360 marketing is a communication strategy that relies on all relevant channels for the brand. Therefore, through a 360 marketing approach, it is necessary to identify and activate all the communication channels to reach prospects and customers. In this article, you will find a complete tableau of all the communication means according to the objectives pursued. If you are new to 360 marketing, take a look at our 5-step 360 marketing plan.
- Marketing 360: definition
- How to select the right communication channels?
- Define the content of your 360 marketing plan
- A 360 marketing plan in 5 steps for SMEs
- Is it essential to have a 360 marketing plan?
Marketing 360: definition
The idea of 360 marketing is to communicate in all directions, that is to say, to reach customers and prospects where they are by using the appropriate communication channels. The objective of 360 marketing is to increase your company’s notoriety. With a 360 marketing plan, you make your prospects aware that you exist and allow them to contact you. This is called inbound marketing. It is the customers who contact you.
However, implementing a 360 marketing plan requires that you have content to distribute and, above all, that you have powerful arguments to put forward. You will have to promote your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and your difference.
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How to select the relevant communication channels?
Selecting the relevant channels implies that you know your targets. In other words, you need to have a picture of your ideal customer. This is called the buyer persona.
You also need to define your objectives:
- Awareness: is your objective to make yourself known and increase your awareness?
- Lead Generation: Should your 360 marketing plan help you find prospects
Conversion: Is your goal to convert your leads into customers by providing them with the correct information at the right time?
- Loyalty: Is 360 marketing a way for you to maintain relationships with existing customers and build loyalty?
There is an unsuspected variety of communication channels. To convince yourself of this, look at the examples we have included in the “promotion” chapter of our guide on the marketing mix.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the most commonly used channels or methods and the objectives they can meet.
|Channel of communication||Objectives||Type of target||Explications|
|Newsletters||Conversion, Loyalty||B2B & B2C||Newsletters are a very effective tool to maintain the link with your prospects and build loyalty. They work in B2B as well as in B2C.
To build loyalty, you must make sure to distribute original content with high added value. Otherwise, your opening rate and your click rate may suffer.
|Blog||Awareness, Lead Generation||B2B & B2C||Blogs have never been more relevant. They allow you to deploy a content strategy that will benefit your SEO. The secret to increasing your visibility is to publish regularly (at least once a week). The effects will be noticeable after 12 months.|
|Online publicity||Lead Generation||B2B & B2C||Online advertising can nowadays take many forms. If banners are no longer very topical, the focus is instead on targeted advertising to privilege the recruitment of prospects.|
|Social media||Awareness, Lead Generation||Rather B2C||The multitude of social networks requires a specific analysis using the most suitable network(s). Besides targeted advertising, creative forms of communication exist in partnerships with influencers (see the example of Rimac here).|
|Television||Awareness, Lead Generation||B2B & B2C||Communicating on television can be done in several ways: advertising of course, but also product placement or highlighting in a report.|
|Radio||Awareness, Lead Generation||B2C for general radios
B2B for business-oriented radios
|Radio remains an important medium. Europeans listen to it on average 3 hours a day. Less expensive than television, it is a “mass media” that can reach a lot of people. The persistence of the information will however depend on the repetition of the advertising message.|
|Out Of Home (OOH)||Awareness, Lead Generation||B2C||The OOH channel is no longer limited to 4×3 posters. There is now a multitude of OOH media. However, this medium is still very specific to B2C and only in rare cases can it be used to target a specific category of prospects.|
|Press||Awareness, Lead Generation||B2C for the general public press
B2B for the business press
|Press communication is not limited to advertising. Most newspapers and magazines now open their columns to “brand content”, i.e. sponsored articles.|
|Podcasts||Awareness, Lead Generation||B2B||Podcasts have become a communication channel in their own right. It’s a fast-growing medium that has yet to find its place, but is particularly suited to B2B and (relatively) inexpensive to produce.|
|Street marketing||Awareness||B2C||Street marketing operations are an interesting approach to reach consumers where they are. Keep in mind that permissions may be required.|
Define the content of your 360° marketing plan
The first thing to remember about content is it must be adapted to the channel. It is unthinkable to consider a 360 marketing plan based on a single message in this day and age.
Therefore, knowing your buyer persona is a prerequisite to selecting the most appropriate communication channels. The definition of the buyer persona is a possible output of market research. The latter will also allow you to know the needs of each target better. This is how you will define the content you consider most likely to interest the targets.
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For small and medium-sized businesses that would like to lay the foundation for a 360 marketing plan, we advise the following steps:
- Start a blog and publish 1 article per week of 700 words on average
- Post your content on LinkedIn from your profile page
- Add a link to a podcast and produce one episode per month
- Set up a monthly newsletter to build a loyal readership
- Invest a few hundred Euros in targeted advertising on Facebook / Instagram (B2C) or LinkedIn (B2B) to increase reach
Is it necessary to implement a 360 marketing plan?
Not every company can implement a 360 marketing strategy. This type of strategy requires allocating resources to activities that will only pay off long-term. The ROI (Return On Investment) of all-out communication activities is low. Therefore, it is preferable to focus on specific channels in some cases.
If you want to develop your inbound marketing, the first channel to activate is the blog. This media only requires time (yours) to thrive. There are also offers to write this content for you if you lack time.
We advise you to couple blogging with a brand podcast (B2B podcast). This will allow you to get some synergies between the 2 media by reusing the audio content on your blog.
If you are in B2B, distribute your content on LinkedIn (see here our research on the factors that condition virality on LinkedIn). In B2C, Facebook (and Instagram if your products are visual) are the essential social networks.
Posted in Strategy.