- Tip #1: It All Starts and Ends with Your Website
- Tip #2: Search is How They Find You
- Tip #3: Use Social Media for Customer Retention and Recommendations
- Tip #4: Replace Existing Activities with Online Equivalents
- Tip #5: Dont Stop Marketing Offline
Tip #4: Replace Existing Activities with Online Equivalents
With all the potential online marketing activities your company can engage in, how do you pay for them all? In other words, should new online marketing activities supplement your existing B2B marketing efforts – or should they replace some or all of what you’re currently doing?
Let’s face it, your company does not have an unlimited marketing budget. As you add online marketing activities to your mix you’ll probably need to decrease your spending on some of your existing marketing activities. You have to cut back on (some of) the old stuff to pay for the new things you want to do.
The key question, then, is which traditional activities can you replace with their online equivalents? Here are some to consider:
- Replace traditional cold calling with search engine marketing. In the old days, your sales people had to reach out to potential customers by cold calling a list of potential leads. Business customers are becoming more proactive, which means they’re using web search technology to seek out information and possible suppliers. It’s more cost-effective today to optimize your site for search than it is to support a tradition of less-effective cold calling.
- Replace print literature with online information. It used to be that you supplied all manner of print literature to potential prospects – brochures, catalogs, white papers, you name it. Printed product literature costs money to design and print, however, and even more money to mail. Today, you can provide some if not all your current product information on your website. Fewer brochures to print and less information to mail means you can fill the informational needs of prospective customers at a significantly reduced cost
- Replace print advertising with online advertising. Instead of spending big bucks on traditional advertising in trade and industry publications, divert those funds to more targeted PPC advertising on search engines and trade/industry websites. You may be able to generate similar results at a fraction of the cost.
- Replace direct mail with email. Most B2B companies use direct mail to keep in regular contact with their customers. As you know, however, it costs a lot of money to design, print, and mail all these items. Fortunately, you can reduce your direct mail costs by shifting your mailings to the Internet. Instead of sending all your flyers, newsletters, and catalogs via postal mail, you instead send them to your customer list via email. The upside is that sending an email message is essentially free; although you still have some design and management costs, you reduce your printing and mailing costs to near zero.
- Replace newsletters and phone calls with social media. How do you let your customers know when something new or important is happening? If you’re like most B2B companies, you either send out a newsletter or similar mailing, or have your sales people take to the phones. Instead, you can use social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, to notify customers of important events and happenings. It’s instant communication that often has more impact than more traditional methods.
- Replace live events with webinars. If you work for a larger B2B company, chances are you host or attend a variety of live events – conferences, seminars, trade shows, and the like. It costs real money to send a small army of personnel and equipment cross country for these events, even though they’re often effective. You can cut your costs by migrate many of your live events online. For example, instead of hosting a seminar in a hotel or conference center, you instead host a web seminar (webinar) online. Your staff doesn’t have to travel, and neither do your attendees – which both reduces costs and potentially increases the number of attendees.