Wednesday, December 26, 2012

5 Ingredients to Sprinkle On Your Marketing Mix

5 Ingredients to Sprinkle On Your Marketing Mix

You want to cook up some new business, or reheat some old business - but are you having trouble deciding what will compliment your mix? Here are a few ideas.

1. Make an offer.

One way to spice up your message is to make a special offer - but it takes careful consideration to decide what type of offer or promotion is best for your business. You don't want to discount goods or services if it will devalue your brand in the eyes of your customer, or if it will only attract customers who are only looking for discounts. The idea of a good offer is to introduce the customer to your business with less risk, and make them a repeat customer who is willing to pay a fair price. It can be tricky.

You don't even have to discount your product, you can also offer an added value like a consultation, information, or a freebie that's not a part of your for-profit product lineup.

A contest is a different type of offer that may have one or multiple winners, but greater community engagement. Consider promoting your business with a contest because it adds another level of fun and interaction, that you can build on. Good contests are community-oriented, so that brings us to the next point.

2. Get social.

Select only a couple of social sites to engage with. Chances are, you're not going to be able to participate in all of the options - and keep things interesting. If you've got employees who are already active on these sites, talk to them about what would be best for your business, and find out how they might be able to help.

3. Personalize print.

Digital printing makes such an easy job of producing variable data, there's almost no reason not to do it. It really doesn't cost that much more to make a piece variable than it does to print it in the first place - so why not speak directly to your customer with the words and images that are right for them? The trick is having the right data - which means you need a well-curated list. Contact information quality is really something that any business should be working on and updating anyway - it takes work, but it's totally worth it. Stay organized and "clean" your lists regularly.

4. Personalize online.

A PURL is a personalized landing page, or series of pages that a recipient might visit in order to claim an offer. The most valuable and important thing about a PURL is that it is a data collection behemoth. When visiting a PURL the customer is usually asked to fill out some information, take a survey, respond to an invitation, or similar. Each page can include different text and images based on how your respondents are categorized, so it is relevant to them.

5. Code it!

You've seen 'em. QR [Quick Response] codes. At the Farmer's Market, on a mailer, even on some product packaging. They're designed to quickly take you to an online page via your mobile device. USPS even ran a promotion offering discounts to companies utilizing a QR code in their mailer. Their heart was in the right place, they were trying to show businesses how to add value to their direct mail piece. But the QR codes have been used effectively, and not-so-effectively.

The not-so-effective way involves: having a code that leads the user to your website, the end.

The effective way involves: having a code that takes the user to a customized mobile-friendly landing page with specific information, offers, etc. relating to the promotion they acquired it from.