Choosing your marketing style

When you deliver content solutions – and not just content writing services – to your clients, you dive into other aspects of their business such as social media, SEO and digital marketing. And you notice how difficult it becomes for businesses to choose their marketing style. If I had to write a book on Marketing in 2014 for Dummies, I’d segregate all kinds and forms or marketing into two simple buckets:

  1. Cheap digital marketing
  2. Expensive offline marketing

Don’t tell me that offline marketing can be cheap – it can’t in comparison – or that digital marketing can be expensive – yes it can but then you’re just being stupid.

See this complicated chart I created to make my simple point:

Which quadrant describes your marketing style?
Which quadrant describes your marketing style?

Ideally, you want to aim for the green zone and stay clear of the red zone. Getting into the green zone means creating brilliant, interesting, helpful and shareable content. An example of getting to the red zone is this really really bad McDonalds ad that tried to reach the teenage audience but obviously forgot to run the draft through a teenager himself.

McDonald's I'd hit it campaign
Really McDonald’s? I’d hit it??

Erm…for those who’re wondering, here’s what young people mean when they say I’d hit it.

Not getting into the red zone is easy, if you think through your campaigns and run it through checks, including getting feedback from a smaller group of people that constitute your intended audience.

The difficult part is deciding how much effort you want to put on digital and how much effort you want to put offline. And believe you me, you’ve gotta take that call. You just cannot have a marketing strategy that haphazardly moves from digital to offline and back to digital. Because your budgets are very, very different for these two styles and you will never be able to plan or measure success correctly.

If you ask me, I think that startups that are selling online should all go the digital marketing method and spend the money saved on building a brilliant product / service instead. If your customers are online, that’s your universe (think Venn diagram). Going anywhere else is simply overspending. Overzealous online businesses will end up spending more than they should on achieving the same goals in the same amount of time if they decide to go the offline marketing way.

However, if you’re (1) traditional, (2) new to the online world, or (3) someone who just won’t see sense, then make sure that your offline marketing campaigns are supported by online digital marketing and not the other way around. E.g. if you’re hosting an event, post it on Facebook and tweet about it before as well as after. But don’t create a radio ad for your Facebook contest. That’s rubbish.

If you own a business or run the marketing function, decide what style suits you, the product / service and the audience. Strategize accordingly and build clear boundaries of what will be done online and offline. Budget accordingly. Choose your style and stick to it. You will be defined by it, until the time you decide to change your brand image.

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