AS THE DIGITAL economy becomes a fact of life, many businesses have come to rely on their website and social media efforts to drive sales. Seeking free exposure and greater access to buyers, they’ve abandoned traditional marketing in favor of blogging, email marketing, social media and other online channels as a means of generating leads and sales.
Unfortunately, online-only marketing is not delivering for many businesses. As more companies vie for attention online, reaching buyers is more challenging. According to a study by DoubleClick (a subsidiary of Google that develops and provides Internet ad services), online advertising yields only a 0.06 percent click-through rate. Another survey from small-business consultant Manta reveals that more than half of small-business owners (59 percent) don’t see a return on investment from their social media efforts.
These statistics show that small businesses can’t afford to invest everything in a single marketing tactic that may or may not bring results. This also explains why some companies are revisiting online-only marketing in favor of a more diverse marketing strategy that integrates traditional offline tactics, either on their own or in combination with online approaches, to more effectively reach prospects and produce better results.
A case study
Don’t be afraid to experiment and look at different marketing approaches that might be more effective at reaching your audience. Here’s a look at a few.
Know your market. Marketing programs must be based on ho’ targeted customers find, evaluate and ultir lately purchase your products and services. Ask your existing customers, read trade publications or contact professional associations comprising your prospects. This type of basic market research, besides being easy and affordable, will tell you how you can most effectively reach your prospects and persuade them to buy from you.
The key is creating a valuable offering. Before you dial, prepare a brief script to help you maintain a confident, conversational tone. Offer free samples, reports, discounts or consultations that show your call is about the customer, not just the sale.
Anti-aging expert Lorraine Maita of Short Hills, New Jersey, built her business by regularly speaking to groups. “Public speaking predictably attracts new clients and invitations to speak for other organizations:’ says Maita. “For example, a woman at one of my