Sandra Martini works with clients worldwide as a business consultant, coach and mentor. Before embarking on her consulting career, she held positions in marketing and finance with start-up organizations such as AmeriCorps and national satellite television, and worked for such distinguished employers as the Peace Corps. She's even managed White House Presidential events. Sandra's unique Escalator Marketing™ approach helps business owners create a strong foundation through visibility and credibility. LoveToKnow spoke with Sandra about new media marketing and asked for her expert insight into how businesses can use new media marketing solutions to gain visibility.
New Media Marketing Solutions?
LoveToKnow (LTK): How do you define new media marketing solutions?
Sandra Martini (SM): The phrase "new media marketing solutions" showcases the fact it's no longer enough to have a Yellow Page ad or advertise your business. To compete for the attention of your ideal clients amidst an information overload, "life in sound bites" era, small businesses must embrace multiple media, including social media sites (such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) online videos, surveys, email marketing; mobile phone marketing and, yes, even direct mail.
LTK: What advantages do they provide for small businesses?
SM: By utilizing social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and engaging with prospective clients through posts, quick videos and tips in addition to reaching out through mobile marketing, email marketing and, dare I say it, live interaction, small businesses have an opportunity to fully understand their ideal client and offer them the right solution at the right time, all for a fraction of the cost of what those who preceded us paid.
Using New Media to Promote Small Businesses
LTK: Can you give readers an example of how they might use new media marketing solutions to promote their small business?
SM: The simplest answer is to connect with your clients. Learn where you clients hang out and be an active presence there - offer solutions when they present problems, show you care by offering birthday greetings and perhaps a special coupon code, ask survey questions, post videos showing you as the person behind the business…allow your ideal clients to connect with you as a person first and a business second. After all, people do business with people.
LTK: What is the biggest mistake you see among small business owners using new media to market their business?
SM: Hands down, it's inconsistency. Many business owners go gung ho, posting everywhere, sending out emails, engaging people in conversation and then POOF!, they vanish for a month or two at a time. Then they pop up again, only to repeat the cycle. This does more than hurt the business owner, it destroys her credibility - in order to do business with someone, you have to believe they'll do what they say they will.
LTK: How can business owners avoid this mistake?
SM: Two things business owners can do here:
- Pick just one new media marketing tool to start with, get familiar with it and be consistent with it before looking to something else.
- Delegate as much as possible to either a support team or automation to ensure you're getting the absolute most out of every marketing minute (and dollar) spent.
Improve Your Company's Marketing and Promotions
LTK: Among all the new media marketing tools, which one do you think is the most powerful tool for a small business? Why?
SM: This is one of those questions where I have to answer "It depends." It depends on the nature of the small business. Overall though, I would say Facebook. Facebook is growing the fastest, has an incredible number of friends and family connections, allows advertising, can incorporate audio/video/posts/private conversations/coupons and so much more…even noting when someone "checks in" to your local store.
LTK: If a small business owner takes just one step today to improve his marketing, what step should he take?
SM: One step? I'd have to say identify who your ideal client is. If you had to describe her in detail (marital status, children, career path if any, what she reads, what keeps her up at night, her age, demographics, what she does in her spare time, how she connects with her friends, what type of house/apartment/condo she lives in, etc.), who would she be - and yes, give her a name - and then, once you know that, you'll know where to market and, just as importantly, WHAT to market to her. Without knowing the above, the best marketing strategies in the world won't help you connect with clients who aren't where you're promoting.
LTK: Is there anything else you'd like to share to help small business owners reading this piece promote their companies more effectively?
SM: As of this interview, I've been in business 6.5 years and was earning over $100,000 in my first 6 months. I attribute my continued success to one simple phrase, the one by which I run my business: "Ordinary things, done consistently, create extraordinary and consistent results." This mantra (pick one marketing strategy, learn it, do it consistently, then move on to another), when practiced and combined with your values and integrity will do more for your business than anything else.
LoveToKnow wishes to thank Sandra Martini for her time and expert advice. Learn more about Sandra or contact her through her website.