A funny thing about humans is that we tend to take sides: Red or blue; Pepsi® or Coke®, dogs or cats—you get the idea. And sometimes we carry that same approach over into marketing.
Over the years there have been some businesses that focus exclusively on television as their medium of choice for getting their message out. Others have favored radio. Some swore by print advertising. Still others would do nothing but direct mail.
Today, most marketers agree on one thing: You’ve got to include the Internet in your marketing mix. But even there, there seems to be schisms. Some put all of their marketing eggs in the Facebook basket. Others spend their money and efforts on SEO for their website. Still others are convinced that a tool such as Yelp! is the only way to go.
Some marketers even appear to take sides on approaches such as content marketing and inbound marketing. Inbound marketers claim that their approach allows them to accurately track ROI—and that it also fits the way that companies and consumers do business today. Guess what? They’re right!
Proponents of content marketing, on the other hand, point to their ability to produce excellent, in-depth content with an emphasis on artistic creation that makes people respond. Guess what? They’re right, too!
Which approach to choose?
If you’re going to succeed in marketing in today’s marketplace, do you really have to choose which approach you’re going to take? The reality is that—not only do you not need to choose a single approach—you probably shouldn’t!
Your audience probably isn’t completely homogenous. You have customers and prospects who think and act differently—and who respond to different types of messaging. Chances are, they also engage in a variety of media consumption. Beyond that, most significant purchasing decisions aren’t influenced by “one-shot” approaches.
Smart marketing incorporates and integrates the strengths of various approaches. Don’t misunderstand—this isn’t a shotgun approach in which you spray your audience with a little bit of everything. It needs to be strategic so that it takes advantage of what each kind of marketing does best. The days of sending out expensive flyers that detail every aspect of your product or service are over. Nobody can afford that anymore. But you can use direct mail to drive prospects to your website. You can use Twitter or Facebook to drive viewers to a specific landing page. You can use your blog to get people to request an eBook or an appointment.
Marketing today isn’t “either/or.” It needs to be inclusive and integrated. It’s not about the “right” way to market your goods or services—it’s about doing it successfully!