What’s your marketing conveyor design?

The Internet works like a conveyor with multiple parts. Parts whose independent actions work together to move prospects along to become customers. It is foolish to say that only understanding and implementing a single part will bring success. The beauty of today’s marketing universe is the vast number of options for cost effectively integrating multiple strategies to build a perfect conveyor, one that moves your prospects along to become customers.

The Internet is not just the Internet anymore. It is everything that touches the web. It is everything that can access the web. It is every technology, mobile and fixed, that can drive your customers to a web site, deliver your brand, interact with your audience, alert them to a deal, or a location, or whatever turns your prospects into customers and your customers into cash flow.

The Internet, and most marketing efforts, continue to require of its most successful users a solid understanding and occasional use of traditional media. Knowing what mediums, how much to spend, how to buy, how to measure, and how to translate those “parts” of the conveyor to work with all the other “parts” is critical. These often include parts that exist on a new technology or involve driving your prospects to new forms of customer interaction.

The Internet, regardless of what the web “experts” say, is no longer just about inbound vs. outbound. It’s a mash up of both and sometimes it is not about inbound nor outbound but about the conversations you have, your prospects have, your customers have and the conversations they listen to. To leverage those facts you need to integrate social and PR into your entire mix, remembering that they are also ad platforms as well, and not lose sight of their importance even when they seem “indirect” in their bottom line impact.

In the “old days” the big marketing departments and ad agencies were all about “integrated campaigning”. They were also all about “the brand”. They were quite right to be focused on these general strategies.

Today’s marketing requires you to continue to consider both of these “general” strategies to be critical components to your marketing and public relations. The only difference today is that you have a mind boggling array of messaging and interactive channels available to you for use in integrated campaigning (whether they are inbound or outbound or a mash-up of both) and the definition of “brand” has taken on new complexities with the reemergence of social image needs, personal brands and old brands mutating into surgically altered younger versions of their former selves.

I can see how this would confuse younger less experienced marketers and I am sure that many executive leadership teams, who have often been ill at ease with the more difficult to quantify mysteries of motivating human behaviors, are beside themselves trying to figure out whether or not to support any of them with ever tightening budget dollars.

If executive teams were confused before when they saw in your plans that you intended to integrate messaging via print, radio, TV, and billboard, then having everything from consumer social networks with ecommerce applications to mobile and proximity marketing has probably shut them down completely.

Their solution is likely to be to assume that only one or two of these are the “magic bullet” and proceed to seek, hire and/or fund folks solely focused on those “magic bullet strategies”. It’s what happened with dot coms, and before that telemarketing, and before that direct response…in fact before every “new” ad-scheme-to-end-all-ad-schemes since the dawn of marketing.

And…they will find many over zealous folks around today, particularly in the B2B social networks, who will absolutely proclaim that there is only one or two that matter. They of course do this speaking generally and without doing one bit of analysis into your audience or their current behaviors or any evidence whatsoever.

Don’t fall for it.

Take the time and understand your prospects and customers thoroughly. Employ a firm or individuals internally that have both the width and the depth, including a strong understanding of more traditional channels, to help you define your strategies and select the proper messaging and interaction channels for implementing your marketing, PR and sales. Only after you are sure what components need to make up your “conveyor” can you build one that will bring you customers.

The one thing that’s sure is that your audience’s attention span is short and gets shorter every day. Multiple channels, designed to deliver your messaging, drive conversations with your audience and build your brand, ensure that your short messages combine eventually into compelling arguments for your prospects to buy your products or services.

So the next time so hear someone say “it’s all about social” or that “it’s only the new media” or that “XYZ is dead”, think twice and find yourself expertise that is savvy in identifying the best pathways to your prospects and customers…not one who insists there is only “one way to skin a cat”, and let them help you fire up your conveyor.

Better yet…call me.