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How to use the promotion mix if your business is related to distribution

Yuriy Pavlyuk, speaker and consultant on integrated Internet marketing, shares his experience of promoting a distribution company in social networks and using targeted advertising; explains the advantages of the promotion mix strategy
One of my main marketing activities is related to a distribution company. The peculiarity (read: complexity) of this business is not only that there is a lot of competition (especially for top vendors). Often, all distributors have almost the same prices, this is closely monitored (both “from above” and each other) and rigidly suppressed attempts to dump. In addition, many advertising channels are blocked: sometimes you can’t use the vendor’s logo in the banner, and in the context — commercial keys for the product. Finally, we can’t directly influence the product itself.

In such difficult conditions, almost any distribution works. And in B2B, the solution to this problem with an asterisk is generally known. Take not a discount, but a service. To be dragged not by price, but by value. After all, customers in surplus markets do not buy where it is cheaper, but where it is more convenient, faster, more adequate, more polite, more expert, less problems.

All this leaves a serious imprint on absolutely all marketing activities, as well as on the relationship between them. Therefore, the promotion mix comes to the forefront. And this is not a beautiful name/justification for chaos, but a strategy that resembles chaos, because it is very difficult to imagine it as an attractive and static flowchart.

Realizing the inefficiency of classical approaches to lead generation, the company in which I am responsible for all digital marketing, refused Pyrrhic victories. For example, in advertising auctions. Fortunately, primary traffic attraction is not the biggest problem. And the behavior of our target audience is such that you will be found, even if you are on the second page of search results.

As a result, we changed our approach to targeted and contextual advertising. For most, it is just an annoying reminder that a potential customer has probably already seen when they first visited the site. We advertise something else: we gradually and persistently broadcast our really important utps for the target audience. Including reseller statuses, especially if it is Gold or Platinum.

We have learned how to demonstrate expertise best through webinars (they have also become a good lead generation tool). We do not refuse to perform in specialized online publications, although the effectiveness of such PR is sometimes difficult to measure. If possible, we participate in specialized exhibitions, conferences and other business events, and do not forget to collect contacts, then transferring clients from offline to online.

Despite the difficult business theme, we are constantly increasing our subscriber base in social networks. There are already more than 11,000 of them in total. And so that people do not get discouraged from the posts of the commercial plan, every week we organize some “movement”. From recent — popular now “Chinese equation” (with the identity of several manufacturers) and “vendorvord” (a modernized version of the crossword, where the names of companies are encrypted).

An important detail of the content plan for SMM: materials about people who work in the company. About how they came and developed in the profession. About their Hobbies. On values and goals… according to statistics, such posts gain almost the maximum number of reactions and generally support the company’s image, making its basic principles clear, and not just declared.

I would like to emphasize that the above mentioned and many other marketing activities rarely fit into any static and step-by-step scheme or funnel. Rather, it is simultaneously working on all fronts, which also help each other. For example, event announcements become an infopod for segmented e-mail distribution and telemarketing. And webinar entries add to the YouTube channel and social media posts.

And almost every marketing tool is involved in creating and meeting demand, forming and maintaining the company’s image, increasing LTV, expanding within existing customers and competing for new ones. In practice (and in statistics, of course, too), we see how diverse users ‘ paths are within the decision-making cycle. And more than once, a major deal started with a cold (through targeted advertising) invitation to an online presentation of a new product.

As a result of using the promotion mix, we see a constant increase in the number of brand queries in search engines in synthetic metrics. And in terms of image and financial indicators — the reputation of one of the fastest growing companies in Russia in its segment, which closes every year with a significant increase in turnover.

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