Friday, February 06, 2009

The Basics

From the THINKing Blog:

Old Fashioned Marketing

Posted: 03 Feb 2009 05:05 AM PST

Every year we start seeing all the articles about what the new year will hold. Everything from politics to marketing is dissected and forecast. I like to take advantage of trends as much as anyone but you can’t let the new blind you to the tried-and-true.

You may be considering adding podcasts, blogs, local search and social media to your marketing matrix and that is fine, if you strategically think through how they fit with your business and your audiences.

Blogging and podcasting are great tactics, but if your website has no traffic they are a waste of time, effort and resources.

Let’s get back to fundamentals. I’ve had clients who were so ADD they couldn’t sit still long enough to even think about who their best customer is. However, they got so excited about new marketing ideas that they just had to try them. Never mind that those tactics didn’t make sense for their business.

If you don’t know who your customer is, don’t bother spending money on marketing. That would be a colossal waste.

Ask and answer the fundamental questions before you go spending marketing money willy-nilly. How many audience segments do you have? Who is your best customer in each? What is your best customer’s age, employment, sex, and marital status? Do they have kids? What are their media habits? What attitudes or values affect their buying habits?

If your customer buys for business, what is her title? Is she the final decision-maker or is the decision made jointly? Who influences the sale? What industry associations do your customers join? Do they go to trade shows? Which ones?

The more you know about the customer, the easier it is for your creatives to develop relevant, original and impactful messages, and to determine the best ways and vehicles through which to disseminate your messages.

While doing this hard work may not be as much fun as podcasting or Twittering, it is infinitely more important to your bottom line. And as my friend ad agency consultant Joe Grant says, the number one rule of business is to stay in business.

What are you adding to the marketing mix this year? Does it make sense?

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