I’ve never subscribed to the “Field of Dreams” web mantra: “Build it and they will come.” It isn’t that easy. Fortunately, it is rather easy to integrate your web presence and digital communications with your general and direct marketing programs, to weave them one into the other for virtually all of your marketing efforts.
To achieve the greatest effectiveness, your web marketing must be integrated with all of your other marketing efforts. For starters, see the list at Appendix XX again for a summary of all the places that your web address should appear. Be certain that all of your marketing and communications materials refer to your website. Your web presence in the one place that you can cost-effectively post all relevant information about your company, from the story of how you got started to today’s specials. It would be impossible to do the same on your fax cover letters, music on hold, or in your yellow pages ads. Therefore, use these other media to drive people to your web presence where you can communicate cost effectively.
Your web presence is also the one place you can cost-effectively build community, inviting others to participate in many-threaded dialogues.
The importance of integration cannot be over-stressed. Some surveys say that up to seventy-two percent of first time visitors to your website will come as a result of a print ad. The whole idea of viral marketing is web-based. Marketplaces were once places of many voices, myriad people buying and selling, all with a voice. The web is the closest we’ve come to mimicking the original marketplace.
We’re big fans of Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerilla Marketing series. Our own marketing staff meets most Thursdays to listen to for an hour to Levinson’s Guerilla Marketing audio cassettes or CDs, pausing after each point he makes to kick around his ideas and approaches as they apply to our business, then generating work orders to implement the ideas that fit best.
Levinson defines guerilla marketing in several ways, including “achieving conventional goals via unconventional means” with a focus on the importance of knowledge. I find his approaches not so much unconventional as practical…and low cost. His tactics and strategies often work well with our own philosophy: “The best way to sell is to make it easy for people to buy from you.”
This chapter is not a regurgitation of Levinson’s work – we do recommend you get his audio products and books (particularly his Guerilla Marketing Weapons – 62 Free Ways to Grow Your Business Profits, and, for your purposes if you’re reading this book, Guerrilla Marketing Online Weapons) and follow them yourselves. Rather, we’re recommending practical, guerilla-type techniques that – from our experience – work best in conjunction with, and as a component of, a strong web presence. We’ll call these “Web Marketing Integration.”
Separate Your Prospects and Your Clients
Your best prospects are the people already buying from you. Don’t treat your clients the same as you do prospects and don’t communicate with them using the same messages. Spend far more time listening to your clients than to anyone else. Much of the how-to advice in the rest of this chapter can be used for both prospects and customers, just so long as you differentiate the messages for each segment first.
Additional content covered in the print edition of Webforging includes a paragraph to a page or more on each of the following:
- Online Marketing Basics
- Touch-point Linkage
- Prospecting – Building Lists
- Mailing and Emailing to Your Lists
- Prospecting via Web Visits
- Press Releases
- Marketing Campaigns
- Extranets and Intranets
- Affiliate Programs
- Your Web Presence and Inbound Communications