Five basic musts for effective marketing

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In every industry, there are standard tricks of the trade that create success. Here are five marketing fundamentals to make the most of your efforts.

(1) Thank your customers. It’s a rule that’s too-often overlooked. Take care of your customers and you’ll earn their loyalty and referrals.

At Altitude, we equate launching a website with having a baby. It’s lots of fun creating it, but once it’s born, the work and maintenance kick in. In a nod to the memorable moment, just after site launch, we send the client a gift basket and a note of thanks for entrusting us with such an important part of their business.

It’s a small gesture like this (along with kick-butt work) that will keep customers for years to come.

(2) Repurpose good content. We work hard, but we also work smart. Every piece of content Altitude develops – a blog, case study or video – is used in as many places as possible. During a discussion with a new client about what’s worked for them in the past, they shared effective single-use ads, email blasts, stories – that were never used again. If something’s good, use it repeatedly.

For example, a case study we developed for a client was well received … and well used. It went into its e-newsletter. An excerpt was posted on LinkedIn. Nuggets were tweeted. Portions were pitched for speaking engagement and awards nominations.

And it formed the basis of a pitch to a trade publication with the bulk of the content being used as the cover story. Twelve months of marketing fodder – all from one case study.

(3) Have an SOP for sharing news. Social media is a powerful tool that can garner significant attention for less money than it used to take. A client recently earned a marquee customer. A press release was posted to company websites and sent to industry publications. The news stopped there.

This client has about 200 people working for it – most of whom are tied into industry groups via LinkedIn and other networking associations.

Think of the added exposure if there was a standard operating procedure that spelled out what employees could do with it. If employees shared it on LinkedIn and each had an average of 250 connections, the impact of the announcement would be exponentially greater.

(4) Implement best practices for design, push e-newsletter recipients to your website. I constantly receive e-newsletters that seem miles long, one verbose article after another. Recently, I was scrolling, scrolling, scrolling to the bottom of one such e-newsletter and saw a headline that grabbed my attention. Finally.

Best practices are to provide a headline, some teaser copy and link to the rest of the article. That link should be to a page to your website, which:

(A) Provides the info they were looking for and

(B) Provides them info about your company.

(5) Integrate. Integrated marketing is an effective guiding principle. Your messaging, visuals, tone and approach all are in sync and your tactical efforts reinforce one another. There are no outliers, no piece of collateral or project that doesn’t fit with your overall marketing strategy. There aren’t any one-offs.

Fundamental No. 2 above is a good example of integrated marketing. By taking a white paper and using it everywhere – from blogs to e-newsletters to video vignettes, all which pushed readers to the client’s website and created buzz – we saw real results.

The number of requests for proposals coming in to this particular client tripled. Precisely the metrics – measureable and anecdotal – we wanted to hear.

Andrew Stanten is co-founder and president of Altitude Marketing, an integrated marketing firm based in Emmaus. You can learn more at www.altitudemarketing.com.

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