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The challenges of capitalizing on marketing or why channel marketing is going to get expensive again…


The happy days of cheap marketing would appear to be behind us now. The period from 2000 to 2010 was marked by the incredible surge in the use of the email as a marketing medium which in turn replaced intensive use of the fax between 1990 and 2000. E-mailing campaigns were very often behind all the great strategies, the amazing programs and certifications.

In this period of restricted budgets, how can you tell general management that a Facebook page, a LinkedIn group or a Twitter account won’t replace the “Push” marketing operations?

The problem facing even the most talented marketing departments is one that surpasses their own talent, namely the abusive use of email. The confusion between spam and targeted commercial messaging means that these days the open rate of emails has become incredibly low for the simple reason that the message never actually arrives in the recipient’s mailbox. The “interference” generated by spam completely smothers all the efforts and ingeniousness that our best marketers endeavor to deploy.

An IT wholesaler recently told me that the unsubscribe rate was greater than the open rate for his emailing campaigns, which means that he is losing the capacity to address the market via this medium on a daily basis. The problem is amplified by the frenetic number of incoming emails which push every mail received further down to the bottom of the inbox, thereby reducing the period in which a message may potentially be read.

Marketing for 2010- 2020 will be pluri-media, so let’s take a look at the methods we have available to us:

Postal mail, which had completely disappeared, is back in force. Its cost is also its advantage. It necessarily creates a selection from the point of entry. No spam here… at worse badly targeted messaging.Our own experience of email marketing accompanied by a postal mail push increases an operation’s efficiency by 50%, but the cost is often off-putting…However, there are solutions for postal mailing in SaaS mode which mean you can send a physical mail, admittedly for more than the cost of an email, but with increasingly improved profitability.

Telemarketing proves its efficiency on a daily basis, but it is only really appropriate for high added value targets. Here too, one has to know how to get through the barrier of voice mails which have now replaced, even more coldly, the barrier of assistants.

Advertising has found renewed vigor, be it on web sites or in newsletters.

The social media are an excellent means of communication, but are not adapted to push marketing and require considerable amounts of time to maintain.

Content communication, which consists of associating one’s brand with content such as white papers or studies is an interesting and valorizing means of communication, but here again, the proliferation of factice white papers which are actually just sales brochures in disguise can also be a hindrance.

Tradeshows and events (IRL*) remain, when well designed around good content, very interesting media, combining business meetings, workshops, and informal meetings. This is a direction our company believes in a lot (see our own event “PARTNER VIP France ”). Virtual tradeshows haven’t yet found the magic formula because they are often restricted to simply mimicking the physical show without creating a new experience.

Webinars are an interesting approach which can reach part of a target population, but they can’t yet constitute the basis for a communication strategy on their own. They have the advantage of quality and they can be very well referenced thanks to sites such as YouTube or SlideShare for presentations, but certain users are put off by their lack of interactivity and a fear of the tunnel effect, i.e: a fear of remaining blocked for a certain period of time.

Whichever way you look at it, mixing different media to increase marketing communication efficiency, in the face of the decline in classic electronic media, will require more time and resources. These are also skills which, in many cases, manufacturers’ and publishers’ internal organizations no longer have. They will either have to get them back or, more probably, rely more heavily on external marketing organizations or even work more closely with their wholesalers’ marketing. 

It is by no means sure that the savings made over the last years in marketing budgets can continue. This is all stems from the problem of considering marketing teams as a variable budget post which can be adjusted at any time within an environment where marketing techniques are more and more complex and require capitalizing on knowledge.
*In real life

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