Drip Marketing

October 19, 2010

According to About.com, drip marketing is a direct marketing strategy that involves sending out several promotional pieces over a period of time to a subset of sales leads. The phrase drip marketing comes from the common phrase used in agriculture and gardening called “drip irrigation.” This is the process of watering plants or crops.

Marketing tactics for Alliance Partners can vary widely, but I do advocate that you look at a way of staying in regular communication with your customers and prospects.

Drip Marketing Mediums

Wikipedia claims that the main mediums for Drip Marketing are:

E-mail. The most commonly used form of drip marketing is E-mail marketing, due to the low cost associated with sending multiple messages over time. Email drip marketing is often used in conjunction with a Form (web) in a method called an Autoresponder. In this method, a lead completes the form on a company’s website and is then enrolled in a drip marketing campaign with messaging appropriate to the form’s context.

Direct Mail. Although more costly, direct mail software has been developed that enables drip marketing techniques using standard postal mail. This technology relies on digital printing, where low-volume print runs are cost justifiable, and the variable data can be merged to personalize each drip message.

Social Media. The principles of Drip Marketing have been applied in many social media marketing tools to schedule a series of updates. One popular tool, HootSuite, allows users to time messages and dissemenate via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and several other social media sites simultaneously.

Plan of Action

Drip marketing is it requires a plan of action. By creating this plan and following it throughout the year you can guarantee consistent with your marketing. To get started:

  • Step 1: Develop your Plan (Plan something EVERY month)
  • Step 2: Strategize the Execution of Your Plan
  • Step 3: Decide who your Target is.
  • Step 4: Create consistency by developing your slogan or phrase. Then place it on every promotional and marketing piece.

You want to be careful not to just ‘spam’ your database. So, make sure that your content is relavant with an intent to educate them about the types of applications and solutions you provide. Success stories are nice, but so is a thoughtful article about the challenges that your customers face. If you are interested in reading more, there is a good article at  Drip Marketing: Slow and Steady Wins the Customer.

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Five Most Important Marketing Investments (Part 2)

August 24, 2010

This week, we continue to describe  the 5 highest marketing priorities according to TREW Marketing, a full services marketing firm that focuses specifically on engineering and scientific companies, who gave a great session on Alliance Day.

3. Search Engine Marketing

Search engines are most popular tool for engineers and scientists to research a topic. Yet, over half of the Alliance Partners surveyed are unaware of their search engine performance for key terms that describe their products and services. There are basically two approaches to search engine marketing:

  • Natural relevancy – is the search engines own ability to identify and rank the content from your web site. Basically, you are looking for ways to optimize the content on your web site including metatags, page and section titles, even your web address. You can also improve your ranking by having your content linked to from other site (e.g. ni.com).
  • Pay-per-click advertising – again there is a lot of material out there on this topic. It starts by picking good keywords. More likely a combination of key words that narrows the respondents to those that would legitimately be interested in your products and services.

There are entire presentations on this topic (including one given on Alliance Day). I’ll try to summarize the content from that session in an upcoming blog post.

4. Leveraging NI Marketing

National Instrument provides a number of ways for Alliance Partners to marketing their products, systems, and services. Yet, over 70% of those surveyed do not believe that they are taking full advantage of these opportunities.

  • The Alliance Directory – This is the central repository for information about Alliance Partners and their products systems and services. For more information on how to keep it up to date, click here.
  • New Community Tools – At NIWeek, NI announced new tools in our on-line NI Community that greatly enhance Alliance Partners capabilities to promote themselves on ni.com. By creating a ‘group’ for their company, they can add ‘documents’ for their complementary products, systems, services and solutions. Unlike using the current Alliance Directory profiles (which are limited to text descriptions), Alliance Partners can add graphics, videos, pdfs, and examples to enhance their descriptions.
  • NI Campaigns and Product Marketing – Of course, NI has its own marketing campaigns and activities. So, if you can help extend NI’s platforms or demonstrate how their use in customer solutions, then may be interested in highlighting your content. TREW Marketing recommends that you build relationships with the key stakeholders for those business areas. And be ‘marketing-ready’ if NI shows interest.

5. E-newsletters

Last, but not least, TREW Marketing recommends that Alliance Partners use an e-newsletter to nurture leads for the long-term. By staying in regular contact with your customers, you can stay on the top of their minds. And by going electronic, you can drive them back to your web site to leverage existing content as well as measure traffic and response. Similar to design concepts for your web site, your e-newletter should have a clean design, headings that grab your attention, and concise content with links for more information.

Thanks again to our friends at TREW Marketing for sharing their insights. If you would like further information about their presentation or assistance with your own marketing efforts, contact them at trewmarketing.com.