How Your Company’s Lifecycle Impacts Your Marketing Communications

Marketing communications is an area that’s rapidly affected by advances in technology — not only in the way companies create marketing material but also how they distribute it.

Like email did in the late 1990s, social media has exploded in popularity among marketers. Online video grows by leaps and bounds. And mobile marketing is escalating so quickly that companies are scrambling to ensure their marcom is mobile friendly.

Marketing communications can be sliced into two segments:

  • Pull marketing (also called inbound marketing). Potential customers find your product or service at their choosing. Communication channels for this type of marketing include: search engines, online forums, blogs and social media.
  • Push marketing (outbound marketing). You directly contact potential customers at the time of your choosing to promote — or push — your product or service to their attention. Communication channels include: email bulletins, sales letters and catalogs.

But how do you know which of these marketing channels to focus on? There are a variety of factors that influence this decision, including demographics, firmographics, purchase history and customer lifecycle. All of these aspects will come into play at some point, depending on the markets you serve.But one dynamic that doesn’t get as much attention as it should is the lifecycle of your company?

In the startup stage, getting customers is an urgent activity. You can’t pay your bills and your employees for long without sufficient customers. Because of its expediency, push marketing is often a focal point at this stage because you may not be able to get enough customers with pull marketing to sustain your business in the short term.

This doesn’t mean you ignore implementing pull marketing during this phase, but you clearly have a need to acquire customers relatively quickly. SEO may take awhile before traffic increases. And direct selling is frowned upon in social media, as the emphasis in this arena is relationship building and customer engagement.

Here are three tips on startup stage marketing:

1) Don’t wait until after your company opens its door to start marketing. Make sure you have your website, marketing collateral and advertising finalized and ready to go so you can hit the ground running.

2) Ask yourself “Can I generate enough customers in the short term by using pull marketing alone?” If not, what push channels would be most appropriate for your target audience?

3) What methods have you implemented to measure the success of your marketing communications? If you can’t measure the response, how will you know if you’re getting the most out of your marketing dollars?

Join An Internet Marketing Community

Anyone and everyone planning to start their own online business in internet marketing needs to join an internet marketing community first. Before jumping in blindfolded, find a place to go so when you hit the bottom of the pool and crack your head open, you do not give up! There are a whole lot of issues and irritations along the road to “millionaire internet marketer” that hurt like hell! Do not take them on alone or you will want to quit. Actually, you probably will quit. It is a sad fact, but starting a business is in the same league as exercise, giving up smoking or anything else that takes a bunch of motivation and energy. In the beginning there is a great deal of pain and what feels like very little reward. The results are minimal the first few weeks. The lack of instant success makes the prospects of starting a business lose its luster rapidly. There is a solution, join an internet marketing community.

After researching internet marketing communities, Internet Income University kept coming up and was highly recommended. Large forums are great, but there are so many members and so many strategies it is impossible to know where to step. Plus, the large forums are promoting magic bullet products faster than you can type bullet. Being new to the business myself I stick to my home base, which is Internet Income University. There are active members with quality advice, especially for the beginners. Not to mention, there are hours of free training videos available to all members.

Starting your own business, specifically and Internet marketing business can get lonely fast. Sometimes I feel like I am completely lost in cyberspace because I need to do something new that I don’t know anything about and I just need some help! With Internet Income University behind me, I know where to get help. It is reassuring and refreshing! Articles get rejected, links break themselves (I swear), sites seemingly disappear, and the list just goes on and on. It gets extremely frustrating. Having a community is a godsend. Without it, I may have thrown my computer out the window by now.

Join an internet marketing community and make some friends on the inside. With Internet Income University, I was able to join for free without any commitment whatsoever. There are two full weeks of solid training, plus several extra videos and PDFs for specific strategies and tools. Most of all, there is a great group of people doing the same thing, having the same problems and achieving the same goals. It is a great place to start, and stay!

Marketing Communication and Small Business – Pluses and Pitfalls

Although it is universally acknowledged that communication is an essential tool for establishing and maintaining relationships in any sphere of life, small businesses are often guilty of either ignoring or making a right royal botch up of their marketing communication.

This is obviously not intentional, but rather a by-product of the stresses and strains of the daily running of a small business. A lack of time, resources and awareness all contribute to marketing communication either falling off the small business agenda altogether or being implemented in a haphazard and often damaging manner.

This is unfortunate (but can easily be corrected!) because effective marketing communication can be such a asset to a small business. Here are just a few potential benefits:

1) Building your businesses “brand” through increased awareness.

2) Attracting your “ideal” customer rather than just any customer.

3) Establishing your credentials in your field of business.

4) Increasing turnover

5) Giving your business a “voice” which customers can relate to.

If your marketing communications can achieve those 5 points then you will be laughing all the way to the bank.

The flip side of the picture is less rosy – and unfortunately more common for small businesses. Here is what can happen when your marketing communications are haphazard and unplanned.

1) Your business “brand” and business “voice” are undefined and thus of no benefit to you.

2) The customers receive mixed messages about what they can expect from your business.

3) As a direct consequence of (2), your business cannot hope to meet all of your customers expectations because these are based on erroneous assumptions.

4) The consequence of (3) is that you fail to build credibility in the market place.

5) The upshot of (4) is decreased turnover.

The harsh truth is that, in this scenario, a small business may have spent good money to create an unhappy customer! Such is the power of communication, and small businesses are doing themselves a disservice by not paying adequate attention to their marketing communication.

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