I don’t think any of us are surprised with the latest studies indicating that more and more people are using social media to find products and services. Entrepreneur reports that social media discovery is on the rise, up 25% from 2010. The study conducted by Forrester Research also found that direct marketing is not dead. Companies are using direct marketing strategies to boost social media efforts.
This goes back to creating an integrated marketing strategy that includes direct marketing, social media, SEO, mobile, etc. Don’t just rely on one avenue of marketing to generate your sales. I can’t stress enough the importance of creating an integrated marketing plan. It’s far more efficient than previous strategies.
Here’s how to take create a direct marketing strategy that incorporates social media.
- Include social media links in all emails
- Include social media address in all direct marketing snail mail
- Use the same messages for big campaigns in direct marketing efforts and social media
- Host contests via social media and promote via direct marketing
Admittedly, marketing and reaching your consumers is difficult right now. Marketers need to create messaging across a variety of platforms to generate sales and leads. The strategy of creating consistent messaging across all these platforms isn’t new. You just need to execute in such a way that increases conversions. To do that, you really need to know your consumer.
So many companies fail to generate leads and wonder why what they’re doing isn’t working. We’ve talked about knowing your consumer. We’ve also talked about calls to action. Now let’s talk about your marketing plan.
Since your ultimate goal is to generate sales leads and sales, your marketing plan should work to make that happen. The problem is that companies blindly do things because they “hear” something works. We copy other company’s marketing plan and hope it works. Someone in your network tried “A” and it increased their sales so you try it. You hear about a new trend so you try that too.
Not every marketing strategy will work for you like it does for others. You need to generate a custom lead generating marketing plan catered to your consumers and specific market that will generate those leads. That can be any marketing avenue available—direct marketing and/or online marketing. More importantly, it’s knowing how to harness those avenues to your advantage. It’s knowing how to craft direct marketing pieces that get noticed. It’s developing an online presence targeting your specific marketing with messaging that informs and converts. Once you have those things figured out—a lead generation marketing plan is yours.
Have you ever glanced at an advertisement and wondered what it is you were being sold? One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not having a clear offer. This is one of our tips you’ll find in our free download geared toward helping companies generate leads and most importantly, generate sales.
Whether you’re working through your direct marketing strategy or your online marketing plan, you need to focus on your customers and your offer. You’d be surprised how many companies don’t include the offer. It’s a pretty basic, simple part of advertising and marketing, but it’s also something easy to miss. Companies get so caught up on a new, creative, fresh idea that the actual offer that will generate sales somehow gets left out.
When you’re coming up with our direct marketing strategy and marketing plan in general, always have the offer in mind. If you’re brainstorming, put it on a whiteboard or stick it to the wall. It will help you include it in whatever creative idea you have.
The offer is fairly easy to include. The key is to keep things simple so your audience gets the message. Either literally put it in words or use an image. Make sure it’s obvious.
It goes without saying that the two biggest struggles businesses face is generating leads and generating sales. Without those two functions, we can’t be successful. The problem could be anything.
- It could be messaging. And even then it may be something as small as changing one word in your message.
- It could be your overall brand image or even the wrong avenue to reach your market.
- It could be your direct marketing strategy and online presence. You may not be using the proper avenues to reach your market.
For starters, you can download The Astute Business Owner’s Guide to Generating Endless Leads. It’s a free guide to give you some insight on potential ways you can change your marketing plan to help generate those much needed leads and sales.
You really want to figure out why your business isn’t thriving with new leads and sales, you can schedule a power strategy session to assess your marketing plan. You and Logic of Leads will discuss your current marketing strategy, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, and then develop a comprehensive strategy to boost direct marketing sales and even discuss your online presence.
We’re all in business to make money. The reason we start our businesses is because we have a talent or product we think we can capitalize on. One mistake I see many businesses of all sizes make is focusing on their product or service instead of the consumer.
It’s understandable. You want to get to the word out about how greatness of your particular product or service. The problem with that is that you may not be marketing appropriately. You could be losing money on your efforts instead of generating sales.
Your focus should be consumers. They are ones who will make the all-important decision to convert. Your marketing plan should be consumer driven, which will lead to strategies and methods that generate leads and sales.
Start with developing a consumer profile. This can be a formal file with all sorts of market research (which is advisable) or a bulleted list you have on hand as you develop your marketing plan. Either way, here are some things your consumer profile can include:
- Basic demographics: Sex, age, income, location
- Problems your product and service would solve
- Where your consumer gets their information
- Mobile use
Aside from the basic demographic information, your focus should be the second bullet. Your marketing plan should focus on meeting a need or solving a problem. Consumers tend to shop out of need first. Whether it’s updating their wardrobe, gifts for family and friends, or needing to use their tax refund, the need is what prompts them to get online and start searching for solutions. You want to be that solution.
In order to generate leads and ultimately sales, you’ll also want to know where your consumer spends the most time. Do they spend time on their phones? Do they use social networks, and if so, which ones? Do they do a lot of research before they convert? Having answers to these questions will enable you to generate a marketing plan that will generate leads. Better yet, Logic of Leads can help develop that marketing plan and provide you with solutions to ensure you meet your marketing goals and generate sales.
It’s a given that businesses are always on the search to find ways to generate leads that generate sales. Even generating sales isn’t enough. We want to increase our sales and grow. But in order to do that, we need a marketing plan that works. All to often, I see businesses operate without a marketing plan. They have goals, but they don’t have a set roadmap on how to accomplish those goals. Instead, there are haphazard attempts and experiments that may or may not work.
So what does a good, effective, marketing plan look like that actually generates those leads that turn into sales?
For starters, there is no one size fits all plan that you can copy and paste. A good marketing plan is a custom solution. That being said, there are some characteristics that are pretty general that you can customize and develop a marketing plan that works for you.
A good marketing plan is…
- Consumer driven. Your primary focus is meeting the needs of your base. Everything you do, every product you or service you’re offering should meet the needs of your consumer. It should provide value and solve a problem.
Communication is key in marketing. What you do in your direct marketing strategy should compliment what your online marketing efforts and vice versa. Along those lines, messages should be consistent.
Contains quality content. There is a big push for quality content, especially among B2B marketers. According to eMarketer, 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing in their marketing plans. Content, both print and digital, is what drives conversions and generates sales.
- Flexible. I say this a lot. Marketing is fluid. Marketing plans should have a general structure, but they should also be flexible. If you’re doing something that isn’t generating leads, don’t continue to do it simply because it’s the plan. Stop and adjust your marketing plan accordingly so you don’t waste your precious budget.
There are other components to a good marketing plan, but those are industry and audience specific. You first need to understand the basics. We’ll go into detail about other components later.