The pressure is on in this troubled economy, and never has the spotlight (and scrutiny) on marketing departments been more intense. Expectations are high, and the stakes are even higher, yet at the same time, many budgets are at an all-time low. To demonstrate value to the organization continually, marketing professionals must get creative and refresh their repository of ideas to generate maximum results. Here are three high-impact techniques that can be useful—whether you’re flying high financially or on a lemonade-stand budget:
1. Connect with communities. A cost-effective way to connect with your target audience is through participation in your local and online communities. Memberships in local industry organizations can bring increased brand recognition. In addition, reading and posting online comments on relevant articles and industry blogs is a free way to demonstrate thought leadership in outlets that your prospects and customers are actively watching.
2. Tap video and other multimedia. Create zing, and differentiate your communications, by incorporating different types of multimedia, which are now easier and more economical to produce than ever. Use video, visuals, and audio to tell your story in an instructive, attention-grabbing way that makes it easy for prospects to understand what you do. Get the most mileage from videos you create—be they of new products or techniques, or simply a way to share expertise—by incorporating them in trackable communication campaigns, on your Web site, in your blog, and more.
3. Start surveying. Survey data can be a low-cost gold mine. With inexpensive (and sometimes even free) online technologies, you can get the thoughts of customers and prospects on important industry issues and then later follow up with them to report the results. Be sure to ask compelling questions that will create buzz. You can publish your results to a wider audience—thus establishing your company as a foremost expert on these issues—and incorporate the data into your collateral, Web site, and other campaigns/materials.
Joe Gustafson CEO Brainshark Waltham, Mass.