Regardless of how effective a salesperson you are, you have no control over the events that stimulate a prospect’s buying behavior. If they don’t have or perceive a need for your product or service, you will never “sell” them. Your challenge, therefore, is to get prospects to think about your company when an external event arises, so you or your salespeople will have the best opportunity to fulfill their need.
For example, a prospect may be expanding operations and need new equipment, may have just had a request for a quotation that requires your product or service, or perhaps their vendor has just had a price increase or botched a delivery. You want to be “in front of them” when that event occurs. So, it is quite clear: Unless you just happen to be making sales calls on the day when one of the above events takes place or your company has the budget for an extensive, ongoing in-print and online advertising campaign, it is difficult to compete for mindshare and maintain a high level of widespread visibility.
You can compete for mindshare and maintain a high level of widespread visibility very cost-effectively, though, by implementing a consistent, ongoing product publicity program which targets a wide range of appropriate magazines and their websites, plus widespread internet distribution.
Al Ries, who wrote “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding,” pointed out. “The publicity message has credibility because it comes from a presumably unbiased source. Furthermore, you expect the media to tell you about things you’ve never heard of. That is what news is all about.” When prospective customers read about your products as news in their industrial and technical magazines and on various websites, it reinforces your brand.
David Meerman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” takes it a step further and writes about the benefits of using publicity to reach customers directly. He wrote, “Don’t just send news releases when big news is happening; find good reasons to send them all the time. And use news releases to drive people into the sales process.”
Whether your customer is an OEM, a distributor seeking a new line, a dealer, or an end-user, publicity is the most cost-effective way to assure that when a prospective customer has a need your product or service fills, you will be visible and “in front” of them.
Today, beyond the above marketing benefits to support sales, widespread product publicity on the internet dramatically improves your likelihood of landing on the first page of organic search results from Google, Bing, Yahoo and other searches.
© 2014 Steven M. Stroum