While much of that is enriching to our businesses (and our very lives), are we deluding ourselves into thinking that the internet has become a panacea for all our marketing woes? And is it possible that we’ve been lulled into relying on it for things it was never meant to do?
You know like, for instance, if we started using Band-Aids for painter’s tape… Where do I begin? They’re too sticky. They would leave residue behind and be a nightmare to remove. They’d be prohibitively expensive. Paint would drip through all the gauzy areas… And you’d be hard pressed to finish with any semblance of a straight line.
- Weave back and forth, from online to off – my personal favourite. Whether it’s to network with prospective clients or referrers, go to or create your own live events, anything from seminars to cycling and wine tastings. Get out there (with your team) and press the flesh. And for those of you that are already doing so, stop keeping those activities in a silo. Use the internet to share your experiences, post photos and reconnect with the very same people you met in the flesh. They will remember you far better than having briefly scanned your profile and your online efforts will continue to solidify the connection. Keep doing it and your internet marketing will be more targeted, one degree at a time.
- Market to the neighborhood – especially fitting for medical clinics and other services targeting the local client. Every neighborhood has its own culture. Read the local paper, visit complementary businesses and generally tap into the comings and goings of the area to discover the best opportunities to get the word out about your firm. There are ample opportunities from sponsoring local events or teams, public speaking, networking opportunities and promotional partnerships. Start walking and talking. You might even enjoy yourself. What’s wrong with that?
- Use snail mail to pop from the clutter – That’s right, snail mail is the new internet! How many letters do you get these days? Would you notice if you received a personalized package from someone in your professional network? And what if it included a handwritten message, clever marketing materials or a surprisingly likeable keepsake? Don’t be too quick to dismiss direct mail as a viable option just because you had a couple of bad runs. There may very well be a logical explanation. Objectively, was the message clear and compelling? Did it reach the right audience? Did they even receive it? Did you follow up with subsequent mailings to build up to the appropriate frequency? Investigate.
- Pick up the phone, you know the part with the numbers that can actually call someone?! – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from clients that nobody calls anyone anymore. Our phones may be smart, but are we? We’re so busy texting, emailing and ‘liking’ that we’ve forgotten how to connect as human beings. Remember that a short call is a lot more powerful that posting something on LinkedIn to the audience that never showed up to read it.
- Better yet, go for coffee! And don’t let distance stop you, skype coffees count too!
So, stop it.
Take a step back and revisit your goals. Who are you really trying to reach? Where are they -not just online, but in real life? What are their hobbies, interests, connections… What do they read? Where do they live? Who do they know? What’s the easiest way to reach them? Start looking at the options to reach your market with a much broader mindset.
Ironically, the more open minds in marketing these days are the ones that know better than to dismiss their grassroots, like shaking hands, smiling and telling someone that you’re pleased to meet them.