Where has the year gone? It seems like it was just January and here we are 11 months later – almost ready to celebrate New Years Eve. This is the time of year where I get very introspective. Looking backward to see where I started, ponder what I’ve learned over the last year and look forward to new things coming in the new year.
As far as marketing channels and tools, I’m looking at Augmented Reality, Near Field Communication and digital watermarks – trying to understand how they will impact and enhance our clients marketing efforts in 2012.
Some are predicting the demise of the QR Code in favor of Near Field Communication, but keep in mind that NFC is “chip” related – the QR Code can be distributed via direct mail, point-of-purchase, magazines, newspapers, bill boards and email. So, QR Codes have a wider distribution network, in my opinion.
But, does any organization really employ, or need to employ, every marketing channel available? I don’t believe so. Just like marketing in the past, there are multiple channels available on which to execute your marketing strategy. In the past, the channels were fewer than they are now, but only a small number of businesses probably employed all of those channels (TV, radio, publications, bill boards). Today, we just have more choices.
So, be selective – be wise. Take the time to understand where your clients and future clients “hang out”. What are the best channels to use to communicate with them? What type of messaging will resonate? Marketing is still marketing and the more time we take, up front, to develop an effective strategy to target the client segments we want to attract, through the channels that make sense, the more effective our strategy will be.
If you’ve never developed a business plan or a marketing strategy, make 2012 the year to do that. Organizations cannot afford to spend money on advertising that doesn’t drive a return-on-investment. And, ROI is the key. It’s not about what you’re spending, but about what you’re getting for what you’re spending.
Email marketing may be thought of as “free” marketing, but are you getting any results from it? It’s time we realize that email marketing is not “free”. There are hardware and software costs, employee costs, time spent and, more importantly, lost opportunities for all of those emails that are spammed or undeliverable.
Let’s make 2012 the year of smart marketing decisions – considering the channels available, testing our offers and creative, and making our decisions based upon true return-on-investment!