Friday, June 11, 2010

The day the music died?

Anyone who frequents Twitter (I use it to aggregate content more than anything else) has surely noticed that it has been "over capacity" several times this week.

Given the move toward social networking and away from "traditional" forms of marketing like e-mail or, for the truly daring, direct mail, I found it interesting that the Flavor of the Day, Twitter, has been clogged by too many users all week.

Would it make more sense to spend some of that intellectual capital on an under-utilized marketing channel like direct mail (the U.S. Postal Service is considering going to five days a week due to people not sending this via "snail mail")? Well, if the channels that everyone is using become overpopulated, your message is never getting out to your target audience, so why not use what's available?

Too expensive, you say? There's a concept called "target marketing" which is fuzzy to many of you seeking the widest possible audience to promote your services that you should remember when deciding to enter (or re-enter) the direct mail world.

Create your message, target your audience, and send it via the U.S. Post Office. At least you won't have to worry about it being "over capacity" and the message not getting through!



K.A.D. said...

Good observation, Ed. I think it's important that we have a good mix of marketing channels, by first determining where the audience is, and then connecting accordingly. Many in the professional services industries haven't made the full leap to social media, so we can still reach them through traditional methods.

Karen A. Davis
Building Industry Resources

Bill Kent said...

I think the important part is to think about the cost per qualified lead, regardless of the channel, and how digital might play a role in the buying cycle that prospects go through.

I agreed with Karen that you should determine where you're audience is and use a balanced, multi-touch marketing mix. It's also important to always be testing (a.b.t.) new channels; you're never guarantted that one will be the most effective or deliver the lowest cost per lead/customer forever.

I believe it's most important to determine who your best target prospects are by using your historial data to build a best customer profile. Once you've done that, then you can begin to determine what channels to test based the data.

Digital marketing can present a unique opportunity to engage prospects or online influencers in a cost effective way. From the research I have done however, the A/E industry lags in social adoption so if for example, that's who you're targeting, social media might not be the best place to engage.

One unique thing about social tools like Twitter though are the ability to engage prospects at the Awareness stage by talking about industry news or common pain points, well before they are ready to hear about your product or service.

At the end of the day, it's all about cost-per lead and return on marketing investment (ROMI).

Bill Kent

Follow @PSMJ_Resources