Your marketing plan represents your business’ desire to connect with customers and build your business. Whether your business conducts B2B marketing or direct consumer marketing, your business benefits from utilizing marketing communication tools that deliver your message to potential clients and decision makers. The three marketing communication tools detailed below are ones that your business should be monitoring, as they can help your business deliver its marketing message and leverage branding potential.
3 Marketing Communication Tools Your Business Needs
1. Extranet for Communication – and Marketing
The extranet has begun replacing intranets in businesses around the world because they present a better value proposition for many companies. What’s the difference between intranet and extranet? Intranets restrict access to those on the network, so this means only employees have access. Extranets are designed to provide information to employees, plus vendors and distributors.
With an extranet, the marketing team is able to quickly give important information to employees and trusted vendors. Information about products and services are quickly disseminated through employees to clients. Regular extranet use ensures that all employees are on the same page with the marketing department.
Delta’s Extranet employee account is an example of an extranet put to good use. It provides a plethora of information about what Delta’s marketing initiatives are, its public relations releases, and other important information that vendors, employees, and retirees need to know.
Any company can implement an extranet – they don’t need to be a large company like Delta. Small and medium-sized businesses can benefit from this effective marketing tool as well. In fact, any business that has multiple customers and relationships with vendors can find a use for it. For example, distributors could log into the system to place supply orders, or check for available capacity before taking an order.
2. Social Media for Marketing Purposes
Social media represents one of the most intriguing marketing communication tools available to businesses. While social media is a very important tool, it’s not the only tool, and it’s only truly effective if done correctly. In fact, social media can quite possibly be a waste of time if a business isn’t truly grasping the concepts and ways to use it.
If your business isn’t pet-related, then it’s probably not a good idea to post cute dog pictures. Sure, they might garner a few likes and shares, but they are not going to generate new leads or orders. Sharing content unrelated to your business or industry wastes your time and your customer’s time. In order to be an effective marketing tool, social media needs to deliver your company’s marketing message.
Where and how you deliver your marketing message on social media requires purposeful thought. Each social media platform needs to be evaluated for its applicability to your marketing message. If your business involves B2B sales, you’ll want a LinkedIn presence to distribute case studies and white papers created by your marketing department. If your business deals with consumers, a Facebook presence that regularly highlights new products and new promotions is imperative. Your customer service department needs to be active on Twitter to provide customer service and deliver marketing messages. Product tutorials would be at home on a YouTube channel.
3. Paid Publicity Marketing in the Digital Age
Advertisement used to be the single most important way for companies to communicate their marketing message to consumers. Its importance, even in the age of social media, cannot be overstated. Advertisements work along with social media to deliver information that helps potential customers make a decision to purchase a product or use a service.
Social media has changed the way products are advertised. In this new era, advertisements have gone from the epitome of interruption marketing to inbound marketing that flourishes with trust. Typical interruption marketing media outlets are telemarketing, radio, TV, and direct mail. Advertisements that embrace inbound marketing concepts like permission and trust can be very effective in reaching out to customers that may have long ago turned off typical interruption marketing. Inbound marketing can be implemented by a business of any size.
Ads are available on most internet platforms, including Google Search, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. They can be laser-targeted to specific demographics so that your advertisements are going to those who are interested in the products and services that your business has to offer. As they become targeted and embrace permission and trust, your marketing message can be more effectively delivered to decision makers.
Your ads can guide potential customers to your social media presence where they can read white papers and case studies, learn about your new products, and even learn how to use your products. This inbound marketing leads them to want to learn and to want to become your customer. Utilizing your advertisements to create an inbound marketing culture will spread your marketing message around.
By interplaying advertising, social media, and extranets, your business can define and deliver its marketing message to customers and decision makers. These marketing communication tools can help you build the right kind of atmosphere to turn your business into a company that embraces permission and trust marketing, and builds relationships with its customers.
Which marketing communication tools do you use? Which one is your favorite?