‘All the right notes, not necessarily in the right order’
In music, it’s the difference between symphony and cacophony – as beautifully illustrated by the late, great Morecambe and Wise.
And marketing is no different. If it’s going to work effectively, you have to get your marketing elements in the right chronological order. Or perhaps a better analogy is that it’s like building a house: you can’t put the roof on until you have the foundations and walls in place.
Preparing the ground
Step 1 – The Brand
But even before the foundations, you have to prepare the ground, and in marketing terms, that’s about having the right brand. Your ‘brand’ needs to reflect the ethos of your company and service, and the business sector you are in. Something that looks traditional, even old-fashioned, might be entirely appropriate if your products are sherbet lemons and gobstoppers – but if you are a cutting edge technology business, the look and feel of your brand has to match.
Step 2 – The Right Foundations
Then come your ‘foundations’. This includes your company literature – corporate and product brochures – and what is effectively your corporate brochure online: your website. Again, consistency is key, as these items all need to reflect your brand in terms of their quality, tone and appearance.
Step 3 – The Routes to Market (RTM)
And finally, you can add your outbound marketing, often called ‘Routes to Market’ (RTM) – the things designed to attract customers’ attention and encourage them find out more. These include advertisements, trade shows, digital media campaigns and mailshots – even visits from reps on the road.
Are all the building blocks in place?
Yet so often, even experienced businesses try to leapfrog straight to Step 3 (RTM), without thinking through what happens next.
The thing is, you rarely get business directly from RTM… but you do get enquiries.
And how you follow up on those enquiries will determine whether or not they are converted into orders.
Think about it: you receive a smart mailshot featuring a product that could be exactly what you are looking for. What do you do next?
Your first move is usually to check the company out via the items created during
Steps 1 and 2: you have a look at the website or perhaps you call to ask for a brochure or other literature to be sent to you.
So how do you react if those items in 1 and 2 don’t match your (RTM) glossy mailshot? If the website still says 2009 and features a different logo, or if you receive a set of slightly crooked, photocopied data sheets as a follow up, are you really likely to take things further?
Of course this is an extreme example, but the principle is clear.
The ‘Critical Friend’
At David Antrobus we aim to be a ‘critical friend’ whenever we receive a request from a client. We don’t go for a quick fix: if we are asked to produce an item of RTM (Step 3),
we will start by trying to establish that the other elements of Steps 1 and 2 are already in place.
If they are, great – we can go to the next step.
If not, we can help a client to review their brand or their foundation materials so that they can be ready for the response to their mailshot or email campaign. And that also includes ensuring that they have a follow-up plan for all the enquiries that are generated – after all, if you’ve spent money stimulating the interest of potential clients, you won’t want to keep them waiting for six weeks until you can get a quote
That’s David Antrobus:
Providing advice and service that will quickly become a symphony of marketing,
which is ‘music to your ears!’
If you would like to discuss the your marketing, then call David Antrobus Marketing today
on +44 (0)1925 909 050.