Since launching my company, TV Ears, in 1998, I’ve found myself constantly examining what other businesses are and are not doing. For companies that are performing well, I’ve found that they not only offer a solid product or service, but they have a strategic plan with how they market the company. Although strategies vary depending on the company’s goals, it’s essential to pay attention to both online and offline marketing efforts.
What I find is that while concentrating in one of those areas and being successful is well and good, in order to achieve real success, you’ve got to flex those marketing muscles on all marketing fronts. Some of those areas might include:
1) Web sites, social media & Twitter! Oh, my!
While the Internet is a great vehicle to get your message across and provide information about a company, it’s also an ideal space to create one-on-one conversations with customers. With the multitude of online tools out there, the Internet should be used to its fullest. Companies and customers of all kinds are on the Web making a presence in order to listen and respond to one another. Every company should be on the Internet to some degree and the more ways you’re able to infiltrate your message, be it your Web site, social media networks or other avenues, the better. Set up Google alerts for your company and competitors so you are always aware of what is being said, good or bad. The Internet is a great asset for marketing as well as for managing customer service.
2) Hi, my name is ___________.
Contrary to what a lot of professionals believe, networking events can be extremely beneficial and provide an opportunity to meet folks who can help your business grow. Sure, the cocktails and appetizers are nice too, but it’s the relationships and advice I’ve taken away from these events that have helped my company expand. Whether it is from attending conferences, seminars, tradeshows or mixers, you’ll be amazed by the different people you meet along the way and how the awareness of your company or product will spread.
3) And the winner is…
Most companies are oblivious to the fact that there are several awards they are eligible to be considered for each year. Not only is it a great feeling to be nominated for a category, but it also helps bring awareness to the business of the individual being spotlighted. Whether it is a small publication in town that holds a few annual awards each year or it is the Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 500/5000 list, get yourself into the competition. In addition, there are often specific categories that cater to employees such as HR Professionals of the Year, CTO of the Year and such. This is a perfect opportunity to showcase your organization’s strengths and that will reflect well on your company overall.
Businesses that are able to flex their marketing muscles with online and offline efforts will increase their brand awareness substantially. What’s more, many of these initiatives won’t break the bank. Companies that maintain a solid Internet presence participate at industry networking events and tradeshows and go after specific industry awards will discover that their biggest expense is time – not money. Nevertheless, folks that want to run a successful business will most likely need to ensure they are active on all fronts.