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Nov
26

54 Marketing Mediums: Where Do Your Customers Expect You to Be?

By

Ruth Martin, Life as a Virtual Assistant bloggerruth-marketingMarketing, or advertising, may feel awkward or like some obscure creature that’s hard to understand or tame but I promise it’s not. With so many various mediums to use, the decision often boils down to which to use that connects with your customers plus testing what is working.

I suggest selecting between one to three methods to begin with and track those results. Tracking the results can be as easy as asking readers to “mention this ad,” “respond by a specific date,” “use this code,” or “use a specific page URL” and noting the unique hits to that URL. Put something in your advertising that can be measurable and tracked. Your overall message can be similar but vary the tracking element.

For my clients I recommend that if using three mediums for a specific marketing focus that each contains something uniquely identifiable. For example: on Twitter or Facebook we would use a hashtag (#). For article marketing we would include a URL link to a free download that has a counter to record the number of times it’s been downloaded. And for the third medium we’d ask readers to reply with a code word in the subject line or to mention seeing this ad to track how many saw the message.

Run your marketing for a minimum of three months, review the results you’ve collected during that time, and make some slight tweaks to enhance the results you received during this time. Marketing is all about testing, tracking, and tweaking. If you’re not tracking your marketing efforts then you won’t know with certainty what’s working.

Online Marketing Options

1. Press Releases

2. Article Marketing

3. Article/Blog Commenting

4. Guest Blogging

5. Video Marketing/Blogging

6. Blogging

7. Podcasts

8. Online Radio Show

9. eCourse

10. Workshop

11. Email Marketing

12. Social Media: Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Google+/Pinterest, etc.

13. Forums / Online Chats

14. Networking Groups

15. eZine/Digital Newsletter

16. Pink Spoon Marketing

17. Affiliate Marketing

18. Joint Partnership Marketing

19. Social Bookmarking

20. Word of Mouth Marketing

21. Referral Marketing

22. Infographic Sharing

23. eBooks

24. Paperback/Hardback Book

25. Pay Per Click Ads

26. Facebook Ads

27. Google Adwords

28. Host an Online Contest

29. QR Codes

30. Website

31. Customized Email Signature Block

32. Free Reports/White Papers/Checklists

Offline Marketing Options

1. Newsletter

2. Postcards

3. Brochures

4. Business Cards

5. Newspaper Ads

6. Radio Ads

7. Television Ads

8. Sponsorship Ads or a Team Sponsorship or Sponsor Gift Bags

9. Auction Donations

10. Conference Attendee

11. Conference Vendor

12. Trade Show

13. Note Cards/Greeting & Holiday Cards/Thank You Cards

14. Public Speaking

15. On-Site Training Workshops

16. Handouts/Flyers

17. Premium Marketing (pens, tote bags, t-shirts, etc.)

18. Marketing Wrapped Vehicle or Vehicle Magnets

19. Cold Calling

20. Coffee/Dessert Meetings

21. Provide a Prize for a Local Contest

22. In-Person Networking Events (Chamber Meetings, Business Mixers, etc.)

It’s not mandatory to market in each of these mediums. It IS crucial for you to know who your customers are, what their interests are regarding their business, and where these customers would anticipate seeing your advertising.

While it is a good community gesture to sponsor an ad in the local high school yearbook, the reality is that you probably won’t get a customer from someone reading that ad. So do you say no to a yearbook ad? It’s entirely up to you. The parent who is co-chairing the yearbook committee may be a business owner you’ve been trying to reach. This may be a way to strike up a conversation over a common interest point that over time, and relationship building, could lead to bigger business. But the reality is that it most likely is a feel-good type ad that won’t have strong conversion possibilities. Only you will know if you should spend part of your marketing budget here. Apply this same type of consideration to each medium.

Try a using a combination of these 4 core fundamentals to marketing:

Advertising: you are calling attention to your own products, services, and needs your business answers for others.

Publicity: securing public notice to your business offerings by being in the news, by word of mouth or other communications. The key is others talking positively about your business on your behalf.

Sales Promotions: giving your current and potential customers advance notice of a service, product, or need that your business provides that they can use, buy, recommend, or share with others. You are encouraging others to take action during a specific time period.

Personal Selling: having 1-on-1 contact with a prospective buyer where you can personally address their specific needs and offer tailored responses, services, and answers via your product offerings.

Before venturing into any marketing medium determine if your preferred customer would typically be seeing this type of advertisement. Let who your end customer is, determine where you place your marketing efforts and marketing dollars. Your customers will drive your marketing presence, and in turn, your marketing frequency will drive your customers [to you].

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ruth Martin is the owner of Maplewood Virtual Assistance, LLC (MaplewoodVA), an online business support services firm specializing in online business and project management (OBM), marketing and writing services, and executive level business support. Ruth Martin brings 20+ years of business management and marketing experience to each project she touches. And, if it’s nearing the Christmas season, you’ll find her taking on the role of #1 Official Santa Helper aiding Santa in writing letters to children across North America at her seasonal business, U Write Santa

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