’s give him props. He knows exactly what he is at this stage of his career, and he’s playing right to the very fans he needs to.”
Marketing to your customers is easily accomplished via a blog or articles on a web site. Marketing keeps customers tuned into a business: generating sales value. Marketing takes time; that’s why at Vivid Image we promote our blog and write articles. We send out newsletters and emails. We offer training sessions, all to help our customers. It’s part of our philosophy of Simpology. We offer marketing value and save time and effort for customers for the DIY crowd or the clients who want an ongoing partnership. We want to help you keep a connection with your customers. Marketing campaigns can be measured and overall perception of the organization can also be quantified. If you want to track an immediate ROI, set up a Google AdWords campaign to track results on messaging.
What did you find most valuable in this post? Comment and let me know. Forward it to others who are starting a business or thinking about marketing. Marketing starts with customers and how you make them feel. It requires time, effort and testing. It isn’t cheap, but neither is your business. At Vivid Image, we can set up your marketing and help you keep going, “One Piece At A Time”.