Going with our theme from yesterday, I’d like to get more in-depth about what constitutes a really strong marketing strategy. It’s not all about design, or all about the numbers. Successful marketing campaigns are a balanced combination of strategy and tactics, meshing design vocabulary (“image,” “branding,” and “creative”) with your business mind.
So you’ve set out to plan the new attack on your target market: what do you need to do?
5 points to consider when you’re developing a Winning Strategy
1) Be Specific! If you try to blanket “teenagers,” you lose out on “14-to-16-year-old males who play video games.” If your marketing is too generalized, it alienates the group you’re really trying to reach. Make sure you know your customer – and how much they/you are willing to spend. Marketing really comes down to “purchasing” your customers. What’s your ideal customer? What are you willing to do to get them?
2) Crunch the Numbers! You’ve got to have a clear idea of how much this plan will cost. Find out design costs, printing costs, ad space pricing, etc. Once you have a budget, you can start using those dollars to your advantage. It’s also important to know how many sales you’ll need to make to offset the cost of marketing. What [realistic] response do you estimate coming from this new marketing endeavor? Is that enough for a profit and ROI? If you spend $1,000 on a newspaper ad, how much money should be coming in the door?
3) Think Outside Creative! Don’t get me wrong (we are a design firm over here!), but your marketing can’t rely only on the design of your materials. It’s up to you to decide how, when, and where they’ll be best used and most effective. We can create a stunning brochure, but if your sales team isn’t using it properly, all those design dollars are just circling the drain.
4) Market Everywhere! Marketing isn’t just about advertising (yes, they’re two different things). You’ve got newspaper ads, sales brochures, flyers, etc. – but you also have the way your assistant answers the phone, and the way your sales team interacts with your suppliers… market your whole business, not just its image. And track your marketing! Have a pricing strategy, and a sales/promo strategy. Track your repeat business. Test all your new marketing techniques and have something in place to measure their effectiveness.
5) Use Your Customers! Existing customers are your biggest untapped resource, so make sure some of your marketing targets them. Also, concentrate on “hot” prospects – potential clients you’ve spoken to but haven’t closed a deal with yet. Those relationships are still strong!
It all comes down to planning. With a solid plan and well-designed materials, your new marketing strategy can be a winner!