In a world where buzzwords like Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and banner ads have become commonplace, it might be easy to overlook the fact that generic, targeted online advertising doesn’t convert in every industry. There are situations where a personal touch is required.
PPC Advertising Costs Outpace Customer Value
Depending on your market, it may cost too much to acquire a customer via generic PPC advertising.
The margins on your products may be razor-thin, or the competition could be so fierce that even with healthy margins, bidding on PPC traffic would be a losing proposition.
The one caveat to this situation is if you view PPC advertising as a brand-building strategy. But be careful because this strategy can get expensive very quickly, especially if it doesn’t convert. Always, always set a limit on your budget when authorizing a CPC campaign.
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- Analyze the level of competition and search patterns of your target audience.
- Carefully consider the cost of acquisition, versus the lifetime value of that customer.
- Set conservative limits on your PPC budget until testing fine-tunes your approach.
Reaching Decision Makers in B2B Sales
Selling a business on a new product or service can be an unbelievably bureaucratic process. Reaching a decision maker could potentially be done by catching them while they’re searching for information online, but usually, these decision makers delegate research to non-decision makers.
There are few things that can beat a personal connection to a decision maker when closing a sale with a large organization. John Lines, a Golf Pro with GolfSupport, once told me that “…the vast majority of our most loyal customers are marketing and sales professionals. They need the edge when networking on the course with decision makers. They see their investment in quality equipment as an investment in their marketing strategy.”
If nothing else, this vaildates that a handshake and a round of golf is still a solid play in the high-end B2B salesman’s playbook.
- Hire and network with sales professionals who have personal connections to your target customer base.
- Consider the cost-benefit of sending out sales reps, versus attacking a digital ad campaign with those resources.
- In many cases, the loyalty of a customer is heavily impacted by the personal connection they feel to your company. A professional rep commands far more loyalty than a banner ad.
A Personalized Greeting Card Stands Out From the Pack
In crowded markets, leveraging a personal connection is critical to differentiating your company from the competition. With the shift towards emails and digital advertising, companies that still embrace a real-world connection with their clients stand out from the competition.
No, junk-mail doesn’t count. A personalized, sentimental gift during the holidays or a recognition of a difficult time is a great way to establish an emotional, personal bond with current and future clients; far more effective than a couple extra ads on the websites they visit.
- Create and maintain files on your current and potential clients. Utilize the information in these files to better inform your marketing efforts.
- Never miss an opportunity to send a personalized gift. Holidays, birthdays and difficult times are excellent opportunities to reestablish a connection that goes beyond a generic marketing effort.
- Avoid overplaying the marketing angle. Focus first on the emotional, sentimental connection and make branding a secondary focus of the gesture.
Low-Tech Industries and Audiences
There are target markets where the ideal consumer either doesn’t have the knowledge or the inclination to utilize technology. Digital advertising is incumbent on the customer using a smartphone, tablet or PC to access the information you’re looking to share with them.
For example, digital advertisements targeted at baby boomers may not perform as well with audiences over the age of 66 as more than 42 percent do not use technology according to a Pew Research study.
- Understand that not all customers have access to digital advertisements.
- Consider putting your digital advertising budget into print, television and radio media.
- When creating digital advertising for disadvantaged individuals, pay careful attention to wording and phrasing to maximize comprehension and conversion.
It’s easy to consider PPC, YouTube ads, banners and social media campaigns as the silver bullet for advertising virtually anything to anyone. But, the reality is that the decision to advertise is still a fundamental math problem. Is the cost of advertising going to be recuperated through increased profits?
Is the value that you’re adding to the customer’s life worthy of an immediate purchase online? Can you fully communicate the value of your product or service online?