I read an interesting column in the Business section of the Enquirer last weekend. It caught my eye because the title boldly proclaimed that cold calls and sales reps are still a necessity in the B2B world. The writer stated that the era of “Mad Men” is still alive and well today in terms of picking up the phone or knocking on doors to make a sale. He then went on to say that “a majority of decision makers are not reading content marketing” or “paying close attention to social media marketing” either, so the word “necessity” is used.
In my opinion, the writer completely misses the mark. We cannot afford look at our marketing strategies with an all-or-nothing mentality, that sales is exactly what it was back in the 60’s. Whether you are operating in the B2B or B2C world, the key word for your marketing should be diversification.
This means carefully analyzing who your customers are, where they are, how to engage with them, and what to say. Does that mean that cold calling should account for 100% of your marketing strategy? What about social media for that matter? Absolutely not. That’s like saying a healthy diet should consist of only fruits, or only vegetables. A successful marketing plan should be well-rounded and should include many, if not all, of the following:
- Regularly updated website content
- Frequent social media posts: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
- Direct mail campaigns
- Billboard advertising
- Memberships to Chambers and networking groups
- Weekly blogging
- Radio/TV/Print advertising
- Hosting events
- Holiday cards/gifts to your customers and referral partners
- Promotional items
- Cold calling
While the success of any marketing plan is contingent on the level of commitment to it, there is another component that is equally as important – the plan must also be fluid. In other words, your marketing plan must be able to be modified throughout the year as you track progress. Things like the seasons, the economy, and technology can affect the impact of each strategy, or even introduce new venues for building revenue like with the advent of social media over the last decade.
Change will always be a constant. It’s those who adapt to it the quickest who will be more inclined to succeed in the long run.
Keep it relevant.