Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Start with your Goal

I read so many blogs, articles, and pitches that tend to be focused on one segment of marketing/advertising. Everyone has their specialty such as Social Media, Digital, Email, etc. Use theirs, that is the best one. How to succeed with Facebook marketing. How to create memorable mobile marketing campaigns.

None of these folks care about you. They care about making money for themselves and you of course. But first and foremost for them. And if you were to grab a magazine, watch TV commercials, view digital ads or social media activity each brand has different degrees of Return on Investment (ROI). 

What I mean by this to make this simple. Take a magazine. Leaf through the ads. Each brand will have different returns on their ad based on: 
  • Their fit for the media channel (demographic of the readers)
  • Their creative/design/message
  • Their location/placement in the magazine
Most businesses have a limited marketing budget. Often this get's consumed by your website, marketing collateral (catalogs, brochures etc for print and digital). Whatever is left is like your dessert. You can spend it on any activities you wish.

But start with a Goal and work backwards. 

Maybe it is 'My goal is increasing sales'. Or 'My goal is increasing my brand's awareness in my markets' or 'Driving traffic to my website'. Or something warm and fuzzy like 'community involvement'. Once you do this you can then work out an Integrated Marketing Plan that will achieve your goal. And this usually means a variety of activities not just one.

For example you opened a new sporting goods store focused on non-traditional sports like surfing or mountain biking. You want everyone within 10 miles to know and you plan a big grand opening sale. Depending on your budget you can do everything from local cable TV and radio spots, to a paid circular via direct mail or the local Sunday newspaper.

Have less of a budget? Pay for an ad/coupon in the local To Do/Happenings paper like the Easy Reader that is just for your town/towns. Buy Facebook or Digital ads that match your demographic. Find out what local Surf or Mountain Bike events happen each year and pay to sponsor or donate gar for part of the prize packages.

Have even less of a budget? See if there is a local Surf or Mountain Bike Club via Meetup and join the club and get some locals to check your store out or go surfing/riding with them and show off the gear you carry. Print up a bunch of discount coupons to give out wherever you go. Start a Facebook, Twitter, Google Places, Yelp! presence.

But all activities need to be connected to your Goal. And they should be integrated in a way that they 'funnel' all actions towards your Goal. This is a great reason to work with a Marketing Strategist who will keep you focused and not spend your money where it should not be spent. It is important to have someone on your team because the other team(s) just want your money, which btw is their Goal.

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