merge online and offline marketing efforts

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Business owners now have more choices than ever in how they present themselves and reach customers. If you are selling items online, for example, your marketing strategy might very well include a way to appeal to customers worldwide. Most businesses will be targeting customers within one country or even one specific area. One thing is for sure, though. Whether you are trying to market to customers that live in your town or across the globe, integrating online advertising into your marketing plan is essential if you want to maximize your chances of success.

Combining Your Efforts

Implementing both traditional and online marketing strategies is the best route to go because it casts a wide net that will reach different kinds of customers. Your marketing plan doesn’t necessarily need to be split equally so that you have half traditional advertising and half online. Look at where you are now and slowly go in the other direction. A few online advertisements on websites your customers likely frequent can be a good, slow start.

Expanding Your Reach

Get creative with both forms of marketing and take advantage of low-cost marketing efforts. Consider your product and who your primary customers are. If you have a very visual product, perhaps connecting with customers on Pinterest would be good, but you don’t want to sign up for every social media website. Target specific ones that you think would be a best fit for your customers.

Proceed with Caution

Expand your outreach slowly and always have a thorough plan for every marketing campaign. Traditional advertisements may include handing out a free flyer with coupons to customers in grocery bags as they check out, but putting flyers on customers’ wind shields is more likely to inspire their ire than their business.

Likewise, while trying out new strategies, be sure to think through the consequences. Social media is free and extremely effective, but you do want to hire someone to do it right. For example, if you set up an official Facebook page, you need to have at least two administrators that work different shift. If you are on a social networking site and someone does sloppy posts, neglects to post, or fails to respond to customer complaints in a timely manner, the social media marketing strategy could actually hurt your brand. Doing too much too soon is a bad mistake too many businesses make.

Tracking The Success of Marketing Strategies

Every business is unique and will have different levels of success with types of marketing strategies. When someone signs up for your company’s newsletters or sends a message to your website, it’s okay to ask where they found your company. You can track where the hits to your website are coming from as well. When a customer completes an in-person transaction, you can also ask how they found you. Use both simple and sophisticated methods to see which marketing efforts are most effective and focus more on those. As you continue to grow your business.

randy bowden – t | f | g+

(image:123RF)

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