By Jeffrey Hayzlett
Global Business Celebrity, TV Commentator, Bestselling Author
and Sometime Cowboy
There’s an old saying in marketing that goes something like this: In good times, advertise. In bad times, advertise more.
That’s sound advice, assuming a few things. Like, you know who your customer is. And you have a firm understanding of your core message.
Try marketing without both of these clearly defined, and you’ll end up taking your brand on a long walk off a short pier.
Equally important is that you use everything at your disposal to get your message out there in front of your customer — and keep it there. But it’s not enough just to take a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach. All marketing — whether traditional or new media — has a role to play.
And just as you wouldn’t run a Clydesdale in the Kentucky Derby or use a show horse to herd cattle, in marketing, half the battle is knowing not only how to frame your message, but which channels to use in order to engage your target audience and entice them to take action.
Successful Marketers Don’t Think in Terms of “Either/Or,” but “Both/And”
When it comes to determining where and how to get your message out there, new media — such as social, web and mobile — often has a “shiny object” effect on marketers who constantly chase after the latest and greatest approach to winning hearts and minds.
But favoring new media over more traditional approaches — like television, print and radio — is as limiting as it is short-sighted. For your message to have the kind of impact and reach you want it to (that is, the kind that drives sales and gives you the competitive edge), you need to funnel it through as many channels as possible. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind as you do.
Pair passive media with active media to bring customers closer to your brand. Traditional advertising engages audiences in a passive manner. New media campaigns, whether experienced on your website, a social media platform, or served up via mobile tend to lead to more active audience participation. Pair them both, and the combination can be explosive.
Television ads can lead an audience out of their living room and into your social media communities, like a Facebook fan page or Twitter stream. A call-to-action in a magazine ad can take the entire user experience from page to mobile device, and then from mobile to in-store experience. And all of these open the door for more targeted and intimate interactions with your customers than ever before.
Keep it consistent, no matter the channel. For better or for worse (you decide), no matter where you look, if you’re doing your looking around the marketing water cooler, there’s a good chance our paths will cross. From keynote stages to Bloomberg television appearances, magazine and podcast interviews to social media sites, I’m out there. And no matter where you find me, what you’ll get is always the same, always me — all 6’3”, 270 pounds of straight-shootin’ cowboy businessman me.
And that’s by design.
You’ve heard it said that people do business with people they know, like and trust. Which means that the only way to win the hearts and minds of your target demographic is to be consistent at every turn.
So use traditional and new media channels to ensure you’re everywhere your customers are — in their living rooms, on their mobile devices, in their social media feeds, on their kids’ soccer fields — and be consistent.
And remember: a brand is nothing more than a promise delivered. Deliver on the promise of your brand with every customer, wherever you can, as often as you can, and success will follow.
Test, test, test. Lather, rinse, repeat. No matter how your traditional and new-media marketing mix comes out, it’s crucial that you constantly monitor the results you’re getting and be on the lookout for ways of doing what you do better. And if you fail, by all means, fail big! I dedicate an entire chapter to this concept of failing big in my book, Running the Gauntlet, because I know just how important it is to your success that you fail.
New media is especially forgiving when it comes to trial and error because it allows you to measure and make seat-of-your-pants decisions, but traditional media provides plenty of clues as to whether or not your message is hitting the mark, too. Phones not ringing? Merchandise not moving? Somewhere along the way, you’ve failed to engage your audience. But it’s not the end of the world, and no one’s going to die. Regroup, find out where the problem is, make a better decision, and move on.
No Matter What You Do, Don’t Squat with Your Spurs On
For my money, using a combination of new and traditional media is the best way to get close to your customers. How that looks for your brand will depend on your resources, and when it comes to marketing success, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
But there is one hard-and-fast rule. In order to capitalize on the opportunities that these channels offer and grow your brand, your business must always be selling itself.
To not do this is like squatting with spurs on: you can do it, but I promise it’s going to leave a mark. Nothing sells itself forever, and if you’re not smart, you’re going to get stuck.
So don’t squat with your spurs on. Use new and traditional media and never stop selling your company — and yourself — and watch your brand thrive as a result.
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Global Business Celebrity, TV Commentator, Bestselling Author and Sometime Cowboy
12 West 29th Street
New York, NY 10001
JEFFREY HAYZLETT is a global business celebrity, business owner and former Fortune 100 c-suite executive. From small businesses to international corporations, he has put his creativity and entrepreneurial skills into play, launching ventures blending his leadership perspectives, insights into professional development, mass marketing prowess and affinity for social media. He is a public speaker and the author of the bestselling business books, The Mirror Test and Running the Gauntlet. Jeffrey is a contributing editor and guest host on Bloomberg Television. He has also been a frequent television guest and commentator on MSNBC’s Your Business, Fox Business News, BBC, and NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump. He embraces traditional modes of customer engagement, and possesses a cachet of mentorship, corporate governance, and brand building.