Marketing and PR are fun challenges. We’re always trying to find new, effective ways to tell our clients’ stories. Technology always gives us a new tool to play with, and everyone goes charging off to put it to use. It’s all cool stuff, but sometimes, we need to take a good, hard look at the media and the message.
When Marshall McLuhan wrote “The Medium is the Massage” (it was supposed to be Message) in 1967, he set the stage for today’s media circus…three rings, at least, with enough going on to make your head spin. Each medium massages our senses, and sometimes, we lose focus on the message.
In my first blog post, I want to bring the focus back to the message – and the media we use to deliver it. Any marketer worth his or her salt knows there’s no silver bullet for reaching every possible prospect, and I believe it’s especially true in B2B marketing.
Not everyone who makes the buying decisions lives on Twitter or in the blogosphere. Some of those decision makers respond better to online publications or electronic newsletters. Some even prefer to read printed trade journals and like to see nicely printed postcards. And some find their best way to gather information is to talk on the telephone and do their comparative shopping at a trade show.
Ah, but that doesn’t mean you pull the plug on social media. While the exec who signs the check isn’t always online, the people in the field or on the shop floor may be online to find a specific solution for an urgent problem or a way to improve a process over the long haul. They may not sign the check, but they may very well be the people who present the compelling reasons to buy your product or service, and they may find out about you through a LinkedIn group or an industry discussion forum.
You need to have a full toolbox, and you need to know which tool will best reach a specific target with your critical message.
News releases and feature articles are still important, and all media are important, whether they be printed or electronic publications or websites. Advertising is still important for frequent repetition. Newsletters and other forms of direct communication – printed or electronic – are important. Videos and a YouTube channel give you another dimension for telling your story. Tradeshows give you an opportunity to build relationships with customers. And social media get your message out there for people to pick up when it’s a good time for them.
Bottom line? You need to massage your message for each medium you use. You need to understand your buyers – those who make the decision and those who influence the decision – and provide them with useful information in the format with which they’re comfortable.
We’ll talk about different media and how to use them effectively. We’ll also get into how to communicate effectively with customers as technology blends marketing communications and customer service.
David Bonyun said:
Great post Stan. I look forward to more. One mistake I see people making with social media is a dramatic loosening of their standards. While they may spell check and brand a printed piece, there is an assumption that because social media is social, people will overlook imperfections.
It is always best to remember that, while we all have friends that we like to hang out with, but many of them are not people we would want to hire. If you are using social media for purely social purposes, then have at it. If you are doing so for business, then never forget that every tweet, flip video or FaceBook update will be seen by a prospective client. By all means, be friendly, but also be professional.
David Batley said:
Very good advice, Stan, and I agree with Daivd Bonyun’s comment that we must avoid the overly casual wording sometimes used in the social media when communicating with business in mind.