The Three-Legged Marketing Stool – Part 3

This article is part 3 of a 3 part message about using a combined mix of traditional, digital and social media marketing tools to create a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Combining Your Tools to Create a Strategy –Marketing Strategy

As a wrap-up, many business owners ask,  ‘what’s the right marketing tool mix for my business?’ I suggest you start with a few non-negotiable tools combining traditional, digital and social media. For example, business cards, a social site or two and some kind of web presence may be a good start. But don’t stop there – tool integration is the key to your success!

This past year I read a great book, The Fusion Marketing Bible, by my friend Lon Safko. His tool, the Safko Wheel, helps to organize and integrate several tools into one strategy using a method called Fusion Marketing. The tool has been accepted by the United States Patent & Trademark Office as “Patent Pending” and is available when you purchase his book.

Defining your right marketing mix and reaching your customer is based on who you believe your potential or existing customers (including friends and family) are, and finding where they are looking for your information. You may not get it right with every tool but measuring what you do will help you fine tune your mix. Again, the key is the integration process which maximizes the use of each tool in a cross pollination pattern.

Think, how can I link my shopping cart to my business cards and how can I link my Pinterest account with my promotional items – how can I link my web site to my newsletter and a QR code? How can I link my QR code to my letterhead? Your marketing plan becomes a massive web of interconnected tools that help you stay connected to your customer AND help your customer develop an affinity for your products or services because among other things,  you are easily found through a number avenues!

If you want an in-depth look at how to use the most commonly used social media and digital marketing tools for your business, please join our team on Wednesday, March 18th for the Digital Marketing Bootcamp. It costs $49 and includes lunch. You can register here through this link… Right here!



The Three-Legged Marketing Stool – Part 2


Social This is part 2 in a 3 part message containing information on using a combined mix of traditional, digital and social media marketing tools to create a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing Tools-SBDC Gainesville Digital Bootcamp

Digital marketing tools are part of an important go-to-market strategy. However, they do not foster the same outcomes that social media or traditional marketing methods do.

Some of the better known digital marketing tools are, RSS feeds, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (also known asSearch Marketing) and e-commerce sites.  I use an RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) from The New York Times that appears on the side bar of my home computer. Without having to give away a lot of person information, purchase a subscription or respond to any surveys, I have the latest current events each day. It is pretty non-invasive and I like that feature.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps to increase web traffic through unpaid or free listings. It’s use makes a website more ‘search’ friendly.  The use of proper titles, descriptions, well formatted URLs, image tagging and header identification are part of the  ‘optimization’ process.  SEM is similar to SEO but typically involves your check book using paid advertising. It is an important part of a marketing strategy because it involves a targeted approach to driving traffic to your internet site.  SEM is also referred to as Paid Search Advertising (PSA).

E-commerce sites afford consumers the ability to shop for your products or services 24/7 anywhere, anytime. There are challenges using many digital marketing tools but they typically do not encourage a conversation (like social media) and are not considered ‘traditional’ forms of marketing. The implementation process often requires technical expertise as well as funds (for example using PPC & Google Ad Words).

Social Media Tools-

Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pintrest, Instagram, YouTube typically encourage a post and a response or two-way communication. (It does pose a question when someone creates a business page or a profile page that does not offer interested individuals the ability to engage with comments in a posts). The tool(s) are after all called “Social” and were established to build community. When I create a marketing strategy, I think in terms of three outcomes, reach, engagement and generating a call to activity (CTA).

Digital marketing does not suggest a reply or for that matter encourage one. SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and having an e-commerce site are referred to as digital marketing tools. These ‘tools’ are a necessary ‘part’ of a marketing strategy by helping you to be found during the ‘Search’ process. However, not all of them suggest engagement or two-way communication.

Over the past 10 years, marketing tools have evolved with light-speed adopting new forms of technology. A well balanced marketing strategy includes the use of many marketing tools including traditional marketing methods, Social Media and Digital Marketing tools (no, they are not the same).  Digital marketing tools differ from social media mainly by communication interaction.

Measure it!

Adding to the challenges of developing a marketing strategy is the need for measuring results. This is important for several reasons, but a primary purpose is to determine the cost of customer acquisition (COCA) – which is often a cold shower for early stage businesses. Knowing this information is a good marketing budget indicator because it helps to answer the following questions, “do I want to spend X dollars acquiring each additional customer and can I afford to increase the amount or do I need to decrease my budget?” It also reveals break even for each new customer – how much a customer has to spend with you beyond the costs to market to them. All marketing tools should be measured by expense and R.O.I.

So how do you put together a combined marketing plan using the right tools for your marketing mix? In part 3 of this series, I’ll discuss a brilliant approach using the Safko Wheel created by my friend Lon Safko in next weeks post.

If you want an in-depth look at how to use the most commonly used social media and digital marketing tools for your business, please join our team on Wednesday, March 18th for the Digital Marketing Bootcamp. It costs $49 and includes lunch. You can get more information by clicking here .

Missed Part 1 of The 3 Legged Marketing Stool Series? Click Here.


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.

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

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