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Is Your Business Relying on Pinata Marketing?

What is “Piñata Marketing”? We have all been to a birthday party and seen the joy as kids take turns swinging a bat with a blindfold, hoping to make contact so candy sprays out. And while piñatas are a fun activity for celebrations, they are NOT a marketing strategy… or at least not a very effective one.

For years, given the tools at our disposal, the “piñata” approach may have been our best approach. Companies had teams of people taking lots of swings, from multiple directions, hoping to make contact and collect the candy. And that worked well enough in 1980s and 90s, when we still had phones attached to a wall, contacts were stored in a paper Rolodex, and quotes were shoved into a filing cabinet in the back room. But since then, you’ve likely ditched your filing cabinets in favor of a digital platform. You’ve hopefully got your contacts stored in a database and even accessible from your cell phone. So maybe it’s time to upgrade your marketing strategy to meet modern customer expectations.

The alternative to the “piñata” is targeted marketing. It’s exponentially more efficient and cost effective; it takes off the blindfold so you can swing with precision. It allows you to connect directly with your potential customer in a meaningful and personalized way. With targeted marketing, you’ll connect with not just any customer, but a customer that has a high probability of doing business with you AND one that’s high value. You can even measure the ROI and calculate with precision where to take the next swing. Certainly, this is critical when leveraging marketing tools of the digital age, like social media, SEO, and email blasts, but also works well with traditional marketing channels like trade shows, print ads, and cold calling.

To use targeted marketing successfully, you need the right tools and accurate data. You need a comprehensive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. It’s not hard to cost-justify CRM when you consider every “swing” costs your company time and money. But beware! Not all CRMs are the same… in fact, some are nothing but a digital version of your desktop Rolodex from 1985. So, make sure you choose a CRM that can integrate with your marketing tools, like web forms and email blasts. Make sure it’s customizable so you can track the specific data points you’ll need to market with accuracy. And finally, make sure it has reporting and dashboard capabilities that allow analysis with just a few clicks. Over time, you’ll have a wealth (pun intended!) of information to perform targeted marketing by industry type, customer size, job title, revenue figures, and feedback on what campaigns have been a success. You will also be able to analyze your existing customer base to see who you should be targeting in the first place. You can then schedule call backs, check-ins, reminders, follow ups, and personalized campaigns. A good CRM can automate much of the process, so you can focus on selling instead of chasing dead-ends or doing admin work and building manual reports.

Piñatas offer a lot of fun on festive occasions but fail as a marketing strategy. It’s time to take off the blindfold, stop spinning in circles, and start taking calculated swings with laser-like precision. It will cost you less in the long run, and let’s face it… one of your competitors is probably using targeted marketing on your prospects right now, or worse yet, on one of your current customers!


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