©2011 John Berthot Used by permission.
Question: What is the best way to seamlessly integrate marketing and sales?
“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” – The American Marketing Association
The art of sales is converting prospects gained from your marketing efforts into clients. Part of the skill of integrating your sales and marketing is to provide clarity and an effective reason as to why your prospective client should place a monetary value on what it is you’re marketing. Your client needs to have a distinct reason why they should purchase your products and services over others offering similar products and services.
First Things First: Do Your Research
The first step I take to integrate my talent’s marketing and sales is to create a one year plan with an outline of their quarterly direct marketing goals, where I rotate email promotions with print promotions that augment each other. When it comes to creating a successful marketing plan, I make sure I clearly understand the type of potential clients who would be most receptive to the artist’s vision and final product. We work together to develop materials that specifically appeal to the target audience. My goal is to create marketing promotions that create desire to hire my talent.
Of course, it takes time to produce my “clear vision” of prospective clients. Before presenting any material, I research advertising agencies, design studios and editorial firms to create a targeted client list. I tend to look through a database to see which firms are producing work that is relevant to the artist I represent.
I also spend time looking through ad agency websites, as well as magazines to see new campaigns that are using similar images – I take note whenever I come across relevant work, which I mention in my phone call with the client later on. It is important to indicate your knowledge of what the client is working on and provide a specific example of how they could benefit from hiring you, or your represented photographer or illustrator.
Next Step: Establish Trust With Clients
After the research phase is complete and promotions are sent out, I follow up with a phone call to each potential client to get their feedback within two weeks of a promotion being sent. My end goal is always to try and arrange a meeting for the photographer with a potential client. Face-to-face meetings are the single best way to establish trust between prospective clients and talent.
A yearly marketing plan provides my artists and I with a consistent plan to follow through on. It enables me to objectively analyze results, which, if needed, I use to determine the best way to tweak the strategy. I find this is the most time and energy-efficient way to obtain the best results.
On a “Final” Note: Keep In-Touch
It is important to spend the extra effort to keep communication open with existing clients and to not take them for granted. These marketing efforts can focus on congratulating them on promotions, noteworthy campaigns and any personal milestones you may be aware of.
Be aware that it takes time to integrate your marketing with your sales. Develop a consistent plan and stick with it. Do not be discouraged when your efforts do not pay off immediately – remember you are building your brand’s awareness. Trust is a process. Tenacity and perseverance, as well as a willingness to adapt based on changing market conditions, are the keys to turning your marketing efforts into sales.
John Berthot has over 15 years of photography experience, and an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts. Among other positions, he has been a Photographer's Agent at Stockland Martel and an Advertising Director at Magnum Photos. He has been a creative consultant for the last two years, founding Focus in 2009. He brings his extensive experience in assisting photographers on all aspects of commercial, editorial and fine art photography. FOCUS
©2011 John Berthot