Marketing is one of the most misunderstood subjects in business. Running an advertisement is not your marketing, it is one part. Marketing involves more than most people understand. To break it down simply, marketing is identifying who you want to reach and getting a reaction. The intention behind it should be getting the reaction you’re looking for.
Marketing is involved in every step of business. What does the customer see or hear when they walk in the store or view your website. The smallest things affect you:
- How are the content boxes on your website organized?
- How are the counters in your store angled?
- Do the counters have straight lines or round corners?
- Were the last words your customer heard thank you?
- Did he/she detect an eye roll?
- Was it obvious your employee was having a bad day?
Customers should feel the service they received from your company was something your competitors should aspire for. They should not be wondering if this is a multi-billion dollar company or of a guy sitting in his underwear at the kitchen table responding to an emails. The smallest things customers will remember at a subconscious level.
Business owners usually ask about how much the ad or click banner will cost instead of the more important questions.
- What impression does this give to a potential customer?
- Do the people get the impression this is a business they want to deal with?
- Does this give the impression this is a business to avoid?
- What is the subconscious reaction to this?
- Will this banner contribute to instant positive recognition that people get when they see red and yellow signs on the freeway?
When purchasing or producing an advertisement, all the questions previously asked come into play. Before you can successfully create an ad, you must define the associated you want with your business. Look at the companies that are where you want to be in a few years and learn from them. Learn from the masters of the industry you are in. If that company is a multi billion dollar company, the question is why? How did they get there? Why would a company of their standing do this type of advertisement in this spot?
Next look at your competition and do something most people can’t, admit what they do right. If you can identify what your competition is doing better than your company as well as what they are not, you have more information to make a far better strategy than what they have. They did the hard part, they created something. It is usually easier to make something better than to create it initially. Studying the competition will give you an opportunity to learn what you missed. Competitors have different approaches and philosophies, learn what allows them to stay in business. Add their strengths, compensate for their weaknesses.
When creating or purchasing advertisements the main considerations are:
- Will this reach my intended audience?
- What reaction will they have?
- Does this reinforce my brand?
- Does this cause instant recognition of my company?
- What are the long term results of this?
- What kind of exposure will this get to my intended audience?
- Will this cause more people who do not want my product or service to consume my resources?
Marketing is as much about not attracting unintended visitors as it is about attracting your target market. Paying one dollar for a pay-per-click position can be quite costly. People who are not interested in your products can be expensive if they are spending your valuable marketing dollars to view your site.
Identify who the real target market is. The more defined smaller group is much easier to reach than a broad undefined crowd. How effective can a plan be if it is trying to reach everyone, randomly throw money in all directions? Do not rely on luck to get a sale. A smart strategy is to define a group and go after it aggressively. Spending less money to achieve more sales should be the plan.
Be naughty, classify customers down to what you have been taught not to. Identify race, gender, age range, average income, location, personality type if possible. Minimize individual groups, especially when first starting. Put your money and valuable time into a highly effective strategy.
It is easy to guess the reaction that most people would have after reading the first few lines of the previous paragraph. Racist, misogynist, bigot might come to mind, but if you think about it, how do you find who you are looking for? You identify. Don’t judge or fall into stereotypes. Research the areas statistics. Find what the average income is of the people in that area. What culture or value system do they adhere to. Would it be acceptable to post ads in Vietnamese, or would you completely ignore 90% of the market. Does ads in Vietnamese reach 90% of the population of that city.
When you can appeal to your intended audience, you will not be segregating others, you will welcoming a group. When you’re finished, if your product or service applies to other groups, move on to the next one. Make every dollar and minute you spend marketing matter.
Marketing is a popularity contest. The fun choice is what end of the popularity spectrum you want to be on. Negative marketing plans are effective. The old saying goes, “There is no such thing as bad marketing”. Positive campaigns usually show more immediate results, negative ones at least make you known. A wonderful example of negative marketing benefiting someone is Tito Ortiz in the UFC. After his fight with Guy Mezger, Tito Ortiz used a shirt with a very derogatory statement which then pulled Ken Shamrock back into the UFC. This is a wonderful example of profit coming from a negative image. It is not a highly recommended strategy, but effective would be an understatement. Pay-per-view subscribers were ordering events to watch this guy get beat. Every time he won, they would order another event to see if the next challenger would take this guy out.
When focusing on product sales, how do you portray to your intended audience we have what you need, want, and desire most in this world. Purchasing from us will improve your life and/or the lives of people you know. Appeal to who you are intending to sell. Another naughty strategy is to appeal to the people influencing the customer. Consumers who influence customers are a gift. When a child sees a toy in a store they want, parents are hearing your company jingle from someone with influence who is now voicing really loudly that they will not survive without this.
Some people laugh at others who spend incredible amounts of money on marketing. Businesses sometimes get lucky or get an excellent location. Their location was in itself marketing. It provided a way for their target market to locate and recognize them. Do not count on luck, Always Remember:
YOUR COMPANY LIVES AND DIES BY YOUR MARKETING!!!!!