Your customer isn’t paying attention to your marketing.
At least, not at first.
That’s partly because the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day. To focus in such a world, the mind must tune out extraneous noise.
Unfortunately, that “noise” can often include messages about your business, particularly if your business practices one-off marketing.
While some one-off marketing – such as annual direct mail campaigns, one-month commercial runs or one-time social media ads – can be effective, they lack the power to penetrate the noisy world where your customer lives.
For long-term success that makes a memorable impression in the marketplace, you need to replace one-off marketing with a more comprehensive approach.
Here are five powerful ways to get started.
1. Sketch out a marketing plan.
This may sound daunting. But with the knowledge you have of your business, developing a rough marketing plan is likely easier than you may imagine.
Within the plan, you’ll need to include:
- A summary of the company’s industry position
- The strengths and weaknesses of the business
- Where you would like the budget to focus
These details help you develop a bird’s-eye strategy that can serve as a blueprint when you’re deciding how to allocate your marketing budget.
That’s why creating a comprehensive marketing plan is one of our first steps with new clients. It ensures any marketing decision helps move the needle toward meeting goals and long-term success.
For example, if you owned a local dry-cleaning store, your company’s industry position could reveal key neighborhoods your store is closer to than your competitor. This in turn would help you focus advertising dollars on those neighborhoods instead of blanketing the entire region.
2. Set specific goals for each year.
It’s not enough to set a goal of “generating more sales.”
Because to get more sales, you need to understand why the sales are occurring in the first place. To do that, you must understand the steps that pave the way to increased sales.
Consider the possible pathway to purchase for a customer looking to buy a new pair of boots. He may first spot a digital ad and visit your website, spending time reading product reviews. He then leaves your website and researches other brands. Weeks later, though, he sees your brand’s post on social media and returns to purchase the boots on your website.
For this and other similar customer journeys, setting up a purchase goal in Google Analytics, as well as a goal around time spent on the website, would help you best understand customers’ steps prior to purchase.
Once the goals are set up, you can view the multi-channel funnels report. This might reveal that one specific social media post led to a lot of sales, or that customers who spend 3-plus minutes on a page are more likely to purchase.
This data allows you to set specific numbers for your online or offline goals so you’ll be able to see if you’re on track to increasing sales, which will help you make informed decisions about your marketing dollars.
3. Define your audience.
Setting the right goals only happens when you know the customers, where they are, and what drives them to purchase.
Don’t assume you know your target audience, even if you’ve been in business for years. Dig into research on Google Analytics and social media to see who is responding to your company and engaging with you.
And take time to consider who your company’s secondary audience may be as well.
Years ago, Duct Tape was something you used around the house for quick fixes. But in the 2000s, the brand began to gain popularity with crafters who used it to create wallets, purses and even prom dresses. Now the brand has “Craft & Décor” and “Makers” sections on its website.
Once you’ve defined your primary and secondary audiences, it’s time to think about what motivates people to buy your product or service. Here are some typical motivators:
- Health and wellness
- Success/Sense of purpose
- Growth and education
Your marketing won’t be successful – or cost-effective — if you don’t know whom you’re talking to and what they want.
4. Keep your brand image consistent.
Inconsistency makes your business forgettable.
This includes discrepancies between your online and offline presence, like using fonts or colors on a print ad that are different than those on your website, or having an outdated logo on a social media profile but a new logo on your business card.
Every single touchpoint should have a similar feel and adhere to well-defined brand standards to best amplify your business’s message to customers. In the words of Zig Ziglar, “Repetition is the mother of learning.”
Whatever the medium, create a cohesive brand image with your word choice, logo, colors and messaging. This will maximize the impact of your integrated marketing and ensure that wherever your customer finds you, they’ll be able to recognize you.
One of the best examples of cohesive branding comes from Target. Whether on Facebook, a commercial, a print ad or a digital ad banner, customers immediately recognize Target by its bullseye logo and dominate use of the color red. That’s the power of a cohesive brand.
5. Get your team onboard.
The best plans fail when they aren’t supported, so ask your team for feedback on your marketing plan, its goals, your audience and your brand standards.
As the leader of a small business, it’s easy to have a blind spot. Team members often present a more impartial viewpoint that may identify potential problems with what’s proposed, as well as ways to improve the plan.
Additionally, incorporating feedback ensures your team is invested in the success of the plan.
Say goodbye to one-off marketing
Many small businesses try to attract customers by employing one-off marketing promotions, often on a yearly basis — and use the same approach for decades.
But that won’t effectively reach today’s media-inundated customers.
These once-and-done approaches to marketing can easily get lost in the noise of today’s marketplace.
That’s why an integrated approach to marketing matters so much.
By replacing one-off marketing with a marketing plan, a cohesive brand image, in-depth audience research and strategic goals, any business can amplify the impact of its message.
And when a business does that, customers start paying attention.