The web has transformed how businesses market their services. New marketing channels have arisen (blogging, social media) while traditional marketing channels have evolved (press releases). And within these broad channels, specific websites you can use to market your business are regularly unveiled. And every other day, new internet marketing gurus spring up like the many-headed Hydra.
There are SO MANY marketing opportunities out there and new ones are being introduced every day. So how do you know which ones to use and which ones to stop using? How do you avoid the “shiny object” syndrome? (Note: I’m using words like “marketing channel”, “marketing opportunity”, “marketing media”, etc. interchangeably because sometimes it’s a new website and sometimes it’s a new style or system or methodology).
Here’s the list of questions I use to evaluate new marketing opportunities as they arise…
- What kind of media/communication is used here? And, can I do it effectively? YouTube is video. Podcasts are (often) audio. There are many text-based marketing channels. Decide what is required and whether you have the equipment, skills, and desire to use this media. Note: Sometimes you have to test it out before you can answer this question.
- Does this marketing resonate with my target market? Different target markets interact with different channels/media/methodologies. Door-to-door selling might be okay if your market is at home during the day and responsive to a knock at their door.
- Doe this marketing fit into my sales funnel? Smart marketing doesn’t stand alone. There are sales funnel activities that precede it and sales funnel activities that follow. Each marketing activity in your sales funnel should lead naturally to the next one (i.e., each sales funnel activity has its own call-to-action to move forward to the next piece of marketing). Does this new marketing fit in with the old?
- What is the cost to set-up, use, and succeed with this marketing channel compared to the expected return on investment, and how is it better than a marketing opportunity/channel/method I’m already using? It’s so easy to succumb to a “grass is greener” approach to marketing and become tempted by the latest marketing methods. They might be better but they might not be. We need to consider the cost to use them (estimating time, money, and effort) and what we expect to get back. And, of course, we need to decide whether it’s worth replacing the systems we currently have in place.
There are many new opportunities for businesses to market themselves more effectively. But adopting every new website or methodology isn’t a great use of your time. Use these questions to evaluate all new marketing opportunities you encounter to decide if they are right for you.