You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” I take that to heart whether I’m looking at my personal investments or with decisions within my company.
Though, I would add this disclaimer when relating that phrase to your marketing and sales campaigns…
As a marketer myself, I always recommend that you implement and decide on next steps with one marketing channel before moving onto the next. There are so many marketing channels and ways to generate leads, it can be intimidating or even paralyzing when looking at all the options. In this post, I aim to make the decision-making process simpler.
There are some standard questions I ask myself or my team before we enter any new platform or channel, but it all starts with knowing your options.
What Is A Marketing Channel?
Marketing channels define the ways either your marketing (campaigns, content, etc), or your products and services are distributed to your prospects and clients. All products and service go through these channels of distribution, so your marketing will need to vary based on each channel.
Each channel offers different combinations of audience reach, performance, and so on, so it’s worth considering carefully which channels – or which combination of channels – will give the best returns.
Some digital and offline examples of marketing channels include:
- Your website
- Social media – Linked, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
- An on-the-ground sales team
- Word of mouth
- Influencer marketing
- Affiliate/Partnership Marketing
The point here is that the type of marketing channels determine the approach you’ll use to communicate with your prospects or clients. Let’s take a look at how we evaluate whether it’s worth investing in trying out a new channel.
How to Decide On A New Marketing Channel
For every opportunity we look at, there are a series of basic questions that help us identify whether or not that channel is a reasonable option for our business. Ask yourself the following questions when reviewing options for your business:
1. “Is my target audience there?”
This one doesn’t need much explanation. But if you were selling life insurance you probably wouldn’t advertise on Nickelodeon.
Beyond just thinking about whether or not your audience is active on whatever platform or channel you are considering, ask yourself if there’s a process or system to get your message in front of the right segment of that audience.
Unless mass marketing is your goal, think about how you can remain cost-effective by getting your message in front of the right segment of the channel you are evaluating.
2. “Is it within my team's strengths and expertise?”
If not, this doesn't necessarily invalidate a channel. It just means you'll likely need help, which leads us to the next question…
3. “What can I afford to spend per lead?”
Your focus may or not not be “cost per lead”, you may evaluate based on “cost per qualified appointment” or you might just know how much you could afford to spend per sale. Whatever your metric, work backwards to understand the results you need to see in order to remain profitable.
4. “How could it work with our existing channels?”
Most businesses have a “marketing mix” that includes a variety of different approaches to generate leads. Challenge yourself or your team to think about how to combine what you do on one channel with another. Here’s a simple example:
We’ll often implement email follow-up with LinkedIn messaging campaigns. Simple. Yet effective and let’s us meet our audience wherever they are most effective.
Can you add phone or text to your Facebook ads funnel? If you are asking for the right information on your forms, certainly.
Studies continue to show that you need to meet your prospects on their level. Meaning that you shouldn’t just rely on one channel. Look to expand your outreach and messaging to your prospects to improve your odds of a response.
5. “What are your goals? And what are the benchmarks you need to hit to reach them on this new channel?”
Ok, these questions address a very important point – that most campaigns don't end up where they start. And that’s okay.
But you should have an agreed upon goal that is reasonable given the campaign and the channel. And if your outbound sales team or your agency aren't improving and optimizing at every step of the way… frankly, you have a major issue.
At the end of the day, you need to carefully consider what each marketing channel brings to the table and the most effective leaders are always on the lookout for new ways to develop opportunities for their team.
You can no longer rely only on one outreach method. You need a dynamic approach. Keep your ears up and you’ll find the right opportunities for your business.
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