I recently had a conversation with someone who needed a follow-up marketing piece. He’d had several meetings with prospects and was looking for something to send to remind them of his presentation. My first suggestion was to send the prospects to his website, but when I suggested this he said he had decided to take down his website several years back because he had not gotten any business from it (a separate issue I could have resolved if he’d been interested). As a follow up, I asked about how he did get business without a website, and he replied that all of his company’s business came from networking efforts. That was his single channel for marketing.
Over the past month every business owner using a single channel marketing strategy has discovered the harsh reality of that strategy: If anything disrupts the channel your new business development will drop significantly, and it could drop to zero. Guaranteed. Personal (person-to-person) channels like networking, affiliate marketing, and referrals are particularly vulnerable since there is more that can disrupt these channels and they take longer to recover, But it is not wise to use a single channel strategy no matter how bulletproof that channel appears to be. When you set a strategy, it needs to fit the level of lead and revenue generation you need to keep your business growing. A limited number of channels means your reach and the number of touches will be more limited.
Some channels are more resilient than others. Pay per Click, for example, will drop off if search volumes drop, but should snap back as soon as they increase again. Personal channels, in contrast, take longer to develop and are very susceptible to things like a relocation of your business, or a shift in your target demographic – neither of which is uncommon as your business grows.
Affordability and budget are the main reasons I hear from the business owners who use a single channel approach. This approach will work to a point, but it is not a good long term strategy and it is important for you to have a plan for the second, third, and even fourth channel to add to it as you gain traction to continue building on the momentum created. These days with the affordability of email marketing and Customer Experience Automation (CXA) platforms there is little reason to not have a second channel to back up your networking efforts. Some channels work better with others, but adding a second channel just might prove to be the difference between weathering a rough patch in the economy or closing up your business.
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