Long Term Marketing Strategies

Is Your Marketing Helium or Technetium?

With the explosion in marketing channels and tactics, modern-day marketers face challenges to creating and maintaining effective long-term strategies. Get a grip on long-term marketing success by considering these factors.

By C&EN Media Group

Helium is a stable element; technetium is not. Since our blog is titled Marketing Elements, we wanted to break down the elements that go into effective long-term marketing strategies. Cute, we know.

So when you get right down to it, is your marketing plan based on sustainable, long-term growth, or boom and bust cycles? There are strategic times and places for flash-in-the-pan marketing tactics, but all tactics become more effective when executed as part of a larger, more comprehensive plan. Here are a few points to consider as you plan for the long-term.

Avoid Using Tactics as Strategy

For the modern-day marketer, there are a hundred different marketing channels and tactics to consider, and traditional advertisers need to contemporize and adapt with the rest of the industry.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and even Snapchat provide new and ever-evolving touchpoints to connect with your audience. Digital marketers are constantly enhancing paid search (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), and programmatic advertising efforts to gain exposure in front of the right people. Content marketers face new questions as the field explodes in popularity.

With all of these avenues and tactics available to advertisers, it becomes easy to add tactics to your plan without considering if they make sense for your business. Each tactic should contribute to the larger goal—and if it doesn’t, you run to put out fire after fire without being sure your work is paying off.

Selectively choosing the right tactics that fit with your strategy – and resources – is important if you want to build long-term marketing success.

Choose Tactics Based on Your Audience

Does an original equipment manufacturer need to maintain an active presence on Instagram? Maybe, depending on their specific audience, but probably not.

Remember that not every tactic is the best fit for every industry. In a highly technical space, mass-market B2C platforms like Instagram might not be as effective as another. If scientists aren’t using a platform, targeting them there is ineffective.

A key first question as you develop or realign your marketing strategy is: where does my audience look for information?

In the sciences, trade shows and print advertising can be more effective at targeting niche audiences. Inbound marketing approaches can target extremely technical keywords, confident that the people they reach are the right people—potential customers.

It doesn’t necessarily mean forego Instagram, but your strategy must be very on point, and supportive of other initiatives. Do you have a photographer that can post interesting and unexpected images of your equipment? Or the internal resources and platforms to launch a quiz that’ll do well as an Instagram Story – and get you a few leads for a newsletter? Will the time and money you put in to the channel take you away from the initiatives that actually would secure a purchase of million-dollar lab equipment?

If you want to experiment, work with a publisher who can run sponsored content on their own channel. There are more ways to leverage a new channel besides launching your own account.

Choose Tactics Based on Your Business Model

Does your business rely on a high number of customers spending relatively small amounts, or a small number of customers with large deal sizes? What’s your customer retention and lifetime value (LTV)? What’s the customer acquisition cost (CAC) of each marketing channel?

Of course, business models can be significantly more complicated than the answers to these questions. But these questions serve as a useful starting point—what’s the utility of each marketing tactic for your business?

If you’re a contract manufacturer that brings on only a few clients every year, it may be more worthwhile to employ tactics focused on building strong, one-on-one relationships.

On the other hand, a syringe manufacturer could derive a great deal of benefit from search optimization—deals are sometimes too small to pursue individually, and SEO is an approach that scales well for commodities.

Some tactics can be used across different business models, even if their execution looks different. An equipment manufacturer might use blog content to attract new customers, but a software provider could use blog content to help train customers with their product and improve retention.

We just got through talking about Instagram, but though it’s a platform often less used for customer acquisition in the sciences, it can be a valuable tool to recruit new talent.

Base Decisions on Long-Term Success

Your overall marketing strategy and supporting tactics will depend on the specifics of your business. Regardless of the tactics you choose to employ, basing your choices on characteristics of your business model and your audience will help your marketing elements stabilize over time.

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