We all think we understand the goal of good marketing: To get the word out about what our business has to offer. But with every business in the world trying to do the same thing, there are a lot of marketing “voices” yelling at consumers all the time, and it can be hard to stand out. But keeping a few basic ideas in mind when setting out to craft your marketing plan can really make a difference and spur growth.
- Know Your Audience: Picture yourself trying to talk to a client about a new service you offer. It’s the world’s most amazing scuba diving setup — you can stay underwater for days! It’s practically a miracle. No matter what you say, the client isn’t interested. The problem? He’s a fish. Now, yes, that’s a silly example. But it drives home the very important point we’re trying to make here. You need to know not only the demographic group you need to reach, but make sure they are the group you are actually reaching on the channels you’re working through. Don’t try to reach a teen audience through the newspaper classified ads, and don’t craft a SnapChat campaign for retirees looking to move somewhere secluded to escape form the rat race.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment: On the other hand, what if there are thriving groups of octogenarians using Instagram to share pictures of their hiking adventures? Couple your experimentation with solid research, and you may undercover an underserved niche in your market.
- Branding, branding, branding: You’ve heard this before, but it’s worth repeating and expounding upon. Everything your company does should further its brand. That means your tone on Facebook is part of your branding strategy, just as much as the colors in your logo. Keep branding top of mind in every single marketing move you make, and ensure that employees do, too.
- Make Personal Connections: Today’s successful marketing campaigns feel persona. People want to know that you get them. Recent viral anecdotes about companies telling customers to donate clothes that don’t fit instead of mailing them back (the customers still received and exchange or refund) are an excellent example of how something that’s really a companywide policy can feel personal to consumers. If you can’t personalize your marketing, give it warmth.
- Focus on What Flies: Don’t spread yourself in a hundred different directions, hoping to find 50 that stick. Find some marketing strategies that make sense, then commit to the ones that work and give them a solid chance. You can always do more later. If you do too much at once, you may be condemning good ideas to fail along with the bad.