The Three-Legged Marketing Stool – Part 1

This article is part 1 of a 3 part series on the Three-Legged Marketing Stool
By Dede Gossage

We recently surveyed attendees prior to an education program launch. A large portion of them said they struggled with knowing how to develop, implement and/or measure a relevant marketing strategy. The results were not surprising.

Yesterday’s one-way communication methods have evolved into a mixed communication bag of tools that includes both traditional and technical platforms as well as a unique vocabulary. Choosing the right mix is a challenge for most businesses. The trick is to think globally – tough because the noise in the marketing vacuum currently speaks volumes about using non-traditional methods that appear to be less expensive than most traditional marketing method. This is part 1 in a 3 part message that contains information on using a combined mix of traditional, digital and social media marketing.Marketing Strategy

Traditional Marketing –

In 2005 I sold yellow page advertising for about 6 weeks. The opportunity taught me a great deal about customer segmentation and targeted ad campaigns. Hard as those cold calls were, I learned about the importance of being found where your customers have been trained by the marketplace to look for your products or services. The truth is, traditional marketing methods have not disappeared. Used consistently and targeting the right markets, they are very effective and work well in your marketing mix integrated with today’s technical marketing tools. Direct Mail, radio, TV ads, print ads, promotional products and business cards cost money, but used wisely and pointedly are strategic players with brand awareness and promote a time-sensitive call to action (CTA) which can convert into immediate sales.

Social Media beginnings-

My initial experience with social media began with My Space. I migrated over to Facebook (FB) after it launched in 2004. My first Profile Page included a lot of friends and friends of friends which netted me a huge network filled with a lot of people I didn’t know very well. Out of frustration, I created another Profile Page in 2009 (who has two Facebook pages…crazy!). Eventually I closed the page I created in 2004 (and lost a large number of my contacts) but the 2nd Profile Page included a smaller, yet rich network of friends – remembering my mom’s advice, choose your ‘friends’ wisely. I soon created Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and was challenged with trying to figure out how to manage my entire network.

With the creation of our social networks at the Gainesville SBDC (FB/ SBDCGainesvilleGA, Twitter/ GainesvilleSBDC and WordPress blog/ Gainesvillegasbdc), I learned how to link my accounts together so that I could post from our blog page and link the information to all of our staff’s LinkedIn pages and our FB page. In addition, our blog afforded me a place to host articles and photos with their own URL addresses so that I could post them as a link in other locations (and drive people to our blog). Recently, we established a YouTube channel and have begun promoting our programming with short promo videos made with the iMovie app (Apple made it super easy to edit a short video with one app!). Eventually, I needed one place to manage our network and found several tools available (HootSuite, SproutSocial, etc) that offer a one-stop site to manage and measure social network tools using a dashboard.

The social media landscape offers numerous tools to reach and engage an audience continues to evolve. Currently there are still a few tools that outrank all others. Here is a rundown for business in within a defined age range and an interesting mix for mobile users:

Business Users: (Age 35-54) Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ & LinkedIn. http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes//popular-social-networks-age/502497

Mobile Users : Instagram, Pintrest, Twitter, FB, Tumblr & LinkedIn. http://mashable.com 2014/04/03social-media-mobile-chart/

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Three-legged Marketing Stool featured next week in your inbox! Dede

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