As small business customers begin to trickle in, what do you do with them?
In part 1 entitled, It’s Not a Toolbox, It’s a Marketing Mixer we saw why advertising is a mixer, not a toolbox. Your business is impacted by many different consumer groups, all of which have varying media consumption and that media mix needs customized messages to be effective.
Changing tack… how many of you have ever sailed? It’s really frustrating. You try to get from Point “A” to Point “B” but, unless you have the wind in your back (and, in business, who ever has that), you have to change tack continuously and fluidly.
Here’s a manual:
So if you are sailing against the wind, you position your main sail and jig one way, if you are going parallel, you position them another way and so on and so forth.
Think about your business the same way.
An architect friend of mine once told me that there are basically eight apartment floor plans and that all other floor plans are derivatives of those eight.
In advertising, too, we found that there are seven actions you can take:
Which action you need to take, at what point and how many resources you need to put behind each step will depend on several factors:
- What you are selling obviously and the decision process that consumers will follow to buy your product or service.
- Your media mix; not all contact points will allow you to collect the information you need to act on a stage (e.g., very difficult to retarget on television)
- Your data collection and analysis
The key point, however, is that a strategy must also remain fluid, changing as your needs change, and not remain carved in stone.
We call this Dynamic Planning
Let’s once again assume you a small CPA company.
This might be a way to look at it.
So, your launch might be strictly selling (e.g., generating leads and inquiries) with some reselling (a different creative), but, as you begin building even a small database, you can begin with other actions.
If you were buying digital advertising, for example, a month into the campaign you would begin retargeting people who landed in your website and did not either register or seek any other information. As you began to have clients you could begin retention campaigns and, once your clients felt “yours” you would begin a referral campaign.
Naturally, this is just an example, a real life chart would change as we got more data. But the major point is that your strategic stance would change in a fluid way from straight selling/lead acquisition to growing the business in other ways.
Media Mix and Dynamic Strategies
Not only should your strategic stance change dynamically, perhaps even your media mix should.
The easiest way to do this in in two steps.
Step 1 – Identify key media touchpoints for your most important groups.
There is a lot of syndicated and available data in the market, of course. But, beyond that, given today’s digital environment, you can actively select your targets using very fine filters. For example, you could conceivably choose something like “Residential Architects in the South Florida area excluding Hialeah” and be able to target specifically those people with customized creative. You can also choose a range of delivery options that will allow you to optimize against whatever KPI’s you choose. So you can conceivably use premium sites, ad networks and programmatic delivery in the same plan and optimize against each of those.
Step 2 – Preselect which media are ideal for each action step in the Dynamic Strategy and see which group it matches.
For example, let’s say you are trying to upsell your CPA services to architects.
You can create a map of which media are ideal for upselling:
In looking at architects (and a simple online survey might clarify your choice) one might conclude that since architects are always driving from one site to another, a simple SMS message might be ideal. So, if you are a CPA firm and want to upsell your architects from simple tax preparation to a more complex finance advisory product, you could send an SMS that said “Hi, we already do your taxes, for only $XXX we can expand our services to include finance advise and the integrated view could save you $XXY per year” with a link to make a phone call (a live link) or a link to send an email saying “Yeah, sounds good, contact me”.
Other media can include:
- Outbound telemarketing – call your lawyers up with an offer
- A personal letter from you (Direct Mail)
- An e-mail
Ultimately, the cost of each media and the response it generates will dictate what to use.
Next- Messaging- Media Mix and Summary