How to use a promotion mix if your business is related to distribution
Yuri Pavlyuk, speaker and consultant for integrated Internet marketing, shares his experience in promoting a distribution company on social networks and using targeted advertising; explains the benefits of a promotion mix strategy
One of the main areas of my marketing activity is related to a distribution company. The peculiarity (read: complexity) of this business is not only that there is a lot of competition (especially for top vendors). Often, all distributors have almost the same prices, they are closely monitored (both “from above” and one after another) and harshly suppress dumping attempts. In addition, many advertising channels are stopped: sometimes you can’t use the vendor’s logo in the banner, and in the context, commercial keys for the product. Finally, we cannot directly influence the product itself.
In such difficult conditions, almost any distribution works. And in B2B, the solution to this problem with an asterisk is, in general, known. Take not a discount, but a service. To hang around not by price, but by value. After all, customers in surplus markets buy not where it is cheaper, but where it is more convenient, faster, more adequate, more polite, more expertise, less problems.
All this leaves a serious imprint on absolutely all marketing activities, as well as on the relationship between them. Therefore, the promotion mix is coming to the forefront. And this is not a beautiful name / excuse for chaos, but a strategy reminiscent of chaos, because it is very difficult to imagine in the form of an attractive and static flowchart.
Realizing the inefficiency of classical approaches to lead generation, the company in which I am responsible for all digital marketing, refused pyrrhic victories. For example, in advertising auctions. Fortunately, the primary attraction of traffic is not the biggest problem. And the behavior of our target audience is such that they will find you even if you are on the second page of search results.
As a result, we changed the approach to targeted and contextual advertising. For the majority, it is only an annoying reminder that a potential client has probably already seen when he was on the site for the first time. We advertise something else: gradually and persistently we broadcast our really important USPs for the target audience. Including reseller statuses, especially if it is Gold or Platinum.
We have best learned to demonstrate expertise with the help of webinars (they have also become a good lead-generating tool). We do not refuse to speak in specialized online publications, although the effectiveness of such PR is sometimes difficult to measure. If possible, we participate in specialized exhibitions, conferences and other business events, also remembering to collect contacts, then transferring clients from offline to online.
Despite the difficult business topics, we are constantly expanding the base of subscribers in social networks. There are already more than 11,000 of them in total. And so that people do not get depressed from the posts of the commercial plan, every week we organize some kind of “movement”. From the recent – the now popular “Chinese equation” (with the identity of several manufacturers) and “vendorword” (a modernized version of the crossword puzzle where company names are encrypted).
An important detail of the content plan for SMM: materials about people who work in the company. About how they came and developed in the profession. About their hobby. About values and goals … According to statistics, such posts gain almost the maximum number of reactions and generally support the image of the company, making its basic principles clear, and not simply declared.
I emphasize that the above and many other marketing activities rarely fit into any static and phased scheme or funnel. Rather, it is simultaneously work on all fronts, which also help each other. For example, event announcements become an information guide for segmented e-mail distribution and telemarketing. And recordings of webinars replenish the YouTube channel and public pages in social networks.
And almost every marketing tool is involved in creating and satisfying demand, creating and maintaining the company’s image, increasing LTV, expanding within existing customers and competing for new ones. In practice (and in statistics, of course, too) we see how diverse are the ways of users within the decision-making cycle. And more than once a large transaction began with a cold (through targeted advertising) invitation to an online presentation of a new product.
As a result of using the promotion mix, we observe in synthetic metrics a constant increase in the number of brand queries in search engines. And in image and financial indicators – the name of one of the fastest growing companies in its segment in Russia, which closes absolutely every year with a significant increase in turnover.