The last ten years or so have seen an enormous influx of new marketing vehicles. The new technologies that seem to emerge each quarter have reshaped marketing as a whole.
To demonstrate the idea I'll use the analogy of building a campfire.
A quality campfire is constructed by acquiring:
- Sturdy branches for the structure
- Larger logs to grow the fire
- And most important of all, someone to light the flame, and stoke the coals. (Your valued employees)
Once the 'tee-pee' like structure is built and you have your kindle inside of it, invite your friends (your prospects and customers) light it and feed it (launch your site and promote it) until it gets hot enough to ignite the structure.
For this you must keep someone by the fire at all times.
Fill your database with leads by continuously adding content that is useful to your target market and keep your employees working on it until you improve your search engine rankings and increase traffic 'organically'. Content is king, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
Once the structure is ablaze you can start adding the larger logs to the mix, but don't just stack them in there any ol' way, carefully position them relative to the structure and those who have gathered by your small fire.
Once you have the leads coming in then you can start adding value to your brand and drive more traffic by distributing premium content to your subscribers via one-to-one marketing; with relevant email messages as well as other permission based communication like social media groups[like this one] and social networks. Once you've established yourself as an expert and earned the trust of an audience, then, rich media advertising and other targeted ad buys that fit their media usage profiles make more sense.
You've built a structure that can manage and track your sales and marketing together, at this point you can justify these other more costly forms of advertising because you have the ability to test at no extra cost. The feedback loop has become almost instantaneous. Over a much shorter time than it would have been just ten years ago, you are able to truly optimize your product and service offering without having to spend the majority of your time tracking down, and sorting through data. Not to mention all sales/marketing decisions can be weighed against hard data.
And once you've tuned into the right mix of marketing vehicles (fuel) that brings the most buyers, you just have to continue to provide a high level of service (stoke the coals) and your fire will burn a long, long time.