Every industry is becoming increasingly crowded. With the dependence of the general public on their mobile devices and the shortened attention spans we all suffer from, it can be challenging to strike a chord with an audience. More and more, brands are turning to trendy advertising or social media for their marketing efforts — but are these efforts truly paying off? Additionally, when “free” social media advertising is available by use of business pages, does a brand truly need a marketing strategy? The short answer: yes.
On the fence about how to identify a strong marketing strategy and define the path for a business? Here are some quick basics to get started with:
Research the Target
Many brands do not dedicate enough resources to market research before they dive in with making sales. This works out well in some cases, but not in most. Why? Because to understand audience behavior requires a good amount of research and interpretation of data collected.
By definition, marketing is “the study and management of exchange relationships”. So, in practice, marketing should be based on data collected from the study of such relationships and the audience being targeted.
Spend time doing surveys, collecting insight from focus groups, and doing research into what the target demographic for a product or service really wants. The buying behavior of a millennial female may vary greatly from that of a CEO in his 50s. This translates into a more targeted message that can both relate to the target audience without alienating other groups.
Find What Works — and What Doesn’t
There is no “one size fits all” solution for an effective marketing strategy. This is, once again, where data and analytics plays an important role in defining the plan of attack. With the multiple social media platforms available and the seemingly unlimited space in which a brand can purchase ad space, it can easily feel as if a company should spread itself all over the place. But this is more often than not ineffective.
So before changing tactics, take the time to sit down and look at the results from any campaigns, ads, or other promotions that have been done to this point. What’s working? What isn’t? Where is the majority of traffic to the company’s website coming from? Where would you like to see more traffic coming from? These are all questions to answer before making any drastic changes.
Don’t Forget to Market to Existing Customers, Too
Many businesses are primarily focused on bring in new customers and sales. This is, of course, an integral part of the sales and marketing process, but what about the customers who’ve already made their purchases? This is a whole potential group of missed opportunities waiting to be tapped into.
How so? Think about it. In an age in which consumer trust is down, obtaining a loyal repeat customer is a big win. Loyalty is just as valuable as a new customer. So is your business marketing to its existing customer base?
This can take a variety of forms. Email marketing is one common way to stay in touch with customers who have previously made a purchase or utilized the business’ services. Be sure to include these valuable past customers and encourage them to continue to visit and to refer their friends — another form of marketing that can easily be under-utilized.
A well-rounded approach armed with plenty of data is a recipe for success for a marketing strategy, no matter how big or small. Taking the time to put in the initial legwork for research and developing a strategy is invaluable and important to the staying power of any business.
By: 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian — native New Yorker and Founder of 5W Public Relations