Sunday, December 29, 2013.
Christmas over, you might be feeling a little deflated about what the New Year
Everyone wants their business to
succeed and what better way to plan for the year ahead than with a fantastic
marketing strategy? Whether it’s online or offline marketing, You Tube or
Twitter, marketing campaigns share the same principles. Sit back with a turkey
sandwich whilst Lizzie Phillips, author of Lizzie Phillips’ Marvellous
Marketing Manual, shares her experience of how to get the most from your
marketing in 2014.
Whilst January can often be seen as
a time of doom and gloom – Christmas is over and magic has gone, I see it as
the perfect time to focus on the future and a sales and marketing strategy for
the year ahead.
I like to use the principles of the
Four Rs when planning a campaign:
• Right Message
• Right Marketing Tool
• Right Time
Before applying these in any form of
business investment, you need to think about what you hope to achieve and the
likely return of investment (ROI). My rule of thumb is always a return of ten
times the amount of money invested but I understand that this won’t be the case
for every industry.
In some businesses you have a range
of products and services. Be clear whether you want to promote your company as
a whole or whether you want to be specific. My approach has always been that
it’s quality which counts, not quantity. You might just target a few items but,
if they hit the right spot, you’ll get a much bigger response than you would
through a blanket approach.
Once you have identified which
product or service you want to promote, you’re ready to tackle the Four Rs. I’m
going to use the example of a car dealership to show how the same principles
can be applied in any marketing campaign.
Market A car dealer might only sell cars
but he’ll have ten or more different models in his showroom. And each model
will come with different options – air conditioning, electronic windows,
surround sound, five-door and so on.
Depending on the model or even the
specifications, you will have a different target market. It’s all about
drilling down into your target market and matching your campaign to that market.
Many people ask me if I would recommend Twitter for their company. My answer is
always: if your target market is on Twitter, then ‘Yes’ but, if not, focus your
Creating the right impression is
always important and no more so than in a marketing campaign. Once you have
identified your target market, it’s important that your marketing message is produced
with this audience in mind. For example, the car dealership
would communicate differently to a mother about a family estate car than it
would to a younger customer about a first car. Whilst the model may be the
same, their needs are different. The first-time car buyer will want cheaper
insurance and a car which is economical to run while the mother will be more
concerned that it has space for buggies, that it accommodates child seats and
that it’s reliable.
I find defining a customer persona
before writing your marketing message helps find the correct tone. Here’s an
First-Time Buyer Fred
Fred passed his driving test last
year. With university on the horizon he needs a car. His budget is small so
he’s looking for a second-hand car. He enjoys working on cars so doesn’t mind
adding extras like air conditioning and a music surround system later himself.
He doesn’t want anything too ‘girly’ but the insurance must be affordable. Fred
is going to be travelling back and forth from university and home so the car
needs to be reliable and safe and he wants plenty of boot space as he’ll be
bringing his stuff home at the end of every term.
You can see that by getting into the
head of Fred, you can tailor your message to his specific needs.
With so many marketing tools out
there, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Again, the right one
will depend on your target market. If your market is older, you’re not likely
to have social media on your list. In fact, more traditional marketing
techniques like telemarketing and direct mail are making a comeback because we
are flooded with so many online messages every day.
Whichever tool you use, be sure to
think about your target market.
There’s an argument that marketing
is all about being in the right place at the right time. I think you can
improve these odds by sending your marketing material out at the best times.
For example, telemarketing receives
a better response on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The optimum time for email
marketing is Tuesday, 11am. Social media messages to corporations are best
timed between 10am and 2pm; to individual consumers, between 5pm and 8pm is
Again, it’s clear that it all
depends on who you are sending your marketing message to.
If you’re planning for the year
ahead, think about your campaign three months in advance – that extra planning
will help you to monitor and measure the effectiveness of your marketing.
So remember: get the right market,
right message, right marketing tool and right time and you’re on your way to
getting the best possible return of investment.