Marketing: High Frequency with High Quality
Quantity and quality are equally important in marketing communications. The goal of quantity (or frequency, as it’s referred to in the marketing world) is to get your marketing message out repeatedly to the majority of people in your potential market.
On the flip side, quality is the effectiveness of the communication (how powerfully it brings the message home to the target reader, viewer, or listener). You never want to trade quality for quantity by cutting back on writing, design, and production costs. The trick is to create high-quality communications that lend themselves to frequent, inexpensive placement.
Follow these steps to increase the frequency of your exposures:
Look for ways to piggyback a marketing message on anything and everything that has exposure. For instance, at the bottom of all your e-mails, add a one-sentence marketing message (complete with live links to your website and Facebook page).
Literally, anything that people see or hear, from your mailings to your building to the sound track while on hold or in the lobby, is a potential option for your marketing message.
Seek out new media that offer prime exposure at a very low cost. New media — whether new social networking sites or blogs, or more traditional outlets that are just emerging on the scene — are a bargain until they mature, so take advantage of the low cost of advertising with them.
Additionally, newly launched magazines (especially business-oriented titles and regional or city-oriented monthlies and weeklies) usually offer bargain rates on advertising for the first year or two of their existence.
Also check out Twitter and Instagram. Instagram is currently a deal for advertisers because it’s the latest new place to go. (Emerging social media often skew toward the young, by the way, so make sure the demographics work for your marketing program.)
Promote your website constantly. The number of existing websites run into the billions, so don’t think the various Internet search engines will do the job of driving customers to your web door. Instead, bid on key terms and spend a little money every month to drive searches your way.
Maximize your web exposure with multiple narrowly focused websites, blogs, and ads. Many marketers think they need just one big, well-done website. Sure, such a site is the hub of your web marketing wheel, but don’t stop there.
Create informational blogs and web pages. Dedicate a website to one particular product. Join web communities with high traffic (such as eBay, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and craigslist) and set up listings, stores, or auctions according to their rules. The web is an inexpensive place to communicate, so it’s a natural avenue for increasing your frequency of exposures.
Give away helpful content. The web is a great place to share helpful information and how-to advice that relates to your business and its expertise. Try websites, blogs (your own or ones you sponsor), Facebook business pages, Pinterest boards, or Twitter (which can summarize key points and let people know about a white paper on a website, for example).
Giving away information builds trust and can generate brand recognition and sales leads. In the bad old days before the web exploded, it cost money to print up content, and businesses rarely gave anything away.
Now it’s free to post it, so the best strategy for any marketer is to become a publisher of useful content, not just ads and sales pitches.
Consider postcards for customer mailings. Most postcards (except for the oversized ones) receive a lower postage rate and are quick and easy for the recipient to digest. Instead of mailing infrequent, expensive letters or catalogs, send creative, eye-catching postcards to your list every week and see what happens.
Include URLs to web promotions and helpful content, or add QR (quick response) codes to each postcard so customers can scan them with their phones and be directed to a promotion or a source of richly useful, timely content.
Use QR codes to draw mobile customers to your website or attract leads and upsell with special offers. Link QR codes to video, web store special offers, useful web content or other links (optimized for small scale display on phones), and place the QR code on packaging, store windows, mailings, signs, or display ads on the subway.
People in transition or in cue are often willing to scan a code and see what the deal is.
To keep your frequent marketing communications high in quality, avoid offering deals every time you communicate. When you mail coupons or advertise a special discount, you add the lost profit from the discounts to your costs of communicating.
Make your core communications be about the brand, not the price. Build awareness. Build knowledge. Remind people of the one, two, or three things that make you special; then remind them that you’re here and ready to do business.
Coupons, special offers, blow-out sales, and other aggressive price-oriented messages should not be the main focus of your marketing communications. If you need to stimulate an immediate response, promote a special event that isn’t about price cuts or discounts.