The debate about frequency of marketing outreach continues. You want to stay in touch with your prospects often enough to make sure they don’t forget you, yet you don’t want to be a pest. Is daily, weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual contact best? Just like with other marketing issues and the resulting decisions, the answer to the question about what is best is, “it depends.”
Marketing Outreach Factors
There are many factors that impact strategic frequency of contact planning and marketing outreach. They include:
- The type of product/service being offered. If a company sells a commodity item, frequent contact is unlikely to be seen as an intrusion. It’s simply a matter of keeping your name in the public’s eye so that when a need arises, your company is well-positioned. If, on the other hand, a company sells a customized or specialized product or service, the time for making a buying decision is less frequent and therefore, marketing communications should follow suit.
- The nature of existing relationships. When company representatives have met prospects or customers in person, talked to contacts on the phone and are currently involved in a dialogue or some part of the sales process, it is more important to customize frequency of contact. If a company has never engaged in a dialogue with a prospect, the frequency of email marketing and social media outreach increases.
- Size of your target markets. If a company operates in a niche marketplace, less frequency may trump greater frequency. That’s because customized personal outreach via phone or in-person visits might be more effective when dealing with a specialized clientele.
- The level of the contact within the company. When companies are targeting individuals who have operational, but not strategic or executive responsibilities, frequency of contact might be higher. As the level of contact goes up, frequency of contact may need to be adjusted.
- Seasonal considerations. Some companies make buying decisions on an as-needed basis, while others make annual decisions once new budgets have been proposed and approved, whether on a calendar or fiscal year basis. There are other products/services that have specific time frames for making decisions, such as preparing tax returns, when the board of directors meets, and when other contracts come up for renewal. Additionally, holidays, vacations, conferences and tradeshow seasons can impact how and when to communicate with a specific target audience.
While some marketers might always opt for more frequent contact, it is important to consider operational issues along with the strategic ones. For example, how well staffed is your marketing department? Have there been recent changes in personnel? Is the company on target to reach its performance goals? What does the business development department want and need?
Strategic Frequency of Marketing Outreach
How companies reach out to prospects directly affects how often contact should be initiated. For example, if phone calls are the primary form of outreach, weekly or monthly contact is likely too intrusive. Therefore, it is important to expand the ways you reach out to your clients and prospects. Options include postcards, personal notes, emails, videos, etc. Mix up the forms of contact to create interest. The key is to bring relevant, interesting and valuable content to any contact.
As we enter the second half of 2015, it’s a good time to reassess marketing communications outreach goals. Determine what the next steps are to ensuring the corporate growth your company seeks.