The first thing to establish when creating a marketing campaign is a target audience. An ideal customer is not always the same as any customer. Work up to that goal of accumulating ideal customers, but start with the customer that frequents every day. An easy first step is determining if that usual customer is male or female and what age range would they fall in. But, the more useful next step is determining the defining characteristics that set them apart from the others, such as having children, owning a home or being educated.
The next step is determining what marketing source best targets that core audience. A children’s clothing store that targets stay at home mothers would not be spending wisely if they were to invest in a new heavy metal station’s overnight radio rotation, even if it is the cheapest option. Don’t be afraid to ask around; what would make the list for favorite magazines or television shows?
Once a target audience and medium(s) are selected, the next step is to determine what it would take to make an effective campaign. People normally need to be told a message more than once to drive a point across. A consistent message keeps successful businesses at the top of mind of their customers at all times. This is so that even if the need isn’t presently there, the reminder will be when it is.
The most important part of successful marketing is sending the right message out to the public. The message should not only include the basic information about a company, such as where they are located and how to contact them, but also what makes the business unique. A customer needs to not only hear a message to react to it; the customer must also hear something that relates to them. There needs to be a reason to choose a particular business over all of its competitors.
Remember, marketing doesn’t just equate to advertising. Be present in the community. Events happen all the time that are full of potential customers. Pass out business cards, fliers or coupons. These can get overlooked sometimes, but they will trigger a reminder to a potential customer when they hear your message on the radio or see it in the newspaper.
Even if a marketing budget doesn’t consist of thousands of dollars, it can still be effective. It is important to do some research. Find out who the ideal customer is and figure out the best way to reach that audience. Make a captivating campaign that stands out over competitors. Consider consulting with a marketing or media partner to be sure dollars are well spent and to help establish realistic goals and expectations.
Above all, stay present. Remember, even businesses that have been open for decades can get lost in the shuffle and successful marketing can make them top of mind again.