“Time keeps everything from happening all at once." – Henri Bergson
If you’ve read our website or spoken with us about marketing you know that we’re absolutely rabid about the need for consistent outreach to consumers via any combination of email, social media or whatever medium is appropriate for your audience.
After we preach that sermon we usually hear, “Yeah, you’re right, it’s really important to do that.” We reply “So why don’t you?” “Because I don’t have the time” is a common reply.
We understand. Throughout our professional careers we have faced the same problems as you: constant interruptions, too few resources, tight budgets, and of course the pressure of bringing in today’s sales. The urgent items always outweigh the vital. But inattention to long-term marketing will only make your daily problems worse. Without effective marketing, sales will inevitably slip; resources become scarcer and budgets stretched even farther. That’s no way to live.
So how do you “make” time to do it? Here are five suggestions:
1. Share what you’re already doing – One business owner told us he received several customer emails a week asking for buying or set up advice. He answers every one of those emails so he’s done the hard part – written the material. Now it’s a simple case of copying the questions and answers and pasting them into the website FAQs, an email newsletter template or onto Facebook. Content like that is what customers crave, so give it to them. Your inbox is a diamond mine – dig it!
2. Use existing resources – Your salespeople and customer service staff are perfectly capable of writing about the products they sell and service. Assign everyone in those positions one lousy 500-word article a month. Set a schedule and stick to it. Pay small bonuses like a bottle of good wine (not Boone’s Farm) to the best essay or post of the month. Ask other employees if they have anything they’d like to write about, such as music or wine or movies. At Polk Audio the customer service manager had virtually encyclopedic knowledge of music and music history and wrote amazing articles. Polk newsletter readers loved them!
3. For-hire resources – In an ideal world you’d have a full time employee dedicated to customer engagement. If you have the dough, do it. If you can’t afford to buy it, rent it! Ask your PR agency if they offer social media outreach services. Some know enough about your business to write knowledgably about your products and related issues. Most can at least post entertainment news on Facebook, compose simple surveys and edit material you already own for consumer engagement use. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
4. Dig deep – The ideal solution is for the chief marketing exec, or founder, or owner of the company to JUST DO IT. Make the time – your future is a stake; how can you not make time for that? Paul McGowan of PS Audio is a very busy guy. He travels the world proselytizing his brand, is the CEO of his company, designs amazing products and bakes bread. Yet Paul “makes” the time to write brilliant newsletters that keep PS Audio front-of-mind with dealers, consumers and the press. (See PS Tracks) If he can do it, you can do it.
5. CE Wire – CE Marketing Pros offers affordable web content and email newsletter production services including a new content service called CE Wire. CE marketers can browse and purchase professionally written articles on topics of interest to the your audience – music, movies, how-to, technology and more. We’ve assembled a dream team of the CE industry’s best writers such as Darryl Wilkinson, Mike Mettler, John Sciacca, Al Griffin and other writers you know. They’ve created articles that your customers will find entertaining and informative – the kind of content that inspires more regular interaction with and enjoyment from their AV systems. And that is worth gold to you! Check out CE Wire.
Paul DiComo and Al Ballard are former Polk Audio and Definitive Technology marketing executives whose new company, CE Marketing Pros, helps CE companies market more effectively and stand out from the competition in a crowded and confusing marketplace.
If you are looking for a complete turnkey customer outreach program where you barely lift a finger, CE Marketing Pros can do that for you too – from campaign manager set up, to list management, to custom promotional content, engaging articles, distribution and measurement of results. We can also set up brand pages on social media for you that tie in to your other communication media. Contact us for details.