In today’s pressured rush to maintain and attract buyers, it’s easy to overlook the basics. Because of the need to generate immediate revenue, or getting caught up in the excitement and momentum of a good idea, the basics of the marketing process are overlooked. Jumping into a campaign without consideration for the fundamental marketing process can have devastating effects. Here’s a brief remnder of what you should consider before launching your next marketing effort.
First… TEST your idea. Perhaps even suggest a couple of different strategies to a sample group from your target market. Ask them to compare one against the other, and give you some honest feedback. For example, if you’re going to launch a print campaign in your local paper, try out a few alternative headlines first. Or perhaps one or two alternative images in that ad if you’re confident the headline invites the reader to learn more about your company or product. Whatever the outcome of the feedback you receive, you’ll improve your message and set yourself on a path toward greater response – and that’s especially important for your marketing budget today.
Secondly, be sure you include some way to TRACK the response to your marketing outreach. There are many ways to effectively do this by including a special offer or specific response to every ad placed throughout your campaign. You’ll certainly want to ask every prospect that responds to your marketing how they learned about you, and more importantly, why they decided to call or email. What caught their attention first? The headline? The images used? This is valuable feedback that most new clients, and even existing ones, are happy to provide – especially if you can provide some incentive for them to participate in your formal, or informal survey. One of the biggest mistakes we find with our clients is their assuming they know what’s working and what’s not – without ever asking their market. While many see this as an “extra step” to their campaign, the feedback you’ll get is invaluable, and it helps you align your brand with your market in a much more meaningful way that will result in greater customer loyalty over the long run.
Finally, it’s important to be willing to REVISE your messaging based on the feedback you receive. This may require minor, or major adjustments to your messaging or channel mix. Too many times, we fall in love with our own ideas, and forget that marketing and brand positioning isn’t about what we like – but about what our target market’s needs and opinions.
These are simple steps that anyone can practice that won’t add a penny to your marketing budget – but will provide you with insights to your campaign efforts to make them more effective. In today’s tight marketing budget environment, we all need to do a better job investing our dollars wisely.
What kind of testing, tracking and revisions have you done for your marketing that has worked for you? Can you share some examples with us? If you’re having trouble deciding how to test, track, and revise your campaigns to maximize your marketing budget, please let us know – we can help.