Do we really need to do all this marketing???

OR just smile and stand at on an exhibit floor, with the right kind of audience and say I have all I need. Really - what do we need to do?

I know, you are shaking your head saying "What the heck is she talking about? Of course you have to do more" but if you are a couple of vendors that I spoke to on the exhibit floor of HR SouthWest this past week in Fort Worth, then you DON'T.

My conversations with the vendor exhibiting took the whole spectrum of no marketing to all the different kinds of marketing I can do. I mean, I intimately understand some of the marketing strategies of some of the vendors there, because HRmarketer works with them now - but many I didn't. In all sincerity, I spoke to some that indicated that all they needed to do was go to a couple of conferences, attended by their target audience, and with "Word of Mouth" they had all the leads they needed. I believed them. It got me thinking - perhaps it is all they needed for the business they run, for the sales team they have in place, and for the long-term business strategy they have.

So what about the other things I heard about marketing, promotions, "gettin' out there", "getting well known", "reaching out";

- Good old direct mail? Yes, there were vendors who said they still did this and WHY NOT. Old is new again. Email, email, email that has no substance is in everyone's inboxes - who doesn't love a special letter addressed to you personally? It is so nouveau.

- Banner and print advertising - hmmmm, in some cases, this makes sense, but becoming less and less according to my conversations.

- Renting a direct email list - YES, I feel that there is value there - but don't just send so many times that you forget what you promoted the last time. Make it valuable with content download, webcast invitation, survey invitation.

- Content Development - Absolutely - but please make it educational and valuable for the reader. Help them to learn something. The best thing about creating content is it fits perfectly into any marketing campaign, social media strategy and works towards building thought leadership.

- Webcasts/Webinars - so many vendors are doing this and that is why again it needs to be valuable information AND give it a differential. Client speakers, surveys throughout, interactive questions. PS just read something today about a "Panel Webcast" and its kind of cool.

- Attending Conferences - a vendor commented that she felt that the Virtual Conference would soon be taking over because it saves money, larger audiences, offer more content and repeatable content and though that is true - there is NOTHING that beats the sit down and talk face-to-face. NOTHING! so perhaps a balance of both?

- Social Media marketing/Organic gain - I am still awestruck at how many vendors do NOT have a social media strategy. Nope - nada - nil strategy. So many things you can do, and so much of this is complimentary to a strong marketing strategy across the board. This is a whole blog post on its own, so not today.

SO – is this original vendor correct in his statement that all you need to do is attend a couple of conferences and word of mouth? It may not fit everyone’s objective BUT perhaps for his long-term business goals.

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