Hi, it’s Karl here again from Buzz Website Design and Marketing. Today, I want to just talk through a question, which is asked of us on a very regular basis, and that revolves around the number of marketing channels that you should actually be trying to use to reach your potential customers.
Just like many things in life, there are multiple possible answers to this. There isn’t really a one-size-fits-all.
But, typically, what we say to people is that, as long as you’re reaching your target market and you’re putting consistent messages out there in a number of different formats, then to some extent the exact number really doesn’t count.
However, one thing I do normally say to people is that you should definitely mix up your marketing. You should never, ever, when you’re in business, rely on just 1, 2, or even 3 different methods of getting and keeping customers. You should always be looking at anywhere between 6 and 12 marketing channels, depending on what kind of business you have, how much time you have available, and how much money you have to spend on marketing and reaching those customers.
Now you might think that between 6 and 12 is a lot and you couldn’t possibly manage all of those, but there’s a rationale here that goes something like this: If you’ve got 1, 2, or 3 marketing channels to reach and bring in your potential customers and one of those marketing channels suddenly fails, then all of a sudden you’ve got a major problem because your income and your ability to generate customers and leads has dropped quite significantly.
However, if you have say 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 marketing channels, if 1 of them drops off or even 2 of them drops off, you haven’t got such a massive impact on your ability to win customers.
So, the next question is, “Well, if we’re going to aim at say 10 marketing channels, what on earth can we do? Are there 10 marketing methods out there?” Well, of course there are.
There are things like social media. In our website design business, we spend an awful lot of time on LinkedIn. Why? Because it’s a key marketing channel for us because it’s business-to-business. However, we don’t spend a huge amount of time on Facebook because that’s more of a business-to-consumer channel. I’m not saying it’s not relevant to our business, but we go, as most marketing should go, where our clients are.
You should not be putting a marketing message out where your clients are just not. That would make no sense. But, surprisingly, a lot of people do it. So, that’s just one.
We do email marketing. We have our website. We write blogs. We write articles. That’s just online. Those are the electronic marketing methods you can use. You’ve also got pay-per-click, whether that’s advertising on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google advertising, all of these different things. That’s another channel you can use. You could do some postal marketing as well. It’s grossly underused and we are going to come onto that in a future post.
You can also do something like networking. Networking is a big one. A lot of small businesses go do networking events. They go out, they hand out business cards, and they collect business cards.
On top of the networking, you can do follow-ups. That’s another channel simply because so few people do it.
You could go to trade shows and local business events like that and exhibit, and try and win customers. You can advertise in local magazines – the local Chamber of Commerce magazines. You can do all sorts of different things.
Right there, I’ve just probably given you 8 – 10 different channels, and that’s before we even start on the more complex, automated marketing stuff.
So, if you really start to think about it, getting together 10-ish marketing channels really shouldn’t be that difficult. But, the key is this: When you get all of this locked together, you need to be consistent. You can’t do something one month – the poke it with a stick method – and then come back to it a couple of months later unless you know it’s working.
Always test and measure. As I said in a previous video, always test and measure. If it doesn’t particularly work, you either need to scrap it or change it. Test and measure.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, or two or three baskets. Spread them around. Get those marketing messages out there.
Now, I know this is hard and I know that we’ve only got a limited amount of time every single day and, as I’ve said before, you should be doing some kind of marketing every single day – even if it’s just for 20 minutes, do something because the long-term survival of your business depends on your ability to get and keep customers.
Even just re-marketing to existing customers is another marketing channel. Encourage them to buy something else. Encouraging them to upgrade from what they’ve already bought is another marketing channel, and there’s nothing to stop you doing that.
Referral marketing is another one that’s just come into my head. We don’t do nearly enough on referrals in our business yet. We have a plan for tackling that, but we don’t do enough yet. So, there’s all these different things you can do.
Now, there is a warning here and, as with a lot of things, you can do too much. You can go out there and you can have 20 different marketing channels, but I would always say, “Can you in all honesty legitimately manage properly and monitor properly all of those channels?”
So, let me give you a methodology here. Start with the marketing channels you know you can do and that should be based on where your clients hang out, what’s going to reach them most effectively and most efficiently. So, start right there.
Pick on those handful of different channels that are going to work for. That could be Facebook marketing. That could be pay-per-click on Google or on other search engines. That could be email marketing. It could be going to networking events. It could be postal marketing. So, pick on those handful that work. Test the response. Make sure that the channels that you’re using are getting the response you’re after and, if they’re not, you need to change something. It could well be that, after a few changes, you need to acknowledge, “Yeah, you know what? That one isn’t working. Let’s ditch it in favor of something else.” At some point, you may have to make that decision. We do with what we do.
Then, the next point is then, once you’ve tested that response, do more. If it produces the response you want for the price or the time and effort that you want to pay, then do more. If you want to scale your business, if you want to grow your business, just do more. Don’t reinvent anything. If it works, keep doing it and scale it up – real straightforward.
Far too many people in business find a good marketing channel and then they decide to start messing with it. No, no, no! If it works and it’s profitable, just do more. Don’t change, do more. You can tweak it, test it, but test it small.
So, the thoughts are this: Pick the channels that work for you. Pick a good number of channels, somewhere between 6 and 12 channels so that if 1 or 2 drop off, you haven’t lost everything. Be good, be consistent, and work with those who go forward. But, above all, don’t over-commit to everything, but don’t under-commit to marketing channels as well. Go where your clients are.
So, I hope that’s been useful and look forward to working with you and seeing you next time. Bye for now.
If you’d like some help answering the question “How many marketing channels should you have? in your business then give us a call on 0116 3552194 and we’ll chat about how we can help.