If there is one thing I know for sure, using old marketing tactics in this “new economy” isn’t going to work. That’s why I am taking my own advice and trying some new new strategies with my own businesses. Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Amen to that! But sometimes, people get all caught up in what I mean by “new things”. Trying new things doesn’t have to mean implementing complicated new technology, or launching really intricate online campaigns. It just means trying something that you haven’t tried before.
I have been doing traditional types of marketing since I started my company five years ago. My business is based mostly on referrals, so one-on-one networking is a big part of my marketing plan. Now you may wonder why I consider networking a marketing tactic. It’s because of the way I define marketing…getting my message to my audience so I can convince them to buy my services. When I network, I connect with people who are potential clients (of course). I also try and communicate my message by showing them what I can do for them – rather than telling them what I can do for them. What I mean is, if a person I’m talking to at an event is having a particularly difficult time with an email campaign, for example, I might offer to review their copy and give them some suggestions. I honestly want to help them be more successful and it gives me the opportunity to show them what I do.
The other major part of my marketing plan are my ongoing communications. This takes two primary forms. My blog (which is what you’re currently reading…so that’s working and my newsletter “Impact Marketing News” which you can subscribe to by filling out the form on the right. I have been regularly issuing a newsletter since 2007. I have tons of subscribers. I routinely get email responses from each newsletter from people I haven’t heard from in a while wanting to connect for one reason or another. The newsletter keeps my name in my prospective client’s inboxes. It gives me a venue to share new information , articles, interviews, books, etc.
I can hear you thinking…”But you said this was about trying new things??” You’re right. I did say that, and I have experimented with some new tactics lately.
In Sept I attended a very high end conference called “Demo”. This is the conference where start-ups get 6 minutes to pitch their businesses to venture capital-types. It is a great launch platform and very well attended and covered by the high-tech media. I haven’t attended the event before, but have always heard about it since one of my target groups is high-tech start-ups. I figured it I want to be where my customers are, then I should go to this event. The visibility was fantastic. I met 20+ CEOs of these start-ups; had coffee with several of them afterward and scheduled follow-up calls with a few more. I didn’t expect to sign a deal during the conference; far from it.
The objective of this exercise was to to meet new prospects and expand my existing network. From that perspective it worked really well. Do I expect it to turn into active projects over the next 6 months….you betcha. You know why? Because I will continue to network with these folks and send them my newsletter, connect with the on FaceBook, LinkedIn, etc. By mixing my new stuff with my tried and true stuff I’ll develop relationships that will translate into new business.
I’ve invested in another event as well – Confab2010. Confab is an event hosted by the Institute of Management Consultants. It is basically a conference for consultants by consultants. Since consultants are another group of my prospective customers, this seemed like an interesting venue. This time rather than attending the event, I actually sponsored a booth. I will be showcasing my marketing development program called THINK.PLAN.ACT. It is designed specifically for consultants to help them build their brands and their businesses. Again, I’m trying to get in front of a new group of prospects using tactics I’ve never tried before. I know the program works as I’ve had success with it. So I’m trying a new tactic to get the message out to a new groups of prospects. Then I will follow-up using (you guessed it) my blog, newsletter, social media, etc.
Some of this might seem basic – but that’s really my point. Trying new things doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. Just think of a few things you’ve been meaning to do and start doing them. So far, I’ve been really pleased with the new additions to my marketing plan. I’m sure you will be to.