Some people call it “integrative marketing.” I think that’s a good phrase, but regardless of what you call it, small businesses struggling in a down economy should spend a little time thinking about how they market themselves. Cutting marketing out of your budget altogether shouldn’t be an option, but you have to pay attention to where your dollars are going.
Online marketing has traditionally been less expensive than offline marketing, and in many ways it is. But if it doesn’t produce any results, it could be more expensive.
That’s why you should look carefully at where every marketing dollar is going and one way to do that is to sync up your online and offline marketing efforts. What does that mean? It means that your message across all marketing channels should be consistent. You might target different segments of your market through each channel, but your message ought to be same.
For instance, if you sell yellow widgets at discount prices, then try to keep the focus of your online and offline marketing collateral on selling the benefits of your proposition. Don’t focus on yellow widgets in one medium and discount prices on another. Rather, focus on the best benefits in every medium through which you advertise.
Marketing is basically the same in the 21st century, with a little bit of a twist. Consumers are tired of being interrupted. They want to feel like they have more control over what they see. So pull them in, don’t push.