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There are more ways to market your business now than there ever have been in the history of the world. The only problem is that more options don’t mean better or easier — they usually just mean more confusion.
But fret not. When it comes to properly assessing which marketing strategy is the best one for you and your business, the No. 1 rule to remember is that the best marketing matches the right message to the right medium. In other words, it’s all about what you say and where you say it.
We’ll focus here on the where, because that’s usually what I get the most questions about. In order to figure out where the best place is for you to market, here’s a simple trick: Map out how your customer moves through his or her day.
Every prospective customer has daily habits that include consuming some type of media. For instance, some watch the six o’clock news. Some check their own mail, while others have office staff that does it. Some sit on Facebook all day, whereas others never touch social media.
It’s critical to understand your prospect’s habits if you’re going to target them correctly. So map out their day. What does your prospect do when they wake up, when they go to work, when they come home and before going to sleep? If you can understand those patterns, you can recognize where to advertise.
For instance, let’s say your target market is veterinarians. You might be tempted to send them a direct mail piece since you know their address. But this may not get you the results you want.
Why? Because many veterinarians don’t check their own mail — their office staff does. And your brochure may end up right in the garbage.
But what kind of media do most veterinarians consume? Probably industry journals. It’s safe to assume that most of them want to know what the latest research says about taking care of pets so they don’t fall behind their peers. They might also be inclined to open (and keep) a boxed gift that’s too nice for their staff to just throw away — like a beautiful, framed photo they can hang in their office that just so happens to have your sales letter attached to the front of it.
The point is that everyone’s different. When you design your marketing strategy, pay attention to how your prospects spend their days. Ask yourself: What would they be inclined to look at, and how can I deliver my message to them?
To that end, here are three critical questions to help you get started:
1. Where does my prospect spend most of their time?
The patterns of nearly every type of prospect are often quite predictable. Are they commuters? Are they people who sit in an office all day? Do they spend a lot of time on a mobile device? If you can’t predict their patterns, ask them where they spend their time. Have honest conversations with them, and tell them directly what it’s for — market research. They’ll feel like experts for sharing with you, and you’ll get the insights you need.
Let their patterns inform your advertising. The worst crime you can commit is placing ads where you see them (because you’re not your prospect) or where the best sales representative tells you to place them (if you ask a salesperson where you should advertise, I bet they’ll say, “In our publication”).
2. What media does my prospect consume?
As in the above example with veterinarians, be honest about what your prospect does and doesn’t watch, read or listen to. Do they listen to podcasts in the car? Do they watch the news at 11? Do they read the newspaper on an iPad? If in doubt, ask them. Have real conversations with prospects where you don’t try to sell to them at all — just ask questions about how they consume media and listen carefully.
3. What types of content does my prospect enjoy consuming?
This is different than the question above. Just because I see billboards doesn’t mean I enjoy seeing them. However, I do enjoy reading about football news, which has nothing to do with my job. If you can find patterns in the habits of your prospects, you can win big. The odds of all your prospects being football fans are slim; however, if you have open-minded conversations, you might find that many of your IT industry prospects play video games, which means that placing ads on gaming sites might be the best strategy for you.
Armed with the answers to these questions, you’ll likely have everything you need to understand where you should be advertising your business. Now go out there and get some sales.
January 28, 2019 at 08:57AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs