I’m a huge proponent of marketing online – with content, using social media, via email marketing, Google Adwords, business blogging, SEO, online publishing, you name it. It’s called inbound marketing because the object is to “attract” interest from customers. And it works.
But it’s not enough. You need to get out there!
While a company’s digital footprint must be big, its personal presence is just as important…if not more so.
You’ve got to press the flesh. Put in an appearance. Show Up. And make direct contact.
Talk on the phone and meet face-to-face. Build relationships that extend beyond email.
Digital marketing is still important — it’s fast, ubiquitous (when done correctly) and it’s relatively cost-effective. It serves a purpose.
But because it’s so pervasive, brands may find it hard to stand out. Differentiation is imperative and often you can differentiate yourself by being yourself…and getting in front of your customer.
Companies need to stand out; they need to connect. And they need to do it in-person.
12 Ideas for Ways to Get Out There:
- Have a client delivery? If possible, drop it off in person
- In the neighborhood? Ask your customer if you can stop by for 5 minutes (and bringing a tasty snack for the staff couldn’t hurt)
- Set up an in-person appointment vs. just dialing it in
- In person, ask customers about new projects or service requirements; what else they need or what else you can help with
- Network: attend industry events including conferences, symposiums, interest group meetings and speaking presentations
- Make your own presentation
- Join a few industry organizations and consistently attend meetings
- Become a board member — and be active on that board
- Volunteer (a great place to meet others with similar interests and develop or hone skills)
- Take a customer out — for coffee, lunch, dinner or a basketball game
- Instead of an email, make a phone call, FaceTime or Skype call
- Host an event at your office or another venue — like an Open House or host an industry meeting featuring a noted speaker
Companies often rely on the Sales Department for outreach but businesses multiply that effect when every member of the staff is encouraged…and trained…to be a marketer. Give employees the tools (think elevator pitch, company talking points, a recent project cheat-sheet, a budget to attend outside events).
Many of us think of Customer Service as something offered when there are issues. Instead, provide Customer Presence…be there and reap the rewards.
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Let’s take a look at your company’s marketing strategy: Click to Contact Martha. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding, marketing, content marketing and social media expert. Using traditional and online marketing to start, grow and promote businesses, she works with startups, entrepreneurs and small- to medium-size companies. Martha is the author of the content marketing ebook: The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog.