When we start from the beginning with a new client we create a number of pieces at once. But as a brand matures, marketing tools are often created one item at a time. This can be a problem if we think of them in isolation, when in reality each is likely to be part of a greater journey and should be considered as such.
Consistency and Continuity
All tools should be connected, lead to other tools and ultimately to your desired pre-sale action step, but consider the experience when one moves from one tool to the next. For example, you meet someone at a function, have a good chat and exchange business cards. When they go to your website later does it look like your business card and back-up what you told them about your business? When you achieve that kind of consistency it creates a continuity that, if not there, can be confusing.
Think of Each Tool as a Potential Starting Point
Assuming they are consistent, do your tools clearly lead prospects to the next step, tell them what to do? We take our knowledge of our industries and familiarity with our own websites and other tools for granted. Business owners and marketers must consider these tools from the perspective of someone who’s never met us before. Does your business card (don’t laugh) have a URL on it? Does your newsletter have plenty of links back to your website? If you have a cool interactive tool on your website do you invite people to use it anywhere else? Do you have a specific mode of sending follow-ups?
I recently had a very new client tell us they’d placed an ad directing people to the main website hoping visitors would request information, and/or funnel into two different location-based sites. The results were poor because the main website cited in the ad only promoted one location (in an obvious way) and there was no request for information on the main site. The location that was promoted had a request form right on the home page and people did use it, but nothing came of the other location site and the main site. The client hadn’t considered the whole journey and imagined someone who’d never seen their sites going through the journey.
Another had created a brochure about a special program the company had created for an association which directed people to the home page of their regular website. This home page had no reference to the program or association and the copy focussed more on the other side of their business. They had program information in the website, but one would have to dig for it. If you landed on this page and weren’t even sure you were in the right place, would you search for it?
Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
Very small changes can be made to make this path work better. In example one; they may have promoted the other location as equally and added the same ‘request info’ forms that existed on the location site on the home page of the main website cited in the ad – in case visitors didn’t funnel down. For example two, they might add a callout referencing the association special offer on their home page, or in the future promote a URL that leads directly to the page in the website like: www.company.com/associationoffer.
Imagine yourself going from one thing to the next in your marketing map and ask yourself ‘does this have continuity and do I know clearly what to do next?’