Seven Ways to Ensure Marketing Consistency

A guest post from Christopher Wallace

A long time ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth, there were no social media sites or smart phones. The Internet was still in its infancy and the business world relied on meetings… lots of meetings, ranging from in-depth strategy and sales sessions to mundane status meetings. Fortunately, we have moved way beyond this dated concept of getting-everyone-in-the-same-room-looking-at-the-same-stack-of-papers to embracing technology in its varied forms to accomplish the same things more quickly and without the need for all those face-to-face meetings. Not only that, software programs themselves have become much easier to use, making it possible for more people within a company to design their own campaigns and messages.

Bottom line: the sales and marketing divisions within a modern company operate much differently than they did just ten short years ago. And while most of these developments have been advantageous, the problem of inconsistent messaging is a growing concern. With customers now coming in from the Internet as well as standard feet-on-the-street sales teams, it’s very important that a company’s message be standardized across the board, or you’re liable to create a potentially confusing story for your prospects.

Here are seven ways to help you insure marketing consistency within your company:

  1. First and foremost, top management has to recognize that it’s no longer “business as usual.” Think of all the divisions – sales, marketing, support – that interact with customers. If you want a consistent message, then the company leaders have to make it clear that they support whatever changes are necessary to ensure a consistent message.
  2. If you’re larger than a four-person shop, seriously consider a Content Management System (CMS) to help manage and control the amount and quality of the information being posted on the corporate website. It will allow a larger number of people to contribute, reduce the chances for duplicate data and will help control access to any privileged data.
  3. Don’t assume everyone will immediately agree to all the changes. A CMS is no good if you’ve got a few rogues who refuse to use it. Adopting and using any new systems should be given top priority. Offer hands-on training sessions frequently until all those responsible for web content are familiar with how it works.
  4. Make it easy for folks to share information in the early planning stages, like at the beginning of a new campaign or the planning of a tradeshow. Pinterest is new to the scene, but has a lot of promise in being able to aid in this area. Anyone anywhere can “pin” pictures on a certain topic where others can see them, even that sales rep who always seems to be on the road with their laptop.
  5. Ensure that your information looks and feels the same no matter what format it’s in – online, print, or video. This means more than making sure that everybody is using the same logo in the same font and color. For example – coordinate the look of any Call To Action (CTA) forms with any printed response cards you use. Whitepapers should have a similar look to them, even if different departments are writing them; ditto for case studies. Don’t use a different jingle or theme song in every new video you produce. There should be no question as to what company is delivering the message.
  6. Face up to Facebook – it’s here and it’s not going away any time soon. Develop a policy as to who can post to Facebook and enforce it. Don’t get all carried away with the idea of getting 1000’s of “likes,” because studies have shown that these often have very little to do with sales. People will “like” you because it’s quick, easy and costs them nothing. If you want a presence on Facebook, then take a little time to develop a policy that ties back in to what you’re presenting on the rest of your corporate website.
  7. Finally, meetings. No, not the dinosaur of old. Modern meetings can be done without getting a whole bunch of people together in one room, thanks to programs like GoToMeeting. But with all the new activity going on, you’re going to want to touch-base on a regular basis to keep everyone in focus and to resolve any issues before they get too troublesome.

With a little bit of due diligence, your company will be able to present a clear and unified story about its products and services. This will make it easier for your prospects to understand how you can help them solve their problems, leading to your ultimate goal – more customers!

Christopher Wallace, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Amsterdam Printing, has more than 20 years experience in sales and marketing. At Amsterdam, a leading provider of personalized pens, and other personalized items such as imprinted apparel and customized calendars, Christopher is focused on providing quality marketing materials to small, mid-size and large businesses.

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About Nikki

Author of many 30 Day Blogging Challenges, Nikki spends her time helping small businesses with Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing. With 17 years of experience, she hasn't yet found someone she couldn't help to get more business from their website.

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