By Marc Astley

In the beginning there was offline marketing.

Then came online marketing and the two disciplines, mostly, lived a separate existence.

That was until Web 2.0, the growing dominance of Google and social media changed everything.

Or did it?

For you see, most businesses, and marketing companies for that matter, are still operating in 1999.

They splash out a fortune on a smart website without a second thought for the content or the story they are trying to tell.

Then, and only then, they employ a PR firm to help them spread the word.

It’s a scenario the great American marketeer, Seth Godin, dubbed the Meatball Sundae.

By that he meant that the mistake people all too often make is that they have two great ingredients when served on their own but they become a horrible mess when served together.

And that’s the conundrum which still haunts online and offline marketing.

The answer? Go back to the start.

  1. Identify your unique story, why you matter and what makes you stand out.
  2. Make sure your team are on board internally before you even think about addressing the big wide world.
  3. Think about which social media channels are for you. Not all will be.
  4. Now and only now, begin to work on your content and don’t just think words. Pictures, audio and video are becoming increasingly important.
  5. Remember this… Your business is no longer what YOU say it is. It is what your customers believe it to be and tell other people it is.
  6. Now think about how you are going to use that content. Do you need a bells and whistles website or something simple that can drive your social media channels? How can you use this content offline? Think newspaper columns, talks or even letters.
  7. Be your own publisher. Draw up a publishing schedule with key dates and events you can produce content about. Can you repurpose this content for online and offline use.
  8. Be authentic. Don’t pretend to be anything you are not. You will get found out, especially in the world of social media.
  9. Innovate, review and plan. This is a never-ending, ongoing process.
  10. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. Consult an expert. It could save you hours of time and money.

Meatball Sundae anyone?