Lessons from the Online Marketing Summit

By | February 28, 2012

As someone that primarily works with companies in the print, mail, and fulfillment industries, I spend a lot of time at trade shows and conferences that target those groups. Those events provide me with opportunities to network with customers and prospects, but they also help me to stay informed of trends that effect companies in those industries.

However, when it comes to growth, I truly think that it’s very important for all of us to take the time to attend and participate in events that may be outside our normal comfort range. Doing this can open our minds to new ideas and provide inspiration for business growth.

In that vein, I recently sent a couple of our employees to attend the Online Marketing Summit.

I asked them to come back with a few points that could help folks in the print, mail, and fulfillment industries. Whether it was trends that they thought were important, or sales ideas for selling marketing solutions, I asked them to keep their ears and eyes open. Here is what they found:

Marketers Are Starting To Become Overwhelmed With Data

Yes, it is a multi-channel world. As new channels have emerged, many marketers have dove right in!

This might include social media. Personalized URLs. QR Codes. Web Registration forms. Mobile websites. Email. And more…

However, this has put some marketers in a situation where they now have their data in multiple silos. They have varying records for their customers and prospects in multiple systems and databases that have conflicting data. They are losing time and sales opportunities as they struggle trying to analyze, merge, and streamline the data that’s available to them.

At the conference, many presenters pointed to the fact that marketers need to find ways to take an “integrated marketing” approach to their efforts.

I believe that this presents a tremendous opportunity to service providers. In many cases, printers and mailers have years of experience working with a customer’s data. Also, technology has made it possible for service providers to offer solutions that touch multiple channels in just one solution.

Because of that, I think that service providers can develop new business by demonstrating how they can help to solve their customer’s challenges in regards to silos, multiple databases, and a lack of integration.

Mobile is Red-Hot

There is no doubt that mobile is one of the hottest items in the world of marketing today.

Marketers know that they need to use that channel to communicate with their target audience, but it was quite clear at the Online Marketing Summit that many of them are unsure of how to do that.

Thus, I believe that the opportunity to present integrated solutions that incorporate mobile is a great one for service providers. This may include projects that integrate print and mobile with QR Codes. It could mean mobile website creation and hosting. It also could even mean tasks such as setting up SMS/Text-message alerts for a client.

Mobile is hot, and it is moving fast. Because of that, there is money to be made!

Relevance and ROI Still Make Them Happy

Yes, many of the attendees at the Online Marketing Summit became quite excited when they talked about “new” things. This included the latest social networks — Google+ and Pinterest, anyone? —, smartphones and tablets, and terms such as content marketing.

But in the end, they all recognize one thing — in order to truly be a successful marketer, they need to develop and deliver relevant messaging, and they need to provide and prove that their efforts are producing a good Return on Investment.

Those two marketing fundamentals will never get old and they will never go out of style.

So, if you are a service provider that is looking to sell marketing solutions to your clients, do not shy away from what you can do for them to reach those two goals!

The solution that you provide might include traditional channels that are not as sexy as what’s new. But if it can help a marketer to achieve their overall business objectives, then you are in a great position to help them succeed.

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