With the needs, wants and desires of the customer continuing to change and evolve there is a corresponding impact on the company looking to get its message through to intended market segments. Those of you have watched some of my videos in the past or read my writings will be well aware that I form marketing campaigns and programmes around three main pillars i.e.

  • Categories
  • Channels
  • Market Segments

… of course within each pillar there are many variations to be considered but for the purposes of this article let’s focus in on the ever increasing important role that Digital Marketing has to play in promoting, branding and advertising the company.

With that said; it is important to note that I consider Digital Marketing as what it actually is and that is “another [ok it is a critically important one] channel to market [means of connecting with the customer] such as …

  • Direct Mail
  • Flyers
  • Billboards
  • Telephone
  • Phone
  • Radio

… and others in order to gain market intelligence and to educate and nurture the customer taking them through the marketing funnel each step taking the closer to become a paying client.

So back to the customer and the challenges that the company has when it is looking to continually develop and execute marketing campaigns.

First we have the larger companies that [may] have fully staffed marketing departments with marketing professionals that are able to keep up with the ever changing digital marketing landscape as well as looking at how the customer reacts to content, information, marketing and advertising so that however they end up viewing the brand of the company along with the associated products and services culminates in them favouring them over the competitors.

On the other hand we have organisations that maybe do not have a defined marketing department or, whose marketing is being taken care of as a side job or in addition to someone’s task; it may also be that the marketing’s task has been given to someone who may not be defined as a full blown marketing professional [not that someone who is not a marketing professional cannot perform the marketing task] – but the point being made is that at times we are need of falling back on disciplined marketing fundamentals in order to deal with the constant change within the [digital] marketing landscape.

When it comes to Digital Marketing we conveniently divide the activities into Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing. Within the two we have to deal with trends, content creation, video marketing, email marketing, podcasting, image / graphics marketing, blogging and more activities that have to be executed on a daily basis in order to keep up. In addition to this if a company [without a dedicated digital marketing professional] comes up against a company with a fully functioning marketing department it may be fighting  losing battle.

 

One of the most common questions that I get asked by those who are starting out in business; also by those who have been involved in business maybe for some time who maybe running a functioning business and making a decent living is : ‘just how to I actually go about developing a marketing strategy’ ??

At a recent networking event when speaking a business owner who by his own admission if well versed in the technology of his business (but not in the marketing) I spoke of the three pillars that I use when thinking about, explaining and developing a marketing or business strategy. They are :-

  • Product/Service categories
  • Channels To Market
  • Market Segmentation

… that is to say, we work on defining the category of the market that the Product or Service fits into, we then work on the marketing Channels. When it comes to channels we consider the channel that we use to deliver the product or service to the marketplace and secondly the channels that we use to push the message to the marker place through. And finally, we have to ensure that our preferred market segments are at the end of the channels that we use. That is the essence of the framework that I work through when refining and developing a marketing strategy.

Now, let’s assume we are you are selling massage therapy services [as one of my previous clients were]. For sure the channel for delivering the service would be in the therapist’s salon but they business owner will have many options in terms of channel marketing for delivering the branding message and services of the business to the market place at large. They can use direct mail, blogging, mobile, articles, newspapers, radio and more to deliver their message to the target market.

Next, we need to ensure that our product/service is positioned appropriately in terms of location, offering and pricing – a particular segment of the market may wish to pay say $15/hour for a massage but other high end clients may be perfectly happy to pay $100/hour if they see the value in what it is that you have to offer. The question is – which market segment is it that you will choose to target ? If this discussion we have covered the market segments and the category of the market that we wish to be positioned in.

So there you have it – an insight into my methodology for developing marketing strategies whether working with $multi billion clients in China [Swatch Group] or with a wedding reception services business such as http://www.lowcostchaircovers.co.uk/ that I consulted for last year.

In summary we want to be thinking of Channels, Market Segments and Product/Service categories.

To your marketing strategy development success,

Let me know if you wish to engage with myself and the team to assist you in your business.

-Success,

-Stephen C Campbell

 

I have found that there is so much confusion around when it comes to developing and executing an effective internet marketing strategy. I use the word strategy deliberately as in discussion with various business leaders in London who have interfaced with many of those offering social media [with no experience working in marketing & developing marketing strategies] & internet marketing services; there seems to be a notion floating around that putting up a few facebook pages, twitter account and linkedin pages constitutes an internet strategy.

Having worked with and consulted for organizations such as Swatch Group China, Black & Decker, Iveco Trucks & Genworth Financial our business discussions centre defining markets, segmentation, branding, products, services and utimately revenue generation. Where the internet comes into play is how being used as a channel to market – that is either to :-

  • be used for communicating the message of the company
  • be used for delivering the product / service to the end user client

… of course, depending on the product or service offering the internet may be used for both of the above. If you are selling lathes or ball bearings then the internet will fit into your strategy for the purpose of promotion and communication of your message.

The internet is a very ‘big place’ and potential clients can be found

  • in forums
  • in vertical directories
  • via white papers
  • via podcasting
  • through organic search
  • via paid search
  • through video content
  • social media

… and the list could go on and on !! The question to be answered is – where do we find your potential clients on the internet – and how do we best service them in terms of delivering quality, relevant content [as opposed to spamming people after you’ve gotten them to “like” your Facebook page !!]. I say this tongue in cheek but, the point still remains that many organizations are doing themselves a misservice by relegating the internet marketing activities [in some cases] to those who have the most technical understanding.

To further drive the point home – the industrial purchaser looking for specifications on sopecific building materials, lubricating liquids, ball bearings, metals or such product – where do they have to go to find out about your products ??  If you are expecting them to visit your website then maybe you need to revisit your internet strategy as the internet is a bit bigger than your website !! Revisit the list above and determine whether or not they will find you in these internet locations.

I say – bring internet marketing into the boardroom, executive level managers – this is not just about social media. When you are looking to hire someone to assist with your internet strategies, have a business level strategy discussion that does not include the internet. As about

  • market segmentation
  • business to business marketing
  • branding fundamentals
  • new product introduction
  • price elasticity
  • channel marketing

… and if your [potential] consultant can engage with you at this level, and she has a firm grasp of the internet, she will most likely be able to assist you in using the internet in your business.

If you would like to discuss internet marketing consulting in your organization – feel free to get in touch.

To your internet marketing strategy success.

-Stephen C Campbell

One of the programs that I run in companies and in public seminars is that of Business To Business Branding [Marketing & OEM Development]. Why is this topic so much in demand ? Because in the interconnected world and economy that we live in, more and more business are dependant on selling their Products and Services to other businesses. That is to say, the bulk of the marketing activities are focusses on individual customers within other companies as opposed to final end user individual consumers.

The point to be highlighted is that there are specific differences and complexities when it comes to the branding and marketing process as related to selling to other companies. Most marketing material and branding specifics are based on targetting end user consumers.

Let’s briefly explore this further in terms of the sale of television sets.

Business To Consumer : The electrical outlet store is focussed on selling A TV to the couple, student or individual – they may focus on how they television will look in their home, how easy it is to use and how they can maybe spread the cost over a period of time.

Business To Business : Or OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] situations where a TV manufacturer is selling its TV sets to other businesses, they may rebrand and sell to the end user or sell as is to the end user on a distribution basis. The focus of the branding and marketing efforts are on the needs of the BUSINESS that is performing the rebranding or that will be distributing the televisions regionally, nationally or globally. The sale quantities will be in the 1000s or 10000s, focus will be on supply chain, on time delivery and of the quality of the Tvs. The decision whether or not to purchase will depend on group decisions within the purchasing company – as opposed to the individual who purchased the television for their living room.

These basis distinctions above is fed into the Brand Equity equation and we work through this throughout the training based around Business To Business Marketing And Branding.

Hope you found this useful, feel free to get in touch if you have any comments or if you would like to take on some Business to Business Consulting or Training within your organisation.

To your business to business marketing and branding success,

-Stephen C Campbell

PS : For a summary of the Business to Business Marketing & Branding seminar and            consulting process that I employ visit Business Branding & Marketing Consulting Process.

mobile marketing trends

When asked, most advertisers have agreed that mobile marketing will become the most primary platform for brands to interact with younger

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consumers. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) conducted a study and 55% of marketers who were asked said they marketing via cell phones will become the number one way to communicate with people who are between twelve and twenty-four years old. Furthermore, 73% of the marketers who took part in the study said that mobile marketing is bound to become the quickest growing marketing strategy over the next five year. They also agreed that most marketing agencies will have full time mobile specialists on staff within the next year. It is thought that mobile advertising will become less of a choice for future marketers and more a necessity if they wish to reach today’s modern, young consumers.

Mobile marketing that involves sending out promotional vouchers has been proven to be  much more effective than the more conventional coupon strategies-six times more effective to be exact. A survey that was carried out in the UK says that mobile coupons have thus far been used by more than three million consumers. Since most people have their mobile devices with them at all times, it only makes sense to offer coupons in a text message. Consumers need to only show the text message at a cash register or provide a promotional code when paying for a service or product.

The first companies to successfully use mobile marketing were mobile providers who targeted the younger generation by advertising ring tones and cell phone wallpaper downloads. Today, more and more larger companies are beginning to realize the great many benefits that this type of wireless marketing offers. Soft drink giant Pepsi now considers its mobile marketing strategy plan an integral part of its overall promotional efforts. Mobile marketing allows Pepsi to target and reward its customers on a real-time basis.

Pepsi was among  several  big name brands who partook in the annual Mobile Marketing Forum held in  Berlin, Germany on September 9th.  Lufthansa, Coca-Cola, Nike and Sony Ericsson also addressed the participants of the conference. The fact that some of the world’s largest and most recognized brands took part in this meeting clearly shows that mobile marketing is destined to become a growing power.

Young consumers of today are used to acting quickly and this generation expects instant gratification. Teens and young adults carry their cell phones with them 24/7 and are more than happy to receive text messages. This age group is also very likely to respond to offers sent to their hand held devices. Marketers around the world are scrambling to set up and run mobile marketing campaigns aimed at these consumers.

digital online marketing

A successful internet marketing strategy requires the right amount of resources to be allocated. These resources include funding, technology, and staff levels.

You should first figure out what capabilities you have internally, so that you can determine whether or not you have the skill and knowledge you need internally or whether you will have to outsource some of the work.

After you have determined which type of internet marketing would be the most appropriate you will need to figure out the best way to track your efforts and measure their effectiveness.

You need to find a technology that will help you to keep track of and create reports on your progress in terms of your key progress indicators.

This ability to measure and track your efforts is part of the reason why companies are choosing methods of marketing. You can get a lot of useful information when you use the proper technology to track performance and activity so that you can better tweak your future campaigns to get optimum results.

For the best results, your Internet Channel Marketing

Strategies should be designed to help

with specific objectives of your business.

Your digital strategy will most likely need to be developed apart from the offline marketing strategy. This is due to the fact that internet marketing methods engage audiences and generate responses from them in a different manner than traditional marketing methods.

However, all of the channel marketing strategies you use, whether digital or traditional in nature, should still be complementary to one another and consistent with one another.

digital channel marketing

The large amount of interaction that can be had through the use of online methods is a key advantage to this type of marketing. With internet channel marketing, you can take advantage of the opportunity to more closely manage the whole experience of the user and refine this as it becomes necessary.

This is possible from the moment they visit the website, through the buying process and then all subsequent parts of the life cycle that a customer will go through. Your digital channel marketing strategy should make sure to integrate all these processes.

Doing this will make the provision of a coherent message during the whole experience that a customer has with your company easier to do and more effective. There is usually more of a strategic decision involved when it comes to coming up with a digital channel marketing plan over creating a traditional plan.

The reason for this is the fact that there is continuous activity involved in the strategies that are used for a digital marketing plan. The strategies, such as …

  • search engine optimization
  • customer relationship management
  • affiliate marketing

… tend to be more long term strategies meant to help bring more traffic and revenue, as well as provide greater customer retention.

This is why it is so important to do the research to find the supporting information you need to back up your formal strategy. The more diligent you are the less the risk that you will end up wasting time, money and resources. In order to set up your internet channel marketing strategy you need to figure out appropriate key performance indicators and objectives.

What you want to be able to achieve will be your objectives, possibly including such things as improved customer retention, a larger market share, or more brand awareness. The way that you will determine whether or not you have met those objectives is through the use of your key performance indicators.

Before setting an objective you have to

think about how much of an investment

would be required to meet that objective.

You want your strategy to be realistic, so you need to consider how much of a budget you would need to implement it; and achieve the objectives you are considering. It will help to make it easier to use objectives and priorities to divide up the financial resources available in the budget.

You then need to determine just what you will need to do in order to actually reach the objectives and goals that you have set. In order to do so you will need to properly select your target audience, and understand both your market position and the product that you are offering. These are the components of designing and implementing a digital multi channel marketing plan.

You need to understand where your target audience goes, when they go there, and what they do there so that you can determine which internet channel marketing methods would be the best for you to use.

With the ongoing and increasing widespread use of the internet it is clear from a corporate business strategy

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development perspective that the development of any corporate business marketing strategy now has to incorporate the useage of the internet.

In terms of the development of the corporate business strategy it is critical for the executives to enable the organisation …..

[I say this because in many cases directors and CEOs have not fully incorporated

the internet into their daily lives or are not fully conversant with the workings

of the internet and terms such as podcasting, linking, social networking,

linking, article marketing and other relevant terms].

So, back to the development of the corporate business marketing strategies. In the director level meetings I recommend putting the internet on the agenda and taking it into consideration in terms of a :-

  • promotion channel
  • consumption channel

For those of you marketing executives reading, you will of course know that these are from the field of study known as channel marketing.

I’d like to suggest that you as the corporate marketing executive first focus on the promotion part of the strategy using the internet and then move on to what products and services can be created in order to enable the target end user client to first pay for the products and services online and secondly to be able to consume the offerings of the organisation in digital formats.

We will come back and revisit the channel marketing perspective in a later post but corporate executives really need to embrace the fact that we are near the start of the internet age in terms of connecting to and communicating with potential clients.

With broadband internet connectivity, tv internet, smart phones, tablet computers and the conditioning of the market place to purchase online by some of the largest and best known companies such as tesco and apple – it is those organisations that fully embrace the use of the new technologies to engage with [potential] clients that will flourish and maximise their chances of optimum market share.

As I move the focus of my seminar training, consulting and coaching more to my corporate roots these are these are some of the points that come up time and time again in discussions.

As always, I am interested in any thoughts you may have, get in touch if there is anything you’d like to discuss.

To your success,

-Stephen C Campbell

When it comes to both marketing and distribution, you need to come up with a plan. This plan should include both the goals that you intend to achieve, in a measurable form, and the steps that you plan to take in order to get there.

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Having a plan will make it so that you can determine how effective your current marketing and distribution efforts are, and help you to figure out where you can improve on them in the future based on the results that you get.

In order to be able to track the results of your multi channel marketing and distribution plans, you will need to have a good customer relationship management software program. This will help you to figure out just who your current customers are, and what they are buying. Then you can try to market to them in other ways, or use this data to develop new markets that you can target in addition to your current customers.

You can use this software to keep track of how new customers heard of your product, for instance, so you can get a better idea of which channels are working and which are not, and switch from ineffective channels to those that might produce better results for your company.

It is important to keep at least one backup of your database, if not more because you don’t want to lose this all important information. You might want to have it backed up on different computers as well as having a copy at an off-site location just to make sure the data is safe.

Those who want to market their product internationally will need to keep in mind that this might require different marketing materials and different marketing channels.

  • You will want to do a lot of research into your target market to figure out what methods and channels are most effective there.
  • You also want to look into the culture to make sure that you do your marketing in a culturally effective manner without offending anyone.

It might take some trial and error in order to figure out just which marketing channels will work out the best in each different place that you market your product.

For you reading this post and familiar with my writings, you will know that this topic of the use of external marketing, business strategy consultants is one that is dear to my heart.

With the current state of the economy and no immediate signs of an impending upturn, corporations are having to slash budgets and in many cases make many key individuals with very specific skills leave the company.

This is where I see in the near future the use of corporate business strategy consultants [such as myself] becoming more and more in demand as companies look for that vital input of skills and strategies.

The problem that businesses face of cours is that of needing a particular role fulfilled and, not having the time to train staff to be able to perform that role. In these instances will turn increasingly to external expertise.

The beauty of using external expertise is the vast amount of perspective, knowledge and experience that they bring. Also, I have found one great advantage being that I often come having worked in multiple industries whereas we see that typically an executive may have been with one company and in that industry for over a decade.

This perceived strength I have found, is something that in fact acts as a weakness as consultants are able to use strategies and tactics from other industries, modify them and bring benefit to completely different industries.

If you are a manager, person of influence, agency executive maybe looking for someone to help kick start a particular business circumstance, consider this post and – I’d be more that interested in hearing your perspective.

To your success,

-Stephen C Campbell