I've been chatting with the fab Adam Bell from We Are Boutique about marketing and thought I'd share some of his favourite tips with you all here! Adam and I discuss Google's own marketing model as well as the 4 stages of marketing that will help you to get clear on your marketing strategies, your target audience, make sales and have happy clients!
If you're thinking 'but what the heck IS Integrated Marketing?!', let's get into that first!
What is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing is possibly something you are already doing to some extent without even realising it! In the business and marketing worlds, we have names for everything!
'Integrated Marketing' is the term used for strategic marketing across various platforms in a seamless and unified approach, that gives you a chance to interact with customers across the customer lifecycle or path to purchase.
Can Entrepreneurs Benefit from Integrated Marketing?
Absolutely! A key point that Adam mentions is that the first port of call is to define what works for each entrepreneur or business at that specific time.
This means that although integrated marketing can cover a variety of platforms, such as email marketing, blogging, SEO, social media marketing, advertising PR etc, you may not need to utilise all of these platforms in order to get your message in front of your potential customers.
How do you know which marketing platforms to use?
Adam suggests using Google's 3H model, which they used when acquiring You Tube! The 3H method is this:
The hygiene activity are activities that entrepreneurs need to do all the time. For example: having a great website and being discoverable by Google, Bing etc
Hub activity tends to be more product lead or seasonal activities. For example launching a new product or service or promoting special offers around Summer, Christmas, Mothers Day etc
Hero Activity relates more to your overall brand - who you are, what you stand for, why people should buy from you rather than your competitors.
The important thing is to think about the messages that go with each of these activities and then the channels that are right for your business at any particular time.
Think about the type of story you are trying to tell and the channels you can most effectively communicate those on. Social Media is a great platform for Hero activities as it gives you the opportunity to represent your brand with video, images and text, whilst also having a Hygiene element as you can lead people directly to your website.
When you're thinking about your marketing, the first thing you need to do is to concentrate on the message you want to get across, and then which channel (or platform) you want to use. Don't forget to measure your results!
To ensure you get the very best results, your marketing should be clear, defined and seamless across all platforms.
What Digital Marketing Platforms can Entrepreneurs use?
Every type of business can benefit from digital marketing, whether they are an e-commerce business (you sell products or services online) or a bricks and mortar store who uses the internet to generate leads and provide a face to face experience.
- Paid Search - Google, Bing
- Social Media - Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram
- Content Marketing - includes social media, blogging & your website content
- Email Marketing
- PR - press releases, media (TV & Radio)
How to determine which channels would work for your business
There are two things to consider here. Firstly, think about your message (as we discussed previously) and then consider your target audience. Both of these will affect the selection of platforms you choose.
Understanding and knowing your target audience (or client avatar) is hugely important here.
For instance, if you are a plumber, you would likely want to target an audience within a specific location or area. Facebook is great for this as you can target people based on their postcode.
Why is it sO important to get in front of your audience?
Consumers are in so many places and bombarded with so many different types of content that it can be hard to cut through and reach your potential customers.
Think of your marketing as touchpoints with your customers. Touchpoints are your businesses way to have contact with that person. Touchpoints can be anything from an email, a status update on LinkedIn, an image or video on Facebook, a note through the letterbox, a visit to your website or social media page, a phone call or a paid ad that is targeted to your customers (to name just a few!)
Each time you are in front of a potential customer you have the opportunity to build a new relationship, nurture an existing relationship, impress your brand image, message or mission, create more awareness of your business and of course promote your products or services.
Adam also suggests that you should always put a limited test budget behind each of your marketing activities, test them and analyse the results from each. What's effective for one business may not work for you!
What is a Marketing Strategy?
The word 'strategy' has become a bit of a business buzzword. A lot of business owners and entrepreneurs say that have a marketing strategy or think they need one, but are you even sure what that means?
Adam says that by starting with the 3H model you can paint a broad picture of your marketing - who are you trying to reach, what's the point and what's your message?
Before you even start doing your marketing, understand why you are doing it and what you want to achieve from it.
Remember to resonate with your audience, connect with them but also to ask for a sale!
The 4H's of Marketing
Yep, we have four more H's for you!
These are Hunt, Harmonise, Harvest and Harness and are the four stages of marketing.
Let me explain..
Hunting is about going into the market and actively looking for people who do need (or may have a need) for your purpose, Adam says. It's about using targeted marketing and advertising to find people in your target audience that you can get in front of.
This relates to your content and messaging. By resonating with your audience, you create an instant connection with them. This is why brands that have a strong mission or they stand for something, do really well at this stage of marketing. By sharing your beliefs or aim it creates a shared passion of objective.
This is converting your audience to paid customers.
The final stage in the 4H's of marketing is to harness that relationship.
We all know it's 3x more expensive to gain new customers as it is to resell to current ones, so harnessing is about retaining your customers with loyalty programmes, upsells, cross sells etc.
I asked Adam to give me his 3 top tips on integrated marketing... Here they are!
1. Write things down!
Listen to a podcast, watch a video or read a blog post and then close it all down, grab a pen and paper and write things down! By doing this, you start to put into practice what you have learnt and can figure out what your next move is.
2. Grab another piece of paper and title them Hero, Hub & Hygiene.
Under Hero, describe the vision for your business, what's your strategy for the next 12 months and what do you want to achieve?
Under Hub, write down your core products lines or service categories.
Under Hygiene, think about your touchpoints. How are you currently reaching people? Is it in store or online? Are people travelling to you?
3. Think about the 4H's of marketing.
Again, grab a pen & some paper (or use a document on your computer if you prefer!) and title each page with Hunt, Harmonise, Harvest & Harness.
Here's a few ideas for you:
Hunt: What channels are you going to start out with? Does it make sense to start with Facebook or LinkedIn?
Harmonise: What content can you create to get your message across? Video? Podcasts? Blogging? Social Media?
Harvest: Are you converting online? What do you want a customer to actually DO? Do you need them to actually buy something or just need their email address so you can follow up with them?
Harness: How will you follow up with people? How can you please and delight your customers or clients so they tell their friends? Do you have a rewards or loyalty program in place?
Want more from Adam or have questions about how to use marketing in your business?
I have to say, it was an absolute pleasure to chat with Adam (geez, does this guy know his marketing!) and I'm pleased to say he is happy to answer any and all of your questions in our Facebook Group the Empowered Entrepreneurs Club too!