How far can you reach?

It was once said that, unless you create the perfect mousetrap, nobody will beat a path to your door. As I’ve heard the patter of mousey feet and the gnawing of little teeth at night recently, I would certainly beat a path to find that product myself. But domestic issues aside, unless people know what your business is all about, they will fail to trade with you. It’s that simple. We all buy brands we know about and trust; we buy from people and companies we have heard about. And these days, there are so many ways in which your message can be seen and heard.

One of the most important things to remember in business is DISTRIBUTION. And that means getting products, services and associated messages to the people that matter. Reach is the buzzword in marketing communications at the moment. Traditional media owners, by which I mean printed publications, outdoor, broadcast and exhibitions, are capitalising on all aspects of the media available to support their main route to market and that has benefits to those who use them. We no longer just ask publishers “How many magazines do you print?” but “How wide is the total reach of your publication?” Of course we take figures with a pinch of salt, as we always did when they used to tell us they had 5.25 readers per printed copy, but a healthy social media following and active engagement with consumers gives a good clue as to whether you are using your advertising spend wisely.

At Alpha we have always offered an integrated service, even when it was unfashionable. It makes sense to us to use the same messages and tone of voice consistently across all media; both in terms of cost and in terms of driving home messages and reinforcing brands. You have to be sure that you are sending out the right messages and that they will be seen and heard by the right people. Since 2008, contacts within the media have changed more rapidly than ever before. Those that used to be entrenched in their editorial seats have now moved on, some have become independent, many are bloggers – and the media is no longer the preserve of those with journalistic pedigrees – everyone can join the party. Just look at some of the impressive followings that have been built up by celebrity chefs, as an example. If you are marketing within the food sector, you would do well to watch and engage with these champions of good food. Sports personalities are similar and an off the cuff endorsement can be worth so much to a related product. Magazine editors can also be very useful allies to even small brands – they will often run reader competitions and publicise them on- and off-line to retain reader loyalty which also helps the small brand owner.

But how do we get to these influential people?

The numbers are much larger now that we are trading more globally. It’s no longer enough to drop an email to your local paper or a photo and press release to the trade press. The markets for even the most specialist products and services are widespread and diverse. It could be a full time job trying to source contacts and maintain relationships in a meaningful way. We’ve therefore invested in technology to help us reach further for our clients. We have a sophisticated system that enables us to find and distribute news to the people who matter for each of our clients – and in a cost-effective way. This is not a new concept. We subscribed to a media database for many years but it is only now that access has been made readily available across all channels in such an integrated way

As usual, we have practised as we preach and a recent campaign for our own chocolate brand reached over 250 contacts and achieved responses within minutes – one from a very niche publication that wanted to run a reader competition for us. We could not have known about this publication without the database. We are now looking forward to using the same technology to achieve amazing results for our clients.

So – if you’d like help in elevating the profile of your brand by combining PR with social media to the greatest effect, give us a call. Elaine or Amy on 01743 236631 or elainenester@adm-group.co.uk

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