I am always surprised by how business owners and companies select their marketing channels. They almost invariably select the same channels as their competitors and sometimes those that are rising in popularity such as Facebook.
The best way to select your marketing channels is to first ask yourself:
1. Which channels does my target market respond to?
Different people respond to different channels.
For example while there are a growing number of silver surfers on Facebook almost all of them use it solely to keep up with grandchildren and friends. It is highly unlikely they would ever respond to an advert or marketing message on Facebook.
If you want to market say a wealth management company then my research shows that telemarketing not only turns prospects off but some prospects can get quite aggressive. On the other hand, an introduction from a trusted person or even a well-written letter with an attractive and useful brochure will produce results.
Your response rate, in part, is related to the confidence level your prospect places in that channel.
A recent survey revealed these confidence levels:
Recommendations from Friends and Family 70%
Trusted magazine/ newspaper 63%
Professional Reviews (e.g. Which?) 55%
Direct Mail/ Brochures 48%
Customer Online Reviews 46%
Company Website 32%
Blog articles 15%
Information from Mobile Apps 12%
Ads on Websites – Banners 10%
Text Messaging 9%
Twitter and Facebook 6%
So you might want to direct some of your Twitter and Facebook followers to content on your web site (higher trust level) and then collect them name and address to you can send them a letter (higher trust level again!).
2. Choosing channels that differentiate you from the competition
Once you know which channels that your target market responds to then focus on the ones your competitors either aren’t using or are using badly.
These are the ones to dedicate yourself to. You should endeavor to find out all you can about successfully using these channels then commit to using them for 6 months. For example, direct mail is becoming a great way to find new prospects, as is LinkedIn when used properly.
The most common mistakes businesses make with channels is not knowing how to use them properly and not sticking at them for long enough. We have all heard the refrain: “I’ve been to three networking events and won no business, so it doesn’t work for my industry”.
You can avoid this trap by choosing to focus on 5 channels selected using the above process then finding out how to use the effectively and committing to do so for 6 months.
This is a brief post but it can greatly increase your response rates just by knowing the channels that your prospects respond to then narrowing these down to 5 channels that differentiate you from the competition.