You wouldn’t think about trying to drill a hole with a hammer, or knock a nail in with a pair of tweezers.
So why do people persist in trying to connect with particular audiences using precisely the wrong tools?
Businesses trying to promote very niche business-to-business products or services via Facebook or Instagram for example – it might work in some industries, but in most it would be a waste of time.
Using those platforms to promote to lifestyle products and services to consumers – now that is a smart idea … if done correctly of course. Yet trying to connect with a young audience on a platform that is ‘so last century’! Well that’s not so clever.
In a similar vein – certain messages can be delivered quickly with a short strapline, sharp sentence or even a joke, whilst other messages take longer to explain. So you need to think about where to place the different types of messages that could have the power to become the key to your business success. You also need to think about how your different messages and communications channels will work together to create an effective marketing mix for your business. One that really engages your target audience and drives quality enquiries to your business, rather than seeing all your hard work and expensive brochures, website and social campaigns being ignored.
How many times have you seen a message on Twitter that makes no sense at all? The person posting the message may only have 160 characters, but it is important to think about who might be reading that post – and if only a handful of people (or perhaps just one other person) stands a chance of knowing what you are talking about then really you shouldn’t be broadcasting to the masses, but instead using direct messages or having private conversations – otherwise potential customers may see your brand as being completely alien to them.
So how do you identify the right tools and messages for the job when it comes to marketing?
Firstly you need to know a few basic rules, secondly you need to understand your customers and thirdly you need to track and measure how your business is performing in different areas.
So let’s take the basic rules first. Before starting any marketing activity you need a plan. And in order to create that plan you need to think carefully about exactly what you are selling, who you are selling it to – and most importantly why they might want it. Next you need to consider where and when you might be able to find those potential customers in a receptive mood to listen to what you want to tell them about your product or service.
Once you have identified some answers to those basic questions, you then need to think about how to get their attention. People and businesses with disposable income or budgets are usually busy individuals, so you need to appeal to something that’s important to them – and to do that you need to really understand that target audience.
A good place to start is to look at your existing or past customers. How did you initially connect with them? Are they the kind of customers you would want more of – or are they too much hard work for too little return? What kind of person might be more suited to your most profitable product or service – and how might you go about getting their attention? It’s a bit like dating – before you can find your perfect partner, you need to get to know them first.
So next time you think about what your next sales or marketing activity might be, don’t just look at what other businesses are doing – think carefully about who your ideal customer might be and how you might get to know them.
Just because a particularly marketing activity seems to be working for another business (or someone suggests that it might be … “aren’t you on Twitter? Oh really, we’ve been tweeting for ages … “) doesn’t mean that your business needs to be on Twitter, so don’t waste time on it, if it isn’t the right thing to do.
The latest trend seems to be for businesses to want to create an app. “Our competitor has one so I think we should too.” Really? Is the App going to make it markedly easier for your customers to do business with you? Are there already similar Apps available that consumers are using in your marketplace? Take property searching apps as an example. With the likes of RightMove, Zoopla and others, that feature properties from a range of different agents, no-one is going to download additional apps from individual estate agents when there are several pan-market tools already doing that job really well.
So what are the right marketing and communications tools for your business?
Please get in touch if you’d like a free, no obligation chat to explore some ideas with us.