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?

Key Messages – A Key in Marketing Communications

If you’ve started up a business or are looking to revamp one there are a million things you need to do. When it comes to your marketing communications, however, there’s one task that should be one of the first on your list, and that’s the development of key messages.

Key messages are often called unique selling propositions and key points of difference and the reason your business needs them is simple: To highlight to potential customers why they should be using your business.

So how do you start to develop your key messages?

One of the first things you should do is to think about the image you want to portray to your target audience. How do you want clients to view your business? Do you want to be known for discounted prices, for excellent service, for fast delivery, for high quality products, etc. etc.? There are way too many possibilities to include in this article but it’s a good idea to list everything that is relevant to you and your business.

When you are developing your image list – and indeed your messages – it’s important you be honest. If the image and key messages you develop is not matched by your business, the products or services you sell and your staff, customers will notice. And they’ll most likely share their insights with family, friends and social media connections.

After you’ve made your list of the how you want customers to perceive your business, developing your key messages is relatively simple. If you want your accommodation business to be portrayed as one that provides great service, a message might be: “Our staff will bend over backwards to make your stay a comfortable and memorable one”. If you’re a retail store that sells cheap products, a message might be: “We have discounts on your discounts!”

When you’re developing your key messages remember these short bits of information will form a significant part of your communications with clients. So, be anything but boring. Consider your target customer and write messages that are engaging, interesting and informative.

Once you have developed your key messages, use them: In brochures, on your website, on business stationery and any other marketing communications you produce. In fact, you can also use them when greeting customers and in networking opportunities.

5 Reasons Your Marketing Communication is Falling Flat

One of my associates sent me a promotional email she’d received. “I know this marketing communication doesn’t work,” she told me, “but why doesn’t this make me want to buy?” I took a look, and what I saw was familiar and sad. The promotional piece was for a weekend retreat. I could feel all the good intentions behind it, but the words just lay on the page like tired puppies. Worn out. No zip. No life.

As solo business owners, we are often at a loss to understand why our words aren’t getting a better response. Although an offer can fail for many reasons, I always recommend you look first to your marketing communication.

Why? Because if your message doesn’t connect, you won’t get much payoff from more exposure. Once your words really speak to people, you’ll get more bang for your buck from more marketing activity or better alignment.

Here then, are the top 5 reasons your marketing communication may fail to strike a chord.

1. No Clear Focus for What You are Offering.

When we aren’t clear on the ultimate outcome that we are delivering, we sometimes try boosting our appeal by offering to deliver everything under the sun. In this case? The retreat offered: renewal, creativity, connection, peace, appreciation of life, awareness, balance, and self-discovery

Phew! It’s so many different ideas my poor brain can’t wrap around it all. There’s no central theme or image I can use to fix in my mind what she’s offering. Instead of thinking “wow! I’d get a lot from this experience,” I walk away thinking, “I am confused, and I wonder if the retreat leader is too.”

2. No Verbal Markers that Say “I am talking to you!”

When we try to be a fit for everybody, we end up being a fit for nobody. Even when we think we believe in the law of attraction, our words often reflect our indecision or confusion about whom we want to reach. One sure sign that you aren’t clear? When there are no concrete “identifiers” in your copy. By identifiers, I mean phrases like “as a working mom,” “as a business owner,” “in the workplace,” “navigating the world of academia.” These concrete markers confirm for the audience that your marketing communication was written for them. It makes it personal.

3. No New Insight into Your Audience’s Struggle

It’s no longer enough to let your audience know that you feel their pain. You have to quickly demonstrate that you have valuable insight into that pain. That you’ve made some connection they haven’t about why they are stuck where they are. That gives them hope that what you are offering aren’t the same old tired solutions that they’ve heard of before.

In this marketing piece, I would have liked to have heard answers to questions like “What is it that leads us to be so disconnected from ourselves?” “Why is renewal needed now more than ever?” Even something as simple as “The harder we work, the more we need quiet, open space to recharge our batteries” would have made me go, “hmm, could that be true for me?”

4. No Visible Plan for Delivering on Your Promise

Once you’ve shown that you know your audience, and you have a juicy and specific outcome to offer them, the communication shifts. Your reader is no longer asking, “Am I interested?” She is asking, “Do I believe this person can deliver on what they are promising?”

Testimonials are one way to establish credibility, but what testimonials don’t do is create a picture for your audience of how you lead them step by step to the destination you’ve promised. When the way you deliver is a mystery, you’re asking people to take a big leap of faith. When you describe your logic, process, or philosophy in a limited number of steps, your audience can see how your steps or ingredients add up to the outcome you are promising.

For example, if the woman offering the retreat had listed the “five stages of renewal” or the “three ingredients of creative discovery,” her readers would have immediately believed more strongly that she could deliver.

5. No Fire in your Belly

To me, words are transparent. They reveal every nuance of who you are, how you see yourself in relationship to the world, and how you feel about your work. Since so many creative professionals say they hate marketing, it is a surprise that the communication they write comes across as strained and tense?

On a gut level, you readers will feel if you are writing from the place of consuming excitement about what you offer or from a place of caution and ambivalence. The more you let your words carry your passionate and full-hearted energy, the more your message will have an indefinable “something” that stirs the readers’ soul and sparks their interest in what you offer.

Copyright 2004-5. Isabel Parlett. All rights reserved.

Luxury Homes Legal Information insurance premium Marketing Strategy E-Commerce Technology Internet Marketing Services Glass Shower Screens Top Room Flooring Homes and Gardens Building Online Courses The Best Carpet Cleaner Attorney Accessories Online Shopping Bedroom Designs Home Remedies Patio Furniture Online Home Inspector Apartment Home Landscaping Project Automotive Electrical Systems Online Boat Games Shopping for Fashion Clothes Lawyer a Debt Collector The Best Online Binary Insurance policy financial Find a Life Insurance Policy auto insurance companies Games App Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Product Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Business Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Online Product Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Sell Products Online Hotel and Travel Vacations and Travel Deals Cheap Hotels Travel Tips Travel Guides Travel Information Cheap Flight and Hotel Packages‎ Trip Travel Insurance Compare Cheap Holiday Travel Insurance Find Cheap Hotel Discounts Cheap Hotels and Flights Best Restaurants Chinese restaurants Vegetarian Restaurants Hotels And Resorts Best Hotel Restaurant Travel Information Cheap Flight and Hotel Packages‎ Trip Travel Insurance Compare Cheap Holiday Travel Insurance Find Cheap Hotel Discounts Cheap Hotels and Flights Vacations and Travel Deals Cheap Hotels Travel Tips Travel Guides Travel Insurance Find Cheap Hotel Discounts Hotel and Travel Vacations and Travel Deals Cheap Hotels Travel Tips Travel Guides Travel Information Cheap Flight and Hotel Packages‎ Trip Travel Insurance Compare Cheap Holiday Travel Insurance Find Cheap Hotel Discounts Cheap Hotels and Flights Best Restaurants Chinese restaurants Vegetarian Restaurants Hotels And Resorts Best Hotel Restaurant Travel Information Cheap Flight and Hotel Packages‎ Trip Travel Insurance Compare Rates Personal Loans With Bad Credit Online Loans Personal Loans Guide Debt Consolidation Online Find a Personal Loan Debt Consolidation Services Car Insurance Home Security Home Warranties Life Insurance Medical Alerts Mortgage Rates Mortgage Refinance Personal Loans Pet Insurance Reverse Mortgages Tax Relief insurance premium Insurance Compare Cheap Car Insurance Cheap Car Insurance Insurance Coverage Insurance Company International Life Insurance Insurance policy Life Insurance Plans Insurance policy financial Commercial Insurance Principles of Insurance Find a Life Insurance Policy Car Insurance Central Insurance Companies list of insurance companies auto insurance companies health insurance companies Life Insurance Plans Insurance policy financial Commercial Insurance Web Development Webshop Seo Web Marketing Web Tool Development Websites cheap price Free Web Design SEO Consulting Services Web Marketing Web Design Web Design projects Web Developers The Complete Web Developer Web Design Jobs Online Online Web Development Course web design agency Best Web Agencies Websites Best Website Designing Service Web Design Company Free Software Download Software Top Free Software Downloads Computer Software Review Software Programs Online Video Converter Software Mp3 Converter Software Music Editing Software DVD Burning Software Video Editor Software Video Capture Software Invoicing Software Multitrack Mixing Software Checkbook Software Photo Editing Software Zip Software Image Converter Software Business Software Audio Tools Dictation & Typist Webcam Software FTP Software Accounting Software Invoice Software Inventory Software Flowchart Software Home Software Software Utilities FTP Software Dictation Software Phone System Software Converting Software Personal Finance Software Business Card Software Inventory Management Software Related Software Inventory Software Document Converter opportunity business business insider business ideas starting a business small business ideas business casual online photo editor effective video editor Simple Editor Photo graphic design social media designs developing graphics infographics design program Photo Editor’s pictures appear surreal original image Aviary Photo Editor photo editing app Service Prewedding Service Foto Studio photograph headshot portrait memory photo studio stock photos photo printing wedding photography photo gallery nature photos flowers photos best wedding photography Beautiful Island Wedding wedding photography design Real Wedding Photos Country Wedding Photos Beach Wedding Photos Vintage Wedding Photos Rustic Wedding Photos Wedding Reception Ideas Play Boat Games Online Free Mobile Games Download Free Games ordelia shoes nashville car rental game resset now Biker Rider fashion world fashion bible fashion jobs fashion designer fashion apps fashion advice fashion brands fashion books fashion buyer riden shoot rp study fashion courses fashion capital fashion clothes fashion dresses media sosial merketing Collections Jewelry Best Logistics Software Best Application Comparison Shipping Software Solutions Law Firms Compare Lawyers The Lawyer Careers Commercial Lawyer Information About Lawyer Attorneys Personal Injury Lawyers Family Law business attorneys Woman Lawyer Black Lawyer Lawyer Definition Bankruptcy Lawyers employment law foreclosure law green law Business Law Attorneys Special Education Law Sex Crimes Law The Law of Theft Crime The Law of Drug Crime Embezzlement Law Law of Domestic Violence Law of Violent Crime Gun Crime Law The Law of Teen Crimes Murder Law The Lawyer The Business Law Legal Information Attorney Best Lawyers The Best Advice Lawyer Lawyer Requirements Lawyer Employment Law Reports Best Lawyers Justice Laws Website The Law Society Justice Law Limited Personal Injury Lawyer Justice and Law Studies The Justice Law Group Law and Justice Division Justice and legal Commercial lawyer Corporate Commercial Law Criminal Justice Degree Schools Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs School of Criminal Justice Legal Information General Medical Care Medical Physicals Immunizations Medical Checkups Specialist Referrals Family Nurse Practitioners Family Medicine Internal Medicine Pediatrics Behavioral Health General Family Dentistry Dental Services Cleaning Dental Services Extractions Dental Services Crowns and Caps Dental Services Root Canals Dentures and Partials Pediatric Dental Clinic Dental Health Services General Dentistry Journal of International Dental medical and dental Dental Managers Association Dental Plans Dental Practitioners Council Dental Clinic Dental Medicine Community Health Services New Patient Packet Medical Professionals Web Development Webshop Seo Web Marketing Web Tool Development Websites cheap price Free Web Design SEO Consulting Services Web Marketing Web Design Web Design projects Web Developers The Complete Web Developer Web Design Jobs Online Online Web Development Course web design agency Best Web Agencies Websites Best Website Designing Service Software Iphone Wedding Planning Wedding Planning Guide Wedding Websites wedding planning tips Small Wedding Planning Wedding Wedding Ideas Virgin on Wedding Night wedding definition quotes wedding definition of marriage find the meaning of wedding Wedding Planning Wedding Planning Guide Wedding Websites Technology Applications Phone System Software Information Technology Spy Phone Technology download Smartphone Spy Phone Technology Logistics Software Systems Software Developers Systems Software Developers Software Engineer Software Developer Education Car Insurance Compare Cheap Car Insurance Cheap Car Insurance Insurance Company International Life Insurance Insurance policy financial Commercial Insurance Principles of Insurance Food and Nutrition Success Business Marketing and Promotion Amelia Island Living Fashion Art Music Travel and Leisure Education Certified Business Travel Global Marketing Technologies Contractor Business Systems Guide to Health Care Quality Holiday Activity Guide Clean Water for Health Quotes About Education Online Fashion Shopping Guide Alternative Health Care Network Society Gambling Experts Medical Insurance Expert Financial Advice Sports Authority Business Systems Online Business and Government