If you’ve been in business for a while you understand the marketing mix.
I’m talking about the four P’s:
Product, Promotion, Price and Place
They’ve been taught for over half a century to budding business professionals. If you’ve worked in business you understand them even if you didn’t go to school for marketing.
Today, we’re going to look at the marketing mix in a different way. Some things have changed over the last few years. Other principles have remained the same.
Today’s focus is on The New Marketing Mix or a different way to think about marketing.
The New Marketing Mix
The classic marketing mix has already been messed with a number of times. There are four P’s, four C’s, seven P’s and seven C’s. It’s crazy.
The truth is the original P’s do a great job of getting the point across that marketing is all about your company’s product, the price of that product, the method you use for promotion and the place of the product.
It doesn’t get more simple than that.
There’s a new way of doing business today and a big part of it is a result of the Internet. People have always been curious, but with the Internet we can now fill our curiosity by finding all kinds of information.
What does this mean for businesses?
It means you need content to get new customers.
The Content Mix
The first part of The New Marketing Mix is The Content Mix.
In the past there’s a good chance you’ve used advertising to fuel new customers to your business. This can work really well, but customers are trained to kind of ignore advertisements for the most part. It’s always been this way. Companies are just really smart at making a profit from advertising and I think customers actually appreciate it because they discover new products.
But there is an alternative way of getting attention and exposure today.
By creating content aimed at educating, entertaining and enlightening you’ll be able to get the attention of your target customer for the long-term.
This requires about an 80-20 percentage breakdown of content aimed at helping your target customer vs. content aimed at promoting your business. We could go with 90-10 or even 95-5, but we still need to do some selling and it’s always good to keep a mix of paid advertising in there to test things out.
The content mix can include all forms of content. It can include blog posts, white papers, emails, videos, photos and images. If you create things for your target customer to find in search, social and direct referral they will find you.
The Content Mix will work for you in two important ways.
First, the content is what will be discovered by your target customer. It’s the introduction of your business and the great thing is they’re doing the discovering. You’re not interrupting them with information. You provide the content and they discover it through search, social and direct referral.
Second, the content does the selling for you when you’re not there in person. Think about how your sales experiences go in person. You talk with a prospect. They ask questions. You ask questions. You give answers. They give answers. It’s a learning experience for both of you. You go back and forth until a trust is built between the two of you. From there the sale is made.
The same thing works online only content is the driver of the learning. You learn about the customer by looking at various analytics. They learn from you by reading your content or watching your videos. They learn to trust you and your business because you show your expertise. You connect with them when you can’t be there in person.
Content drives introduction and it drives sales.
The Traffic Mix
This one I had to learn the hard way. I have a site – Country Music Life – that stated out really hot in the summer of 2010. The site started getting a ton of traffic from Google and it was great. But Google made a few changes to their results pages for music-related searches. Mostly the change was including snapshots of videos from YouTube for music searches.
Google is always tweaking the results in their favor, which is fine. They don’t owe companies free listings. They’re going to show Google+, YouTube and other G properties whenever it makes sense.
The lesson I learned is that you have to have a better mix of traffic to your website.
You need a healthy mix of search, social and direct referral. This is how you get new visitors to your site. Some search for you. Some see links on social media. Others are told about your site and they visit directly. People also see links on articles and other websites and visit your site.
Once those new people are on your site you win them over with your content and you capture their future attention through things like social media following and email subscriptions. An email list is like gold.
The Sales Mix
For the most part, we really don’t care where sales come from because we just want as many as possible.
The shift today seems to be toward a sales model that is a good mixture of customers we pay for with advertising, get naturally through The New Marketing Mix and referral customers.
Some businesses can rely too much on one of the three. This article may seem like it’s skewing toward The New Marketing Mix, but this article is simply trying to introduce the concept to you.
You want to have natural customer traffic coming to your site to balance out the other kinds of new customers you’re getting.
You want some paid customers. You want some word of mouth. It means you’re doing a good job. But you also want some content-driven customer acquisition.
The perfect mix might be impossible, but if we strive to make our businesses and customer acquisition strategies more evened out we set our businesses up for the long-term because things will happen along the way.
Channels change. People change. Models change. With a good mixture of customer acquisition we can handle it when part of the mix goes away.
That’s the point of The New Marketing Mix.