Not all marketing is created equal. There are different marketing methods, and some work better than others depending on your business and your customers.
The question, then, is how to know which types of marketing will work best for you. There are three foundational marketing types that can be applied to almost any business successfully. Take a look, and check out the two marketing types you should avoid.
Say Yes to Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a term made popular with the rise of digital marketing; the concept, however, is bigger than having a blog or YouTube channel.
Traditional, outbound marketing is based on the principle of pushing a generic message to as many people as possible, in hopes that a few will be interested. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, works by creating very specific messages intended for a targeted group.
Inbound marketing costs about 60% less than traditional outbound marketing
, which is great news for the budget-conscious small business owner. And inbound marketing isn’t just bound to digital content; you can create targeted, specific information and share it via print materials and live events as well as online methods.
Say Yes to Permission Marketing
Marketing expert, author, and entrepreneur Seth Godin introduced the permission marketing concept, which he defines this way
: “Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.”
This is your email list and your customer club, and it’s worth its weight in marketing gold if you use it right. To do so, send out high-quality offers and information; you don’t want people to regret giving you permission to send them information and offers.
Timing also matters. If you blast people too often, you annoy them. If you wait too long between messages, they forget who you are. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula, either; check out this step-by-step guide
to help you determine how often to contact your customers.
Say Yes to Best-Fit Marketing
This particular type of marketing will be as different as each small business that uses it; that’s because it’s not a particular marketing type as much as a commitment to using the marketing methods that work for your business.
To find a particular type of marketing that meshes well with your business, you have to try a few different ones and keep track of the return on investment for each one.
For a tech company, it might be developing an active forum, providing lots of interaction online with detailed answers and support. For a local brick-and-mortar business, it might be getting involved in community events and sponsoring local causes. For a retail business, it might pursuing mobile tech, with an optimized site and custom mobile app. Other options include expertise and education, qualified discounts, personalized resources and help, top-tier exclusivity, networking, and over-the-top, humorous tactics to gain press.
When you find a marketing method that works consistently well, make it your signature method. Get really great at it. Learn everything you can about it. Every now and then, revisit the concept and the ROI to ensure it’s still effective for you.
Say No to Interruption Marketing
Interruption marketing works by interrupting whatever a consumer is currently doing in order to show them a marketing message. Consumers tolerate these marketing messages because they want to get back to whatever they were doing before. The current iteration of interruption marketing is pop-up ads on websites.
Not all interruption marketing is evil or ineffective; but it can cost a lot
, produce few results, and irritate your customers.
Consumers don’t have to put up with interruption marketing anymore, and so they don’t. Rather than pursuing more advanced ways to annoy your customers with interruptions, invest your time and money into the effective and welcome inbound and permission based marketing.
Say No to Trend Hopping
Avoid is the compulsive need to jump to whatever is newest and best in the marketing world. If you’re not sure what works for your business, then you’re operating from fear and indecision. Each new marketing buzzword will seem better than the one you’re using now.
However, jumping on the newest trend requires learning it, investing in it, and implementing it. Even the best marketing methods take time to become effective, so each time you change methods you’re losing time and reducing your ROI.
There’s nothing wrong with staying up-to-date and trying new marketing methods; in fact, it’s a great idea. However, build your marketing on long-lasting principles, not trendy approaches. Trend hopping will keep you from building a lasting, effective marketing approach and will eat up your marketing budget.
Ultimately, all marketing methods work best when you know your customers and care about their needs. The business that operates to help its customers will figure out the best way to do so, and will build a loyal and growing customer base while doing so.