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“Beware of the Buyer” August 27, 2009

Posted by Mike Gospe in Integrated Marketing, Marketing Persona.
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The marketing team no longer controls the lead funnel.  Before the rise of social media and the notion of viral marketing, marketers were in complete control of driving the lead funnel.  After all, all we needed to do was climb to the tallest peak and shout our messages over and over again.  We “pushed” messages of our own design onto the marketplace.  “Caveat Emptor” or “Let the buyer beware” was our mantra.

Now things are different. 

People are finding out about companies and products before they are on your radar.  Some estimates suggest that 90% of the customers’ buying process takes place without the aid of your sales rep.  The implications for this are both daunting and obvious:  We must help our companies and clients become “findable” in a marketing landscape we no longer control.

Being “findable” means more than just having a website.  It means that we have posted relevant and meaningful content in places where our prospects search for information.  Content is defined as “information and experiences that may provide value for an end-user/audience in specific contexts.”   Today’s world class marketers follow this approach and no longer push blatant sales messages via “user car salesman” tactics.

A couple of tips:

  1. Don’t treat Social Media as a set of isolated, silo’d marketing activities.  Integrate social media into the larger integrated marketing plan.
  2. Social Media (blogs, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, syndicated 3rd party websites) provide a venue to share content in ways that go beyond your company’s website.  Putting this content out to be “found” creates opportunities for prospects to “pull” you into their buying process.
  3. Invest in a thorough, effective SEO strategy using keywords and phrases that are meaningful to the buyer.  Avoid falling victim to your company’s jargon.  Speak the customers’ language.
  4. Every time you post new content, Tweet about it; update your Linkedin page; post an announcement on your Linkedin groups page; update the “news & events” page on your website.
  5. Most importantly: monitor the conversation.  Social media is really an interactive dialog, not a one-way messaging machine.  Listen to what is being said about you, and take note, and engage in the dialog.

How has your business integrated social media into your integrated marketing plan?