Posted by Fabrick on 20 June 2017

Marketing is about conveying messages to audiences with a view of bringing about a desired result. For example, ‘Soft Drink Company Ltd’ takes out a full page advert in a consumer magazine to tell readers about its new soft drink in the hope that they then go and buy their product.

A simplistic scenario, granted. However, it helps demonstrate the fundamental process that all companies should undertake to help shape their marketing efforts.

All marketing strategies should be built upon answers to a small set of simple questions; what do you want people to know? Who do you want to know this? and what do you want them to do? Of course, things can a little more complicated when you add in the all-important factor of effectiveness.

It’s all well and good to have identified what you want people to know and who you want to know this information, but if they then don’t do the thing you want them to, i.e. buy your product, then it’s a fruitless endeavour that’s taken considerable amounts of time and money and not delivered a return on investment.

And so, it’s up to people like me to make sure that the marketing activities of ‘Soft Drink Company Ltd’ and other businesses and organisations are as effective as possible. This is achieved through the development of a strategy that takes into account who the target audiences are, what they want and how we can influence them.

This then helps shape the messages being shared (how they’re worded and presented etc.) and determines the channels in which they are communicated (print advertising, media relations, digital, social, direct mail, live events, video and so on and so forth) to best meet the client’s individual objectives.

Through considering all these elements, we end up with an integrated marketing strategy that incorporates various streams of activity across a number of communications channels.

Choosing the right mix of communications channels is an ever-increasingly difficult proposition given that the number of channels is growing all the time. We now have websites, email, social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn, Pay Per Click opportunities, and live streaming. All of which are incredibly useful and, helpfully measureable, and as such need to be considered.

However I think the introduction of these ‘new’ channels into the marketing mix has overshadowed some of the ‘old’ channels and think that this trend needs to be reversed.

To give you another example, let’s say ‘Top Plumbing Products Inc’ is launching a new plumbing product and wants plumbers to know about it. Now, there is merit in having a video produced explaining how the product works and why plumbers should use it, and also value in having a microsite created to further promote the product.

But I would suggest that one good way to get plumbers to understand and appreciate the product is to simply put it in their hand, something that could be achieved through demonstration days at plumbers’ merchants. In turn this can be supported with online and offline activities to remind these people of the benefit and convert them in to long term, loyal customers.

At CFA, we understand that the world is always changing. The ways in which people communicate and receive news and information is also changing and if we are to do our jobs well, achieving the best results for our clients, then we need to change as well.

But being open to change doesn’t mean forgetting all the tried and tested communications channels that have worked in the past and will continue to deliver results.

That’s why we continue to devise and deliver campaigns like the one we did for A Proctor Group recently and one-off events like the one we arranged for Sika last month.

Both involved face-to-face conversations and demonstrations and resulted in target audiences gaining a deeper understanding about the businesses and their products.

The lesson here is that while marketing strategies can and should include elements of ‘new’ technologies and communications channels, simple and traditional activities should not be overlooked as a result – as these are often the most effective.

Simon Robinson, Senior Account Manager

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