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New Approaches in Marketing that Yield Results

While the challenges that we face in marketing may be old, the way we approach them has drastically changed in the last two years. The usage of the internet for information has not only increased, it has taken a large leap forward.

Bellandi Group South has a large portfolio of clients that span a broad range of B2B and B2C clients. With over 20 consultants that are peaked in about every marketing specialty you can imagine (internet marketing, direct marketing, PR, events, etc.), we can often get a view of trends in marketing mix and vehicle effectiveness that takes longer to see when working at a single company.  Here are the areas we have seen change the most:

  • Climb in SEO usage for the small to medium companies.  SEO has been around a long time but we’ve seen the adoption of it at a much higher rate by the mainstream now. I guess people finally get it.
  • A big jump in experimentation with social networking vehicles – esp. tweets, facebook and linkedin.com. I honestly come across few that can show hard ROIs yet on these vehicles but the stories of early experiments are encouraging.  Time to jump in and learn or be left behind.
  • Website redesign mania.  Seems like everyone has figured out their website is old and static looking.  We’re getting a stream of requests for new website designs, especially ones that involve Content Management Systems.  I think the bar just moved up a few notches for website designs and functionality.
  • Adjustments in email marketing – The disgust with spam grows larger every years so email is finding its way to creative integration with online programs and new approaches to installed base marketing.  I think business owners are seeing the value in opt-in email marketing and are putting more effort into figuring out how to get prospects to give them their email first.
  • Online PR – The days of press tours and expensive PR are in decline.  People are looking for cost effective ways to get the word out and get press attention.  We have come up a lot of adjustments here with low cost PR programs that build editor lists and email them directly.  We are also well connected with online outlets and know how to put out a steady stream of releases with good hit rates.  Time to re-look at how you’re doing PR.
  • Lead Generation – Seems this area gets tougher every year.  The low hanging fruit lead gen campaigns no longer work as there is probably not as much low hanging fruit.  We’ve found content-based lead generation and thought-leadership programs are doing best. Also, some creative approaches to lead nurturing that uses a “trusted advisor” approach are also doing well.
  • Strategy Refinement – Strategy? What is that?  Seems many companies grew despite an unclear strategy.  Not any more.  Can’t tell you how many we trip across that have figured out they need a new strategy (or maybe a first strategy) if they are going to survive. We’ve done single day workshops in both strategy and tactical planning for those companies where we seen a lot of upward potential.   Do you have a clear strategy?
  • Integrated Teams – Because there are a lot of new marketing vehicles, vendor teams that are highly integrated are working much better than having individual separate vendors.  Social networking works best when integrated with other marketing vehicles, PR can be more effective if integrated with keyword and online strategies, lead generation cannot be effective without high integration with online components, etc. I am always amazed when I watch people with different marketing disciplines learn from each other and come up with new ways to integrate their ideas and improve ROI. If you’re using separate vendors and experiencing a lack of integration of ideas, consider this your warning.

These are my top of mind changes in today’s marketing. What are you seeing?

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