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Back to the Flu-ture (again)

Back to the Future2012 got off to a rocky start for me. So far, I’ve spent most of it in bed with a nasty flu, trying to brainstorm an idea for this New Year’s newsletter (hopefully you like my clever title and the pic of Marty McFly’s DeLorean). Fact is, the first time I left the house this year was for a doctor visit. I admit that I skipped my flu shot again. Is this a familiar recurring mistake for you too? Yes, I declared myself too busy to get an easy preventative shot, and paid the consequences.

(I know what you’re thinking: “Griffin spent all that time coming up with an idea for a newsletter and this is what he came up with? Flu shots? How can he possibly bring this back to marketing?” Well, keep reading.)

If you are reading this, it’s a safe bet you are interested – and invested – in Internet marketing. But what else do you do to promote your business? Do you still advertise in the yellow pages or direct mail? How about email marketing, are you still talking about it? (Was that last years resolution?) Have you set up a Business Page on Facebook or Twitter? Have you launched a mobile-ready version of your website yet?

Here’s the point, too many businesses don’t make the time to integrate their marketing message across all of these offline and online efforts. For example, your website should feature links to all of your social media pages, which should also be included on any emails you send to customers. Your yellow page and print ads should not only list your website address, but your Facebook Business Page too.

See, marketing geeks like me have a term for this strategy – Integrated Marketing. The purpose of integrated marketing is to use a consistent brand image and sales message everywhere you promote your business. You want to make your website, social media, print, direct mail, even radio and cable TV work together as a unified force, rather than isolated, one-time efforts. Consistency across all of these channels increases the likelihood your sales message and brand reputation will compel a customer to call you.

Here are the 3 most common Integrated Marketing mistakes we help folks recognize:

  1. Their website address is not lettered onto signs, service vehicles, business cards, invoices, phone system voicemail, etc.
  2. They have no Facebook Business Page set up yet – or their existing Facebook page is not integrated into offline and online marketing efforts.
  3. They use inconsistent branding, logos, color schemes, offers, and messaging across all their marketing efforts.

These mistakes should make you a little queasy. But don’t worry – they are easily fixed. And January is the best time to do it because Integrated Marketing will help you earn more new business for the entire year. And who doesn’t want the best year ever?

If you need help integrating your business image onto your website or need advice about what to do with Social Media in 2012, contact Market Hardware at (888) 381-6925 and ask for help.

2012 HintBottom line: In 2012, your customers expect you to use social media just like they expected you to have a website 10 years ago.

If you aren’t integrating social media on your website or in your offline advertising, get it fixed now! It seems like a no-brainer, but then again, so is getting your annual flu shot. Sometimes we forget to do the obvious. That’s why we have each other.

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Power Stats:

What do consumers want local businesses to do on social networking sites?

  • 81% of consumers want the business to respond to posts/messages (from fans/followers)
  • 78% want to see promotions and discount specials
  • 74% want to see regular posts and updates
  • 66% want to see real pictures of the company

Source: ComScore, as presented at the SMX East conference.


Griff’s Last Stand…

GriffinIntegrating your marketing message is like getting a flu shot. It’s the smart and adult thing to do, but many of us don’t make the time to do it. And, just like skipping a flu shot, not integrating your business message can be a costly mistake.Take a quick look at your website and see if a customer would be able to find a link to your business’ Facebook pages. If not, give us a call at 1-888-381-6925 and we will help. If you are already integrated, then I give you a clean bill of health. Until February at least.(PS – Want to talk more about web marketing, client service, or anything else Internet related? Call us at 1-888-381-6925 to talk to someone right away or email me at newsletters@markethardware.com and I’ll reply as soon as I can. We’re always happy to help.

This article was written by Market Hardware’s Griffin Davis. Reach Griffin at gdavis@markethardware.com or reach anyone on his web expert team at 888-381-6925.


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