What makes marketing succeed?
And how can you make sure you’re the one in the winner's circle?
There are six obstacles you must overcome in order to guarantee success. Guarantee? I hear you ask, skeptically. Yes, guarantee. Read these six obstacles and find out why.
OBSTACLE #1 – THE RIGHT PRODUCT
It all starts with you. If what you’re selling isn't worth buying – guess what – it won’t be bought.
Sure, maybe someone will buy it once. But not twice. Not enough to keep you in business. If you have a dog of a product, a good campaign will only convince more people of that fact more quickly.
OBSTACLE #2 – THE RIGHT MEDIA
You could be giving away gold, but if that message is delivered to the wrong people – no one will respond.
OBSTACLE #3 – THE RIGHT OFFER
Do you choose a half-off sale? Or a buy-one-get-one-free? Each is essentially the same; yet, tests show one typically out pulls the other by 40%.
The buy-one-get-one-free is almost always the winner. All marketing is filled with these kinds of idiosyncrasies. Successful marketers choose the right offer and make it to the right people at the right time.
OBSTACLE #4 – THE RIGHT FORMAT
Television excels when the product is visually-oriented; radio when you want listeners to lend you their imaginations; print when you have important facts and figures that need to be read – not just seen or heard, and direct mail when you want to tell a complete story. And you can use the Internet to bring all these options together in one.
The decision not only affects your response – but your overall costs as well. Choose wisely.
OBSTACLE #5 – THE RIGHT TESTS
Almost everyone skips this crucial element. That’s a big mistake. Direct marketing's biggest claim to fame is its ability to measure response. You may think you know what’s the best list, offer, format, and the like. But you don’t know you know until you test and prove it.
OBSTACLE #6 – THE RIGHT ANALYSES
Be accountable. Demand that all of your campaigns be profitable. Know your break-even points. Determine the lifetime value of your customers. And use data to help you develop long-range strategies for building your business.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER – only well-planned and well-executed campaigns produce the desired results.
It can be time-consuming. And it requires some organizational soul-searching.
But the fruits of a strategic marketing communications plan can define measurable goals for your company and has a direct affect on growth for the next five, ten, even fifteen years.
A strong marketing communications program should be designed to:
- Provide clear and motivating expressions of that mission to your target market (and your employees)
- Establish a foundation for growth
As you focus on the next 12 to 24 months, your strategic marketing communications should -- at the very least -- answer the following EIGHT BIG QUESTIONS:
1. What Are Your Organizational Objectives? Determine and define the long-term and short-term objectives that your communications strategies need to support.
2. What Are Your Communications Goals? Be specific about the desired outcome of communications and how it will be measured. (And make sure that staff, board members, and other employees understand these goals.)
3. What is Your Competition Doing? How does your competition communicate to their audiences? What impact do they have on your goals and objectives?
4. Who is Your Real Audience? Based on your goals and objectives, who is your target market? Which methods will reach your target in the most effective and cost-efficient manner?
5. What Communications Tools Should Be Used? Which present tools can be utilized? Which need to be phased-out and replaced? Are other communications channels important to include in your communications mix? What advertising and public relations opportunities can you leverage?
6. What is Your Budget? As budget allocations are made, the plan and its measurable objectives may need to be altered to fit budget realities.
7. What’s the Best Creative Strategy? This includes: Developing a central message and theme, determining unique positioning attributes, writing a creative platform to support positioning and audience target, developing a central creative concept (look, feel, emotion).
8. What is Your Timeline? This calendar includes: Creative production, a schedule for deployment of communications tools, media placement, public relations and events scheduling.
When you avoid the SIX BIG OBSTACLES and you answer the EIGHT BIG QUESTIONS, your organization will market clearly, consistently, and effectively.
A good marketer has an almost God-like knowledge of customers and prospects. Who are they? Where do they live? What do they watch, read, and listen to?
Know what makes your customers tick and you’ll know how to sell to them . . . again and again.
# # #