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Lessons to learn from KC agency's digital marketing wins


  Stay connected with on-the-go consumers.

VML, a Kansas City ad agency with 700 employees, had a banner year in 2009 winning such large clients as Gatorade, The Hershey Co. and Waste Management. As reported this morning in the Kansas City Business Journal, "VML's performance in 2009 evolved, in part, from a growing shift in marketing spending toward digital branding."

While you may not have the budget to work with such a large agency, you can take a cue from what VML is doing so successfully. Interactive marketing is among the trends to not only watch, but to be a part of, in 2010 to boost your marketing effectiveness and to wisely spend your budget. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Share and share alike. Find a couple of blogs or news outlets focused on your industry. Submit content and posts relevant to discussions and insert an RSS feed on your website so your visitors have something new to read and will be interested to return to time and time again.

Update your email strategy. If you still use an e-newsletter format, ask your readers what they are interested in, how often they want to hear from you, and what subjects they would like you to talk about. Segment your audiences using this information and create campaigns targeted to those customers' wants and needs.

Consider the economy. Consumers are more budget-conscious than ever today and interested in savings and finding good deals. Have you updated your website and paid search ads to cash in on this trend? Adding phrases like "lowest price," "meet or beat competitors in pricing," or "best deal for your money" to your pay-per-click ads and in your website copy for search engine optimization will help more people find you on the major search engines.

Get social. You might not have all of the answers to how to use social media to benefit your business in the best way, but guess what? No one does. It is such a new, emerging marketplace that you are only hurting yourself by not diving in. If you don't start working in the social media realm soon, you might find yourself chasing to catch up to your competitors later. Here are a few ways some sites can be useful:

  • LinkedIn is invaluable in building and maintaining good B2B relationships and can open doors to new partnerships or opportunities through the community forums you can join.
  • Facebook can let you engage with customers in an invitation-only setting. Try offering discounts or specials to fans of your page.
  • Twitter is a useful way to see how other people reference your company and can help you spot trends that you can use to your advantage in the marketplace.
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