Silo marketing – not a good idea for your business

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Silos: Silver. Red. Multi-colored. Often standing alone or in pairs. All across America.

Perfect for a farm. Not so, when conducting marketing in your business or nonprofit.

Here are some examples of what I mean:

You give a presentation to tell people about your organization, event or issue, but you do not mention your own services.

You go to a networking meeting, like a “business after hours,” and you tell someone you meet, “I will call you.” However, you don’t follow up.

You post an advertisement in the local paper or have a mention on radio or TV but don’t list your website address.

When businesses or nonprofits use the marketing silo approach to reach their customers, messaging is often fragmented and inconsistent. Not surprisingly, results subsequently don’t live up to expectations.

Consumers of today make a decision journey before deciding where to shop, what to buy, which cause to support and what special event to attend; coordination and integration of all your marketing techniques is a must-do in today’s world.

Using multiple channels to communicate, or touch points, is not a passing fad. In fact, it’s based on three of the most important criteria of reaching your ideal buyer or supporter.

First, repeated and reinforced messaging drives a higher propensity to buy or support.

Second, integrating your marketing increases the odds that your message (your sale or your event, etc.) will be seen during the active decision period by the consumer.

Third, market research tells us that you need to offer your products and services where your buyers or supporters hang out already. Examples include search engines, social networks, websites and those smart phones or mobile tablets.

In other words, each business-marketing tactic (technique) must support the other. This moves the prospective client closer to you as well as through your marketing system.

For example, instead of simply doing ONE marketing technique and then walking away, consider creating a marketing “NETWORK” of techniques where one technique encourages the prospective customer to participate in another one.

Here are some examples of integrated marketing techniques.

When giving a speech, ask the audience to sign up for your free business or nonprofit newsletter.

On the back of your business card, offer a free report or other service and give them the website address where they can download it and phone number to call for questions.

At a networking event, refer people to your website to pick up an article that solves a problem they’re having. I am assuming that you have a website? If not, you might want to have one developed.

When doing a media interview, remind people that you offer a free initial consultation and tell them how they can sign up for one. Even throw in a discount for one of your services as it makes sense. Consumers want incentives.

On your website home page place a clickable graphic that tells visitors about your free monthly webinar or other forums that you offer to inform or educate about products and services.

When referencing a book at an event write a review and post your comments and information on how to purchase the book.

Offer promotions across all channels; but also reserve exclusive offers for each. For example, simply include a 10-percent-off coupon in a newspaper ad, and special discounts when customers “like” your business Facebook page.

Silo marketing is often found in business and nonprofits. Is it in yours?

You might want to keep this column and use it as a reference to examine your marketing. A next step would be determining what action to take to integrate marketing techniques across all your active channels and take down those silos as soon as possible.

Michael B. Perini, ABC is president of Perini & Associates, a full-service public relations and marketing firm in Woodland Park. Reach him at mike@periniassociates.com.