Let’s just jump right into the heart of the matter here. Marketing is two faced (in a good way though, I promise). There’s internal marketing and external marketing and each have their role in building your business.
External Marketing utilizes media and campaigns that reach an audience you’ve not met. It’s a platform to introduce your company to potential clients and attract their attention to your business rather than someone else. An example of external marketing sources are industry websites, magazines, bridal shows, radio ads, television ads, networking groups. These mediums are the essential bridge between you and your new clients.
Internal Marketing on the other hand is the marketing you do to clients once they’ve found you through your external marketing initiatives. They’ve found you via, let’s say a bridal magazine, and now is your chance to really sell them. An example of internal marketing sources are email campaigns, brochures, your own website, an open house, and in some cases direct mail pieces.
Internal marketing is where custom publishing brochures can be found too. A custom published brochure, often promoted as your very own magazine in which your preferred vendors all contribute “advertising” to, is not a form of external marketing and should never take the place of one. Its home is in your office, therefore it’s internal. If you never participated in a lick of external marketing, you’d never have a new potential client to give it to. And, like I discussed last week, if you relied on word of mouth to bring in those new clients, you never know when or how long you may be waiting. I digress.
While a custom published brochure is a professional representation of your company they are widely mistaken as a replacement for print and other external marketing sources. And that is a surefire way of missing out on a lot of new leads. Let’s be honest here, unless your brochure is sold at major bookstore retailers, is handed out to brides at every single bridal show, attracts thousands of online visitors to it’s website each month, and is distributed at hundreds of other retailers and commercial outlets… it’s NOT an external marketing piece.
While I do not discredit the use of custom publishing brochures as integral marketing pieces, I do think their role and the exact place they fit into your marketing plan has been misunderstood for too long. So that you are not confused, I’ve created this crafty diagram of the sales pipeline that shows just where external and internal marketing has it’s place.
Now, image if you relied only on your brochures and did not integrate them with external marketing. You’d miss out on a lot of new leads. Sales pipelines are long and though you may never interact with a potential client until the interest/evaluation stage, that doesn’t mean your external marketing is not out there actively working to bring you new business. Removing your external marketing for a custom publishing brochure essentially cuts your pipelines in half thus drastically reducing your audience and leaves you with a short, stubby, whiny “I’m not getting enough leads & the referrals aren’t coming in” or (gasp) empty pipeline. An empty pipeline equals an empty bank account.
In life, anything well balanced is a good thing. Diets don’t go well without exercising and brochures are pretty much useless if you don’t have new leads to give them to.