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November 29, 2010 / jasonpinto

Meals on the Floor

Cat -- Finding a home (or a meal) where it wants

(Before I go much further, I’d like to warn you: the following post was inspired by my cat.  I promise that I will keep cat-inspired posts to an absolute minimum!)

At this time of year, companies have either completed or are working on completing their marketing plans for 2011. More than ever before, businesses need to be sure that their plans include reaching out to people through multiple channels.

If you have previously relied on only one or maybe two channels to communicate with customers and prospects, you may have doubts about the need to expand. Perhaps you think that multi-channel marketing is a ploy from software vendors to force you to invest more time and resources into executing marketing campaigns.

Well I promise, that is not the reason.

Investing in a multi-channel marketing approach is all about your audience. Think about all of the ways that people consume information today. Here are a few: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, email, mobile phones, television, websites, Hulu, billboards, newspapers, direct mail, magazines, iPads, flyers, and more.

If your marketing messages in 2011 are only delivered via direct mail, there is a great chance that a portion of your target audience will not see or pay attention to your company. Or, if you only reach out to people via social media, you certainly may miss reaching another portion of your target audience.

Multi-channel marketing may mean investing more time, creativity, and (in some cases) money, but if we truly want to execute successful campaigns, we have to do it.

Here’s where my cat comes in.  For her normal “meals”, she eats her food from a dish in the corner of the kitchen. On special occasions, we also toss her a few treats. We typically just put those on the floor.

The other day, I placed a few of the treats in her food dish. Was she excited to get them? Yes, of course. However to my amazement, she refused to eat them from the dish. I watched as she moved each treat out of the dish and onto the floor. Only then, when the treats were on the floor, would she consume them.

Can cats be stubborn? Well, certainly. The same could be said though for your prospects and customers. Maybe you have the ability to design and deliver compelling information via postcards. However more than ever before, a portion of your target audience may have no interest in reading the materials in their mailbox. They may only feel compelled if the information can be consumed on their smart phones. And of course, there are still people who are non-believers of social media, and would disregard your tweets as “spam”.

We might write the marketing plan, but it’s our target audience that is in control. Are you putting content in places that they prefer it?

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