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Digital strategy = today’s business strategy. “All the world’s a stage,” wrote the Bard in As You Like It, “And all the men and women merely players.” Shakespeare was writing derisively of the way individuals enter into a scene in their lives, act a part for a while, then quickly leave it again, but he just as easily could have been writing about the stale nature of the majority of corporate marketing messages. Most digital strategy lines consumers hear are just that: Lines. Well-rehearsed, perhaps occasionally even well-acted, but still just lines. They’re all too familiar with lines like “Your satisfaction is our #1 priority” and “We are dedicated to the best possible customer service.”
Consumers won’t be taken in by acting – they can spot a dramatic act emerging from a company’s marketing department miles away, shrugging it off without much attention as they’ve shrugged off so many other marketing dog-and-pony shows before.
Multi-dimensional Digital Strategy: Prospects Want Something
Prospects do want something – but it’s not a marketing pitch. What they want is value and to feel like they’re the ones doing the shopping, not like they’re being sold to. To compete in the 21st century, your web marketing message has to be more than pretty and clever. There might have been a day in the not-too-distant past when a high-gloss, multi-page brochure with beautiful photos would be enough to dazzle a prospect into buying from your company. These days, every company with more than two employees (and some companies with fewer) can easily produce a high-quality brochure. Professional websites, multi-media presentations, well-written press releases: All of these, even in combination, are no longer enough to impress the average 21st century consumer.
Multi-dimensional Digital Strategy: From 2D to 3D
To put your prospects back into the driver’s seat, you need to take your marketing message out of the 2D – that is, off of pages and monitors – and into the 3D. This is where Value Forward Marketing comes into play. The Value Forward Marketing rule states that you should be giving away 5% of your product in order to generate 95% more sales.
This isn’t a new idea in marketing. It’s much older than the Internet. It is the principal that your local grocery store uses every Sunday when they put out free samples and try to engage you in a conversation about the food as you lick your toothpick clean. It’s the same principal a consulting company uses when they offer to provide a free assessment of a business, or when a software company offers a free limited service that can easily be upgraded to an unlimited paid service.
With this type of 3D online marketing message, the prospect becomes engaged with your message on a much deeper level. They are no longer just reading a web page or scrolling through your Facebook posts; they are actually sampling your product and discovering its value for themselves.
Multi-dimensional Digital Strategy: From One-Step to Two-Step Marketing
This type of multi-dimensional, two-step digital strategy turns the prospect into his own salesman. The prospect is no longer a passive, empty vessel, merely receiving your marketing message as you hope that some part of that message stays in the vessel. Instead, he or she is actively participating in the marketing process.
One-step marketing involves broadcasting your brand and message and hoping prospects will buy. Two-step marketing starts with getting a prospect interested through some equivalent of the “free sample,” leading to a completed purchase later on.
To start a two-step marketing campaign that will generate qualified leads and increase the likelihood of a sale, ask yourself these questions:
- What can I give away to prospects without impacting profits too deeply?
- What can I give away that will prove the truth of my marketing message?
- What small piece or glimpse of a product can I give away that will entice the prospect to seek more?
From free ebooks to free webinars, your company has something it can give away that will interest prospects enough that they’ll come back for more. “Giving something away” doesn’t mean giving away towels, pens, and coffee mugs emblazoned with your company logo and website. This type of marketing collateral certainly has its place, but it’s still in the one-dimensional, not multi-dimensional, marketing arena. “Giving something away” means you’re giving prospects a chance to discover what your products and/or services are all about without sitting them down in front of a monitor.
How 4thWeb Media Can Help
At 4thWeb Media, we have the know-how to help your company design a successful Online Marketing campaign that will increase your sales and grow the power of your marketing message exponentially.
Don’t feed customers the same stale, well-rehearsed marketing platitudes used by every other organization out there; they will see through the ruse even if your messages are the fastest, shiniest, and loudest platitudes around. Instead, give them something more than words. Give them a chance to discover your products on their own terms, in their own time. Just as one picture is worth a thousand words, one giveaway is worth a thousand pictures.