A common question is, “how do I get my product or service known?” In many cases, the thought is that create the produce/service and the customers will come. Well this isn’t the Field of Dreams and this approach is not one I would bank on. Also, others get behind one type of marketing activity and think the sales will sky rocket. Unfortunately rarely does this happen as the method selected may not appeal to your entire potential audience.
So how should you determine the best strategy? To develop a strong marketing strategy, you have to go through some soul searching first:
- Customer level (Who?)
- Budget level (How much?)
- Activity level (What, Where & When?)
First, be specific about who is your customer. Is this person B2B, B2C? Is this a specific function in a company (i.e. IT Manager) or member of the household (i.e. Mom)? Too many great product or services get presented to a broad audience. Get down to the best possible customer or prospect that you believe cannot live without your solution and your journey for success can start.
Once you figure out your ideal customer, you will be able to determine what methods are most appealing and obtaining the appropriate contact information is required. You can rent countless lists to use for mail, email, phone, etc. that fits your ideal description very closely. These lists can provide all the relevant data to make the communications happen. For methods like TV, you can pinpoint the regions that possess your ideal audience.
Next, the money question… it is difficult to determine how much to spend. It is always recommended to spend between 3-10% of sale (actual or projected). Getting your product/service discovered is not a cheap endeavor, but highly rewarding when correctly planned and executed. Even activities deemed free (i.e. passing out flyers) are not free when you attach an expense to your time or calculate the price of collateral production.
Make sure you determine an amount you are comfortable spending. Keep in mind that marketing is a continuous process. So your budget mindset should be long-term, like paying a mortgage. Marketing will require producing activities, collecting results, and using those marketing analytics results to adjust the strategy and doing it all over again. This commitment to communicating to customers and prospects on a consistent basis will provide the best opportunity for the success you are looking for. McDonald’s provides a brand and offering well ingrained in all of us, but that doesn’t stop them from advertising to stay front of mind.
Finally, the ever important activity list…yes campaign, not single activity. When done well, this is determined by the prior two steps. What methods appeal to your audience? A household solution may gain response via ads on TV, mail, newspaper, etc. A business solution may gain a response via ads on email blasts, mail, sales call, etc. When developed with a focused approach, a powerful plan can be achieved.
Back to “one size doesn’t fit all;” you have to get comfortable producing a plan with many simultaneous activities. Like in your life, what appeals to you may not appeal to your neighbor. For this reason, you will have to send the same message in many forms to get noticed. Another benefit to this approach is it takes about 6-10 exposures before you brand/product/service gets noticed. So developing a multi-activity marketing campaign allows you to overcome these obstacles.
In the end, leveraging a marketing organization to help you determine the correct mix for you can be a great way to developing this plan. First, that and why they exist and just like you are an expert in the product and/or service you would like to sell, let marketing experts help you develop a plan. You still are the ultimate decision maker on how you will advertise and where your resources will be directed.
If you need help with planning a strategy, contact us and we’d love to help!