What hit me during the discussion was how the basic marketing principles that we teach in our Marketing and Sales for Small Business course really apply across all advertising and marketing techniques! Whether it’s a tradeshow, advertising, social media, web sites or even networking the basics always apply. So, whenever you are approached with the latest and greatest in advertising, a can’t fail approach, be sure you know the right questions to ask yourself and your advertiser.
1. Set Objectives – doesn’t have to be complicated, but you should decide if you want to simply increase awareness of your brand or product, change the attitude of the audience or get them to act. Apply this objective to each of the following steps.
2. Target Audience – make sure that the marketing technique you are considering is focused on the people that you want to get your message.
3. Message – focus on the benefits your customer will receive, not the features. Be consistent and match the message to your specific customer needs.
4. Budget – being creative and coming up with great new marketing ideas is easy. Choosing the best ideas to meet the budget and get the necessary return is the hard part.
5. Marketing Method – this is the big decision! Should you use print, TV, direct mail, adwords… By applying the first four steps your chances of choosing correctly grow considerably. And with this info in mind you can more easily evaluate those “can’t fail” advertising make a logical (pronounced profitable) decision.
Don’t forget to plan for follow-up with all those great new leads and to set up a way to measure the results of your effort.
Even if you don’t have the time or discipline to write all these things down for every marketing decison, at least understand the steps and mentally apply them to all your marketing situations.
Here is a presentation I did specific to choosing advertising, but it walks through the marketing basics with a little more detail – Choosing the Right Advertising!