FITNESS BUSINESS ARTICLES
TECHNOLOGY IN MARKETING: FRIEND OR FOE?
C.J. Hayden, MCC
independent professional should have a web site, an ezine, and an
email marketing strategy, right? If you're not taking maximum
advantage of web technology to market your professional services,
you are behind the times, and missing out on huge opportunities. At
least that's what most
Before email was widely available, marketing newsletters were printed on paper and sent by mail. There's no question that e-mail is a more economical solution for sending a newsletter. Instead of being able to afford only a few hundred newsletters at a cost of $1 or more each, you can send tens of thousands for only pennies. With an ezine, technology can save you money and allow you to extend your marketing reach. This is one of the many ways that web technology can be your friend. Here are some others:
For these reasons and more, it appears that using web technology is an affordable way to reach prospective clients easily. You can potentially attract larger numbers of prospects for fewer dollars than with many more traditional methods of outreach. But there are pitfalls.
Broadcast email can be an efficient solution for following up with prospects who already know about you. But it's a terrible way to introduce yourself to a prospect for the first time. Far too many coaches, consultants, trainers, and other professionals add subscribers to their ezine or autoresponder lists without their permission. Not only is this ineffective as a marketing strategy since most readers simply delete e-mail from people they don't recognize, but it can seriously backfire when someone is offended by your unsolicited mail.
Here are some other ways that using technology in marketing can become your foe:
Web technology is really no different than any other method of marketing your services in that you must judge the appropriateness of each strategy for your unique circumstances. If you find writing to be a chore, perhaps a regular ezine is not the best choice for you. If you only need a few large, local clients each year, you may want a web site for prospects to explore after you contact them, but not spend your money on web directory listings or search engine optimization. Autoresponder reminders may be effective to increase enrollment in public workshops, but not such a good idea to sell in-house training to corporations.
Just because a strategy is the latest and greatest doesn't mean it's the best. Publishing a blog may be terrific if your target market spends a lot of time online, but not so good to reach those who rarely open their browser. Webinars can be an effective tool for attracting high-tech or corporate clients, but not for home business owners or consumers who operate older, slower computers with dial-up Internet access.
Relying completely on technology to bring in clients can also give you a false sense of productivity. When you are writing copy for your web site or setting up autoresponders, you feel like you are taking action about marketing. And these activities can be important behind the scenes steps, but you shouldn't confuse them with direct outreach to prospective clients. Web copy won't make any sales until people see it, and autoresponders will have no effect until people are subscribed to them.
Web technology provides just another set of marketing tools, not a complete solution. Using every marketing tool the web has to offer is not a requirement of doing business. The purpose of your marketing should be to bring you enough clients to earn the level of profit you desire. When marketing technology adds to your bottom line, it's worth employing. When it doesn't, there's no reason to use it.