How to Make You and Your Firm Relevant
Did you answer the questions regarding relevancy I posed in my blog last month? How did you do?
If you think print quality, the type of equipment you operate, and the sales team you manage still sell printing, then you are NOT relevant. But, relevancy, like many things in life, is based in part on the marketplace — the target market, those that you are targeting. Relevancy is not a static condition!
Today, our world, the world of communication, is founded on bumper sticker statements, sound bits, seven-second comments, elevator speeches, and a massive overload of not-so-relevant information. Your relevancy, your future, your profits are based on how you define your relevancy within your chosen market. It is established not by shouting but by speaking the language of the marketplace. Which may mean you and your firm need to speak multiple languages, based on the markets you are targeting.
What is Your Second Language?
As a sailor, I am very aware of the different language I speak versus those who are powerboat devotees. As a passionate fine-art photographer I speak in f/stops, depth of field, aperture, ISO, and the beauty of light versus burst, chance imaging, while many photographers talk about burst, auto setting, and post-production imagery!
The same holds true for marketing. As a marketing consultant for the marine industry, I talk today about pay-per-lead programs, SEO (search engine optimization), and how to supplement traditional media with new media in the printing industry. I do not speak of printing per se; I speak of the integration of print and printing based services into the chain of communication, digital media, the ever-changing media landscape, and the ROI of print, printing, and their related services. Here are just a few of the languages I think you need to be aware of and practice, even if you are not a fluent speaker:
Changing Media Landscape Languages
- Out of Home
- Direct Mail
- Remarketing (retargeting)
- Social Media
- Websites/Microsites/Landing Pages
Public Relations/Media Relations:
- Analyst Relations
- Investor Relations
A fluent speaker to me is one that can start, hold and close a conversation in any of the above media. To be a fluent speaker, one must understand the media, know the value of the media, the correct use of the media, the potential of the media, media metrics and ROI are also important.
So What is My Second Language?
That depends on the marketplace I am targeting. I speak multiple languages among others; techno-speak, marine-ese, financial talk, communications-ese, and start-up talk. I also speak in dialects, such as response, dialogue, engagement, or ROI. Each dialect is chosen to attract interest within the targeted market. But if I have a second marketing "sales" language, it is based on the value of the media and the media landscape, which BTW, I speak fluently.
How Many Second Languages/Dialects Can You Speak?
Do you speak:
- What about interactive content?
- Insight-drive-response marketing?
- Content, Context, Message?
- Story telling?
- Customer/brand experience?
- Advocate marketing?
- Virtual reality?
- Social media?
- Big data?
- Live streaming?
- Security techniques?
- Team-based marketing response rates?
- And more?
Hire Me; Hire Someone; But Get More Than Informed!
You are swamped, overloaded, but as you know, you cannot ignore what I am saying. So find someone, someone whom you can trust (just like your customers trust you) and define, target, and review what markets are best for you or your firm to reach out and touch and touch and touch and touch. Start to think what languages you need to learn, master, understand.
The DMA indicates that up to eight touches may be needed to close a sale. My experience tells me most print-based salespeople tend to give up after three "touches."
No I Am Not!
No, I am not telling you or advising you to become a marketing agency. There is a move on, as well as an opportunity that’s been evolving for publishers to expand their services and come very close to being competition to the traditional agency (www.aimmedia.com/newsroom.html). This is an option that I have long heralded, and I am pleased to see the more inventive publishers moving into this highly profitable market.
Need to know why it is a good idea for a publisher and why you may wish to understand the logic behind this shift? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a brief summary of why considering such a shift may be a good idea for you.
What I am saying is that you need to walk the walk and talk the local language to survive in today’s highly complex and competitive world of multi-level communications.
"Si fueris Rōmae, Rōmānō vīvitō mōre; si fueris alibī, vīvitō sicut ibi" or, simply put, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
Of course, make sure to add your flair, your special sauce, and differentiate your skill set, services, and support.
Follow the trends; understand where your carefully selected new business targeted markets are going. Don’t stop there — understand the how’s and the why’s and define a message, a brand, your brand-based statement that will clearly explain the new you, and your new path to being relevant and supportive and why finally, after many years of hanging on the outside of the communication business, you have decided to join the party, a party that is based on profits!
The next installment:
The Benefits of Interaction.
Thad Kubis is an unconventional storyteller, offering a confused marketplace a series of proven, valid, integrated marketing/communication solutions. He designs B2B or B2C experiential stories founded on Omni-Channel applications, featuring demographic/target audience relevance, integration, interaction, and performance analytics and program metrics.