Which market(ing) channels will help me attain my true market potential?
It is a question many marketeers and sales(wo)men bust their heads over. Especially when considering the underlying reflection “Through which marketing channels can I have the desired impact on my target audience in the most effective and efficient way?” It certainly is not easy in today’s maze of online and offline channels to decide upon the right ones to obtain this desired impact for your organization.
The goal of this article is not to provide an in-depth analysis of available channels, but rather to shed a light on the channels we utilize most at Merluno, and how we use these to help achieve our clients’ main purpose of in getting in touch with their target audience.
What are market channels?
What do we mean by the term ‘market channels’? For us the definition is clear: all channels that can help you communicate with your market as a whole – including the people and organizations which assist you in living your true market potential. An omnichannel strategy can bring amazing results, but for smaller companies without the capacity to invest tons of money in such an extensive approach some key insights on our preferred channels and how to utilize them can get you started.
Once your company is growing you can still start thinking about actual omnichannel strategies. However, do not let yourself be fooled into wanting to get there at once. The most important step in the beginning is to think about who you want to target – your buyer persona – and then about how you can reach them as efficiently and effectively as possible. This will simplify the maze of potential market channels you can choose from already quite a bit.
Across market channels, content & consistency are key
Before we start talking about the channels we most use ourselves, let us make one thing clear: whatever channel(s) you use, make sure that the message you bring is clear and consistent. When your message is not in line with who you truly are as a company and person, the effect will rarely meet expectations regardless of the channel you rely on. The good news, though, is that you do not need to reinvent your story all the time.
A consistent message across the channels you utilize, slightly adjusted to what each channel lends itself to, is all you need to achieve success. Another result of this approach is that people who enter into contact with you(r company) via different channels will obtain an increasingly clear view on who you are and what you stand for.
Reaching people through market channels
It is important to emphasize that you need to think of market channels as a way of connecting with people. The establishment of this connection is precisely what those channels exist for. Human connection is key in all ‘transactions’ necessary to attain your true market potential. It is therefore also the common thread through all market channels, as channels are nothing more than a way of reaching people. A good market strategy can help you define the channels that will bring you into contact with the people that can help you reach your specific goals.
For both research and prospect purposes, we strongly believe that people are your most important starting point. Forming a real connection with people will stimulate them to share their feedback and insights in return and be honest about how they perceive your company. This, in turn, can help you to reach your goals – whether in sales, telling your story to the world,… The direct feedback you receive from interacting and building a real connection with people is the most valuable input you can get as a company for any purpose.
Our most beloved market channel: the good old telephone
A lot has been said about using a telephone for so-called ‘cold calling’ purposes. The connotation is not great in general, although we believe there is just a lot of misperception. If we look at the previous paragraph, for both market research and sales purposes we at Merluno believe that the telephone remains the utmost effective and efficient way to connect with your desired target group. You can have in-depth conversations with real people over the phone instead of wasting time in your car on your way to a physical meeting that moreover took time to schedule.
Next to this ‘efficiency win’, do not also underestimate the connection you can build through this channel when you are ‘doing it right’. The most important element in making a call a success is that you can clarify in a few sentences who you are and why you are contacting someone. If you get this right, you will be amazed by how willing people are to help you towards your goal, whether that is to sell something, get a question answered, or something else still.
We tend to forget how much people love to help others move forward. In our research and prospection (which most of the time takes place over the phone), we thankfully make use of that willingness to help.
Other market channels we use
We at Merluno believe that true magical connection lies in finding multiple touchpoints with your target person/company/market. In prospection, for example, we adopt a strong nurturing loop in which follow-up actions via different channels will guide your prospect towards a collaboration with your organization. As much as we prefer that good old telephone for a first contact, there are multiple other channels that can come into play.
First of all, it is important that your company website radiates everything you stand for, so that when people visit it they will ‘feel’ your organization. This is really the channel through which you can let the heart of your company speak, and this by starting from your value proposition. Discover how we’ve helped Humgy to sharpen their value proposition.
Mail, to us, constitutes an excellent choice for follow-up, or even a first touchpoint in certain contexts. It is thereby important to think about your intentions through the use of this channel. For, whatever the intention is, personalization and body are key. If these two basics are not met, you can be certain your message will disappear into the endless barrage of emails people nowadays receive.
From experience we can tell: the energy you put into an e-mail stands in direct proportion with the quality and quantity of the response(s) you will receive. Writing a good introductory email, for example, in which you really put the right energy, and which you then slightly adapt to a specific buyer persona, company, or segment, will already get you a very long way. This does not only apply to traditional e-mail, but also to direct messaging on LinkedIn.
Last but not least, social media constitutes golden channels for businesses nowadays. Especially the storytelling and relationship-building opportunities on channels such as LinkedIn are sheer endless. Important however is to keep in mind that this is where relationship building happens – not (necessarily) commercial opportunity creation.
Furthermore, we strongly believe that social media are important market channels in terms of brand authenticity: so practice what you preach. People you are connected with can literally follow your ‘path’ here. Magic connection via your visionary content can really occur on these platforms. And here, too, your authenticity as a company and person will take you the furthest.
Ready to discover your potential for growth?
For each project we execute, Merluno uses the channels most relevant for what our client wants to achieve – whether that is product validation, name recognition, commercialization, or something else still. If you are interested in discussing the possibilities for your company, or want to know how we could help you with the adoption of a certain market channel you are not yet used to, do not hesitate to contact us through… well… one of the channels
mentioned above ☺