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Should You ‘Dumb it Down?’ Write Smarter: 5 Rules for Marketing Copy

Posted by on Dec 5, 2019 in Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | 0 comments

5 Rules for Marketing Copy

I’ve got to agree with Alison Davis: I’m not a fan of the expression ‘dumb it down.’

As she points out, the phrase first emerged “as movie-business slang in the 1930’s, and was used by screenplay writers.” It was used to describe rewriting content “to appeal to those of little education or intelligence.”

It feels cruel, however, and as someone who works with scientific firms to convey complex ideas in digestible formats, it incorrectly summarizes what our team does.

Besides, do we really need to dumb it down? Are we actually getting dumber?

As it turns out, no, we’re not.

I’m with Davis when she says, “I love the fact that people everywhere are getting more intelligent.” That’s right, a recent meta-analysis found “an average gain of about three IQ points per decade, or roughly 10 points per generation.”

(Yes – that means our children are probably smarter than us.)

But how smart or dumb we are (or are becoming) isn’t the key takeaway. What matters is that the ways in which we all consume content have been changing. Reducing our content to the lowest common denominator isn’t the right answer. Understanding how people consume it is.

Do you seriously want to deliver something that is considered ‘dumb?’ And how far down should you go?

For our life science, pharma, healthcare & B2B clients, we can’t dumb down content. But it can be synthesized, and rendered into formats that lend themselves to rapid consumption.

Scanning Society

So if, in fact, people are becoming smarter, that means we have to write smarter. Let’s face it – people don’t read like they used to. Even as far back as 2008, research found that only about 20% of online text was actually read word-for-word.

Why?

It’s a numbers game. Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day, and it’s only going to grow from there. By 2020, it’s estimated that 1.7MB of data will be created every second for every person on earth.”

The scanning-instead-of-reading phenomenon isn’t new, and as marketers, we see it across every industry. And when you are tasked with conveying complex scientific or technical concepts, it affects how you develop and present content.

Writing for the Journey

The ‘we need to dumb it down’ school of marketing thought is that people are moving so fast, they won’t stick to a traditional buyer’s journey anymore. It’s too long. They don’t have the time or attention span. So because some marketers think there is no longer a customer journey they put every possible piece of information in their materials right up front.

It’s not true.

The buyer’s journey still very much matters – but how they consume content on the journey itself is changing.

Here are 5 rules for writing copy:

  1. Be clear about your value.
    Be sure to communicate your value proposition but leave them wanting to know more. Don’t try to cram every product you offer into one piece of content. If you give away your entire message up front, the reader will be overwhelmed and your message lost. Focus on simple and clear language that targets your customer’s pain points. Your materials should be a conversation in which you clearly share elements of the value of your product or service.
  1. Deliver scannable content.
    Since you know readers are going to scan your content, it’s important to ensure your content is clear. Your value proposition should be easily identifiable, and readers should be able to take away key points from every piece of content you produce.
  1. It’s a journey – not a pit stop.
    In many cases – especially at the start of the buyer’s journey – your content serves as a first touch. Make sure it’s a relatively quick read that makes them want to learn more. Whatever the content format – web, brochure, case study, landing page, email – provide a path for prospects to follow to acquire further information. Ensure your links are clear and easy to follow. The journey needs an easily-decipherable path in order to bring the reader along the path and into your funnel.
  1. Create visual impact.
    The data or technical information you share with prospects and customers is critically important, but it also has its place. Being (rightfully) proud of their accomplishments, some companies want to emphasize it and so they’ll overwhelm a content piece with multiple visuals.Let’s just talk software marketing for a minute. Imagine a brochure with multiple screen shots. Now imagine that the screen shots are so small that no one can read them. How well do you think those visuals are going to work to attract your potential customers? They aren’t. If you think that screen shot is a selling point, you’d better make it big enough to make an impact.
  1. “Me, me, me…we, we, we…us, us, us.” Arrghh. Please stop.
    Long after marketers (should have) learned that bragging and self-congratulatory writing won’t help sell products or services, many companies (with their marketers in tow) are still at it. They fill brochures with references to “We at ACME Corp.” I get it…you are proud of your company, its products or services, and its accomplishments. But customers want to hear you talking about their problems and their challenges. They need to know you get it, so they can feel confident that your solution adequately addresses their needs. There you have it – five rules for developing copy and keeping your content smart. Remember, prospects are smart and getting smarter. They are also consuming content in quick, scannable bites, but that being said – a prospect will read every word if they are interested in the value you provide.

Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, energy and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.

How to Redo Your B2B Website

Posted by on Nov 12, 2019 in Integrated Marketing, Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | 0 comments

How to Redo Your B2B Website

Last month we explored the first phase in the development of a B2B website. It doesn’t matter if you’re redoing your current site or you’re just starting out with your first website, you need to lay a proper foundation before beginning to design.

If you haven’t checked out what you need to do in phase 1, take some time and read it now.

Are You Ready for Phase 2?

In phase 1, we laid the foundation for a successful website by:

  • defining the customer’s journey of engagement with your products and services,
  • identifying the ‘look and feel’, your value proposition & key messaging, and
  • aligning the navigation with your customer’s journey.

Now it’s time to dive into phase 2. This is when you’ll build the site and launch.

Phase 2 takes time. The amount of time phase 2 of a website development project takes can vary greatly. Much depends on the scope of the project. Some of the factors which will drive the length of your project are: how large is your site, how complex is the design, and how quickly can your internal team turnaround approvals? There are more variables, but these three are some of the key factors.

What does ‘building the site’ mean? It includes:

  • actual design of the site – both user experience and visual
  • choosing images
  • coding and development of the site
  • creating or uploading the website content
  • writing and adding the meta tags and description
  • any changes in navigation
  • thorough testing before the site’s launch.

When we design a site, we use the ‘look and feel’ developed during the project’s phase 1 as well as the links to the websites your team liked (and didn’t like). As I mentioned in my last post, we also take into account the user experience (UX). The work we do around UX always results in better design, better content, better navigation, and most importantly, a great experience for your customer. Our user experience expert ensures that your website is actually useful to your customers. I always say that your website is not “yours” – it belongs to your customers. It’s about your products and services, but it’s for your customers and their needs.

All of this information is used to develop the home page and page templates for the internal pages. The internal pages would include pages such as “About,” “Services,” and “Products.” More time is typically spent on the home page design since it is usually (but not always) the first page a visitor encounters.

When you design your website, you need to be certain that you’re choosing the right colors – and you need to follow your brand guidelines. If you don’t have brand guidelines, you run the risk of having all of your sales and marketing materials – of which your website is one – not look like they are from the same company.

Imagine going to a trade show and receiving marketing collateral. Then you decide to visit the company’s website and when you get there it looks nothing like the collateral you picked up. How would you react? You might second-guess doing business with that company.

You want to avoid this situation and that is why it’s important to ensure that you’ve chosen the right colors and your brand guidelines are followed.

Choosing Picture-Perfect Website Images

Selecting website images that make sense for your company and your message is another key aspect of developing a website. You may choose to use stock photography, hire a photographer to create custom photos, or engage a graphic designer to develop images for you – or all three.

If you use stock photography, you’ll want to be certain to select images that aren’t seen everywhere. And if you choose to do a photo shoot or develop graphics, you’ll need to review the photographer’s or graphic designer’s work to ensure that the content and quality of images you receive fit your website’s messaging.

While we typically source the images and photos, your team will review and approve all of the images.

Website Content

If you’re re-doing your website, you may already have much of the web copy you need. But, if you’re doing a new website or your company has developed different messaging since your last website was rolled out, you’ll need to create new website copy. Sometimes it’s far easier to create new copy instead of trying to update old language – which may not fit the new organization or design.

Development and Testing

Your new website will be built in a staging environment. This ensures that your live site is not impacted by any development activities.

Once your site has been completed, it’s time to test it. No one wants to roll out a website with mistakes or broken links! It is industry practice to test the site in different browsers and on different devices. Your team will also review each page of the test site and we’ll make any final changes to content, layout, or images you need.

Website Launch

And finally it’s launch time. Phase 2 of your website development initiative ends when you take your website live.

What Happens in Phase 3?

You may or may not need a phase 3 for your website development project. If there is an outstanding list of items that need to be completed and didn’t fit the budget in phase 2, you’ll need to assign these to a phase 3 initiative.

Typically, if you have a phase 3 of your web project, it’s likely because your customer base needs the website to be translated into multiple languages.

But, should you do translations?

There is no simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this question. In some markets, like pharma for instance, English is the language of choice. In other industries, it is not the preferred language. So the answer to whether you need to translate your website depends on your audience. Ask yourself (and your sales team) what your market wants. Does your audience demand your website in local languages? Knowing the answer to this will determine whether you need to invest in website translation.

Two Quick Tips

Here are two quick tips to remember as you’re thinking about translating your website.

  1. Be sure that if you do make the move into multi-language websites, you always keep them up-to-date. It is critical that you do not drop this task from your list of to-dos when it comes to keeping your website current.
  2. If you think there is a possibility of translating your site later on, it’s important to communicate this to your designer during the initial design process. This is key, since as they source images for the site, they’ll need to know not to choose images that have writing in them. The writing in photos won’t be translated when you translate your site.

Website development projects are intense and complicated, but – if done properly – they provide a significant return on investment and increase in customer engagement. If you’re ready to re-do your website and need help getting started, give us a call.

Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, energy and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.

Should You Build a Website in Phases?

Posted by on Oct 14, 2019 in Integrated Marketing, Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Should You Build a Website in Phases?

You already know your website is important. You also know your site is more than a digital brochure. It’s your online identity and the hub of all your sales and marketing activities. Your customers use it to get to know you by engaging with your content. They may even use your website to purchase your products.

That’s why your website should be more than good. It needs to be great. And above all, it needs to deliver an excellent user experience.

This is why developing (or re-doing) your website is not a quick or simple project. There’s a lot at stake, and that means there is a lot to consider before starting the design process.

Where do You Begin?

Recognizing what a successful website means to our science-based clients, we always approach a website development project in phases. By working in phases, it’s easier for your sales and marketing teams to think through their needs and for your web partner to design a user-friendly site. So yes, you should build a website in phases.

The first phase of any web project is all about discovering who you are and defining what the website navigation should look like. In fact, until we understand what your goals are for your website, it’s impossible to quote the second phase! Phase 2 always depends on what we learn during phase 1.

A typical website project has two phases. Sometimes, though, depending on the scope of what needs to happen and budgets, a website development project can have up to three phases.

What is Phase 1 of Website Development?

Phase 1 is strategically important. It forms the basis upon which your website will be developed. This phase ensures that all key stakeholders are on the same page with goals, strategy, site organization, and design. It also gives your website design team time to figure out what’s going on in your current site and to identify the strategy and content you need to meet your goals. Phase 1 delivers a plan to execute your website.

Phase 1 typically includes a full creative brief session, assigning stakeholders, creating your digital strategy, developing wireframes, agreeing on navigation and sub-navigation, and finalizing the decision regarding the best platform for your website.

But, success can’t happen without the foundational discovery process – an exploratory brainstorming session with your key stakeholders and our team. We’ve also found the most success is with a process centered around our creative brief, which allows us to gather critical information while building a partnership with your team.

If you’re wondering what this achieves, just wait for it…

From one session, we’re able to identify your value proposition from your customer’s point of view – by audience and segment – perform a SWOT analysis, deeply understand your differentiators, capabilities, and product and service road map, and identify what content is needed.

My guess is that in reviewing this list, you automatically see the value in this exercise. How much more successful will your website be if all of this information is taken into account from the beginning?

Digital Strategy Development

Based on the information gathered and synthesized from the discovery process, it’s time to build a digital strategy. What does a digital strategy mean in the website development process?

Creating a website digital strategy is all about reviewing the website’s goals, target audiences, and channels to document the key questions that need to be resolved. With that list, we’re able to identify changes that may be needed. We also provide expert guidance and recommendations on how best to achieve your website’s goals.

Since nothing is without risk, it is at this stage of phase 1 that we pinpoint risks that must be resolved or mitigated to ensure success.

Digging Into Site Infrastructure

When was the last time your website was updated? If you’re like most companies, you want to pretend you didn’t hear me ask that question, right?

Chances are it’s been years. That’s why it’s so important to have a neutral third-party review your current website and infrastructure. It avoids any finger-pointing at team members and provides a clear picture of where things stand.

You may not know which programming platform your website uses. And where it’s hosted may also have become a mystery.

As part of phase 1, we take a deep dive into your website infrastructure. What this means is you’ll be providing us with admin-level access to your site and we’ll be testing your site as a super user.

We’ll search to see if it’s been well-programmed on your platform – whether it’s Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, or a proprietary platform. We’ll identify broken links and whether your site has been updated appropriately.

If you haven’t implemented security patches sent out by your programming platform on a regular basis, the security of your website may be compromised. You do NOT want your website security to be out-of-date and vulnerable to hackers.

As part of the website infrastructure review, we analyze whether your current website technologies will support your business efforts both today and for your future goals. You need to ask and answer – will your current website tech help or hinder your digital strategy?

How are Users Interacting with Your Current Website?

Have you reviewed your website’s analytics lately? Understanding your analytics gives you insight into how your customers and prospects are using your site now. When we look at your analytics and set-up heat map tracking, we can gather information about what users are visiting and where they’re focusing. This tells us what matters most to them.

Content Organization and Design

Once you know what your needs are and how customers use and engage with your current website, it’s time to start talking about design, navigation, and content needs. During phase 1 of development, we also look at your website from a creative and content point-of-view.

One goal of phase 1 is to get your new website navigation identified and approved.  Once we have finalized your navigation and sub-navigation, we can move into creating mockups or wireframes of what the site will look like.

We think you need to love your website, so one of the things we ask you for is some links to websites you both like and don’t like. Sometimes, what you need actually works really well with the sites you like and sometimes the web designer will need to adapt the design for your needs.

Building the wireframe allows us all to identify where the site’s content will come from and link to. You may, in fact, already have some of the content you need on your site.

What it all Means and What to do Next

Phase 1 of your website development ends in a report summarizing what we learned and what we’ve decided together is best for your future goals. We always include recommendations and structure for the actual development of the website, as well as the scope of phase 2.

Bottom line: building a website in phases gives companies a clear understanding not only of their infrastructure and physical web design needs, but also what matters most to their customers.

Are you ready to redo your website? Let’s talk. Give us a call at 215.997.8575.

Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, energy and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.

5 Ways B2B Blogs & Social Media Can Transform Your Marketing Efforts

Posted by on Sep 12, 2019 in Integrated Marketing, Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | 0 comments

BWS B2B social media and blogAre you ready for some surprising statistics about B2B social media, corporate blogging and purchasing decisions?

It’s no wonder B2B companies are placing more emphasis than ever on blogs and social media.

Here, we’ll be covering the five most compelling reasons you should incorporate social media into your B2B marketing approach – and why corporate blogging should be at the top of that list.

B2B Blogs: A Crucial B2B Marketing Strategy

When we think of ‘social media,’ sites like Facebook or LinkedIn generally come to mind.

I believe blogs – due to their role in marketing content distribution and community engagement – occupy a unique space. They are located right at the intersection of content marketing, social media and SEO. Blog posts range from thought leadership reflections to keyword-rich industry content to educational content, events, and product announcements. In addition to copy, they often incorporate video, infographics, images, charts and more.

They are also among the top methods for attracting new customers. In fact, HubSpot reports that 55 percent of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority.

Here’s why.

  1. Better SEO & Increased Web Traffic
    Blogs drive traffic to your website. Period. One reason is that websites featuring a blog have a 434% chance of ranking higher on search engines, according to Tech Client. That ranking is important as research shows that 75% of users don’t scroll beyond the first page of search In the first two years after introducing a blog and all organic social media program, a Brandwidth client saw significant increases in website traffic.

When no new content is added to a website, the website is ‘spidered’ or indexed less frequently. Fresh blog content encourages search engines to visit the website more often – leading to better search engine ranking. It also ensures your content is seen & ranked by Google soon after it’s posted.

  1. Generating More Leads…and Better Qualified Leads
    Would you like to receive 67% more leads? This is how.

Blogs are a favorite of search engines. When a potential customer enters words or phrases into a search engine to get their questions answered, blogs with those topics appear high in the search results. So if you’ve created the right content speaking to the challenges of your potential buyers and populated it with the right keywords or key phrases, customers will benefit and search engines will rank your company content higher.

This strategy is so effective that companies with blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67 percent more leads than those who don’t.

  1. Increasing Brand Awareness
    You put a lot of time and effort into creating compelling marketing content. It makes sense to cross-promote that content across all B2B social media channels to increase awareness of your brand. Blogs also give you the opportunity to showcase your brand personality.

Blogs offer a fertile starting point for a suite of content. For example, let’s say you write a blog discussing the ‘Top 10 challenges facing the XYZ industry.’ You can transform those 10 points into an infographic, and promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. You can take one or two items from the list and create a short ‘how-to’ video on that topic. You can develop social posts teasing some highlights to pique interest and drive traffic to the content on your website.

Whether your customers are searching social media platforms to see what you are talking about today, or are using search engines to learn more about you, social media and blogging net you visibility.

  1. Improving the Buyer’s Journey

Blogs are a great place to start prospects out on the buying journey. Inbound marketing with blogs allows prospective customers to seek you out. Blog content should be more educational and informative, rather than sales-focused. As a result, it’s seen as less ‘threatening,’ and more likely to be considered objective.

Long-form content is also ideal for sharing ideas, fostering discussion and introducing visitors to your brand in a way you never could in, say, a tweet. Blogs are also the perfect environment for embedding a call-to-action – driving visitors through the sales funnel to specific landing pages or product or service pages.

  1. Engage With Your Prospects & Customers
    Effective B2B social media functions as a community where your business can engage with interesting data, visuals, video and more. LinkedIn and Facebook Groups can offer the ability to reach wider audiences and drive traffic to a blog post demonstrating your thought leadership in the industry. Twitter allows you to engage in real-time discussions happening in your space. With social media and blogs, companies can address key industry challenges customers or prospects are facing right now.

When it comes to customers and prospects, social media also delivers more ‘touches.’ It is commonly reported that it takes 6 to 8 touches to generate a viable sales lead. We’ve become impervious to traditional advertising and sales, and people are conducting more web research on brands than ever before. The use of blogs and social media allows you to make more of those critical ‘prospect touches.’

Use Your Blog & Social Media to Transform Your Marketing

One of the keys to a successful blog strategy is posting consistently, either with more frequent (likely shorter) posts or longer, less-frequent ‘anchor’ content. Keep your social profiles active, and share industry-relevant information that engages your audience and demonstrates your brand’s knowledge and capabilities.

 

This post was first published by Jen Mizak at www.LMwrite.com. Jen heads up Brandwidth Solutions’ social media team. She helps businesses increase visibility & boost sales by tapping into their customers’ needs with engaging blog and social media content.

Who Owns Your Website?

Posted by on Aug 19, 2019 in Marketing Channels, Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I always ask this question when I talk to clients about their websites. What do I hear? They proudly tell me that they own their website. Why? It’s because when companies develop websites, they tend to be internally focused.

What do I say back to the client when I get that answer?

I tell them that they don’t own their website. Their customers own their website. Websites are not about companies, they’re about ‘what’s in it for me’ – the customer.

Yes, the company owns the domain and they own the content. They own taking care of the site and updating it regularly. But, the focus of that website should be on their customers and their needs.

Your Customer and Your Content

Today, your customers are constantly reaching out to read through and interact with your content before they have a conversation with your salespeople. So when your customers visit your website, they should see themselves. They should immediately know that you know who they are and what they do every day.

If your website talks more about your company than the value your products or services bring your customers, then you’ve missed the point of a website.

Website Challenges with Multiple Markets

Some clients serve multiple vertical markets. It could be that your product works the same in multiple vertical markets but each of those markets has different workflows or pain points. So, when someone goes to your website, you need to ensure your site is organized in a way that is easy for your multiple vertical markets to find themselves (and, of course, the content that’s relevant to them.)

To make things even more challenging, your multiple verticals each may have several different individuals involved with the buying decision. This is an area where your persona marketing will need to be applied because – while the vertical is the same – the audience need can vary.

For example, in a buying decision for an enterprise software product, your customer will have the IT person who has to make it work, the manager who will need to know costs and how it will interrupt business while they’re making the changeover. Also involved for a variety of reasons is the department chair or the department head, the lab manager, and the laboratory staff who will need to know how they’re going to interact with that software. All of these individuals need to know that you know how they work and what makes them tick.

Choosing Your Website Audience

When you’re building your website, you have to decide who your audiences are. Are they your multiple verticals? Or are they the same target vertical but different audience personas within that vertical? And you need to address the audiences so that they can see themselves in your messaging. Remember, each one of the personas mentioned in the above example has a different need or challenge.

Now, you don’t need to build your website out to the point where you answer every question a potential customer could possibly think up. There would be no point in talking to your salesperson! The reality is that the salesperson is going to sell your product or service better than your website can sell it. But if you give your prospect enough ‘meat’ on the website to want more information, then they have a reason to talk to your sales team.

Website Messaging

The right messaging and value propositions are key to a successful website. You need to be able to tell prospects, within the first couple of paragraphs, why they should be looking at your website for any information on your product or service.

Many times, messaging and the value proposition get lost when companies get busy in the mechanics of building the site. This happens because we lose sight of our customer and revert to our comfort zone – making the site internally focused as opposed to appropriately externally focused.

A Story from the Trenches

We have a client, LabVantage, who makes software for multiple vertical markets. Their laboratory information management system (LIMS) platform is used in labs across many industries. While in some regards the backbone of the software is the same, each vertical market has a special need and most industries have a prepackaged solution.

In building their new website, we focused on developing the site for their target industry verticals. We were trying to achieve a clean, fresh, easy-to-navigate look and feel. So the question became, how do we build a navigation that speaks to all of those audiences?

We needed to speak to each of their vertical markets and explain how the software solution was going to benefit them. We worked with LabVantage’s sales, product and marketing departments to develop a value proposition.

Our goal was to make certain that each one of those verticals were able to see themselves on the website – and more importantly on the LabVantage platform. We created messaging around:

  • what they want to do,
  • why they want to buy this software,
  • why a prepackaged solution is better, and
  • why they would want a web-based platform versus a non-web-based platform.

We also created a section that talked about the actual software platform, the technology and the architecture which addressed the needs of the IT staff and the individual making the case for buying the software.

At the same time, we created supporting documents (or collateral) – not just a brochure but white papers and case studies – that were focused on each vertical market. In this way, when the food & beverage lab person or the pharma lab manager or the oil & gas individual or the biobanking department visits the content they’ll react with “LabVantage understands my needs. They understand what I face every day.”

To make finding information as easy as possible for prospects, LabVantage chose to house this information in a Knowledge Center as well as in each individual vertical.

Another key area of LabVantage’s website for customers is their blog. They have an incredible blog targeted to their multiple audiences. The blog is important because it enables them to consistently refresh the content on the site to improve search engine rankings. It also offers regular new content addressing concerns, challenges and industry-related issues facing customer and prospects. We created a search feature specifically for the blog allowing customers and prospects search capabilities for topics of interest.

Our goal was to provide enough information for their buyers so they would reach out to ask more questions of LabVantage’s salespeople.

It’s all about the Customer.

Your website might look beautiful, clean, and professional but if it mentions your company name in every single paragraph, you’ll need to re-think your content. It’s not about your company, it’s not about your internal product department or your marketing department. Customers don’t need to see that. It has to be about what your customer needs to see on the website.

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post: What You Need to do in Phase One of Your Website Development Project!

Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, energy and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.

How Do I Choose the Right Marketing Tactic for My Project?

Posted by on Jul 15, 2019 in Integrated Marketing, Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | 0 comments

BWS Marketing Tactic TipsYou need a marketing campaign. But where do you start? And what tools should you use? There are so many options available to marketers today it can be hard to know which way to turn and which will work for your company. What’s the best marketing tactic to use?

I know the first thoughts that jumped into your mind. They were:

  1. What tools do we use?
  2. How can we get the most out of what we already have?
  3. How do we measure it?

 What is Marketing Success?

Before everyone starts enthusiastically yelling, “Social media!”Ads!” “Brochures!” let’s back up and start with creating a marketing strategy. What are your objectives and goals? Think about your goals in terms of campaigns. This will help you understand how to assign your budget to each tool and tactic you’re considering.

The next choice you’ll need to make is messaging. You’ll need to ensure that the messages you deliver in your marketing campaigns address the customer’s viewpoint of “What’s in it for me?” (Otherwise known as WIIFM.) Do your marketing materials talk about features and benefits or do they talk about the value you provide customers? I sincerely hope they discuss the value!

After you’ve got your messaging nailed down, you’ll need to decide from where and/or whom the content will come. Will you use posters, white papers, publications, or subject matter experts to produce the content for your marketing campaigns?

The final (and key) question when thinking about marketing campaigns is: What results do you want? You’ll need to decide how you’re going to measure performance before deciding what tactics you’re going to use.

Say you’re trying to drive sales leads. What does success look like to you? Are you going to measure registered downloads of a white paper or webinar? Will you measure landing page visits? Or click rates for an ad?

Understanding what your goals are and how you can measure them gives you a head start on choosing the tools you need for your campaign.

What Marketing Tools and Tactics Are Right for Your Campaign?

The short answer to that question is: Everything that will work for your audience and your business that is within your budget.

You should start with the question: What does your audience read? This will help identify specific tools and tactics to use. For example, if your prospect or customer base doesn’t read trade journals (not very likely!) then you wouldn’t use print ads or article development.

You have a multitude of tactics and tools to use. A short list includes:

  • Public Relations – press releases, speaking opportunities, press interviews, article development
  • Conferences – pre-show direct mail, pre-show e-blasts, educational seminars, show graphics, booth development
  • eMarketing – eNewsletters, products/services e-blasts, banner ads, webinars, podcasts
  • Advertising – print and digital ads
  • Social Media – strategy development, blogs, social channels, video
  • Collateral – brochures, sell sheets, case studies, tech notes, white papers

Remember to always integrate as many marketing elements as possible to ensure that your campaign is everywhere your customer is. Keep in mind that people still need to see your message a minimum of 6 – 8 times before they remember or recognize it.

How to Integrate the Tactics Targeted to Your Audience

The most important step in using these marketing elements is proper integration. As I mentioned above, your customer needs to see your messaging a number of times before they act. And they need to see that same message in multiple places. Using only one tactic may not deliver the results you need.

How do you integrate your tools and tactics?

Here are 6 tips for integrating your marketing campaign.

Tip 1

Know what you want the customer to do. Only use urls or links that go to the next step towards your goal. This may mean a landing page or a sign up for a download or a registration for a webinar – not the Home page of your website or a product or service page.

Tip 2

Keep your message simple and consistent. Make sure you’ve delivered the WIIFM value. Don’t make the customer guess what your message is. They won’t come up with the same answer as you!

Tip 3

Your website is the hub of all your marketing efforts. Make certain it is responsive design, that all your activities drive traffic to your site and you use landing pages to finish your marketing message.

Tip 4

Tell stories so customers can see how your product or service will fit into their work environment.

Tip 5

Ensure your gated downloadable content is high value. Your customer is giving you a valuable piece of information (their email address) so you need to make sure that you are delivering value to them. A simple rule of thumb is: marketing brochures, case studies and sell sheets are all free. White papers, reports, eBooks have deeper content, are more valuable and should be gated for lead gen.

Tip 6

Develop and reuse content in multiple formats. For example the same content can be rewritten or reformatted for use on social media, eBlasts, advertising, landing pages, and display ads. It’s critical to ensure that ads in your campaign are all related – having the same look, feel and message whether they are print ads or digital ads.

Measure Your Results & Reassess Your Tools

Marketing success depends on measuring results. If the tool is working, keep it. But if the results don’t meet your goals then you need to reassess and change tactics. Doing the same thing that doesn’t work over and over simply because it fits within your budget will not suddenly create a marketing success. You’ll need to identify what does work and either ramp up that tactic – or change your campaign tools and test something new.

What Does This Look Like in Practice?

Let’s take one of our clients, MeMed for an example. MeMed is a diagnostics company dedicated to reducing the use of antibiotics. The company had a peer-reviewed and validated study scheduled for release in PLOS One and wanted to reach a larger audience in the healthcare community.

We developed a media plan specific to MeMed’s goal and market segment for both North American and international audiences. We started with a press release to provide trade media and researchers detailed information and to drive traffic to the PLOS One article.

The press release was both sent on a wire service and embargoed on EurekAlert for scientific writers and reporters one week before the PLOS One article was released. We worked with PLOS One to obtain permission for this strategy and to delay their article release in order to maximize MeMed’s exposure.

What were the results? We achieved:

  • more than 10 interviews and articles from trade and popular publications – both print and online
  • website press release pickup on more than 39 sites
  • articles in Time and BBC News Health
  • an interview on BBC Germany
  • an invitation to be part of a documentary on antibiotic usage
  • a story on Select Science ranking in the Top 10 most read news stories for 2015 (No. 6)
  • and more than 100 requests/orders for their ImmunoXpert product.

Choosing the right tools and tactics for your marketing campaign is based on your overall strategy, budget and goals as well as what your audience reads. Marketing success depends on ensuring you integrate all of your tactics properly. Have questions on how you can enhance your marketing campaigns? Give us a call!

Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, energy and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.