While it may seem effortless to some, successful marketing isn’t about luck or a “bag of tricks.” It’s about using a clear marketing strategy to position your business as the brand of choice and edge out the competition.
Focus on the right message.
What are the qualities that most define your brand at its core? What do you want to tell the world about who your company is? How are you different from your competitors? How does your product or service solve customers’ problems? Before you successfully launch a marketing campaign, you must know what you want to say about your business — and consistently stick to this message
Know your target customer.
Who do you want to reach with your message? What type of message is most effective for this group? Which advertising mediums work best? Answering these questions will not only help you target the right people, but will ensure that your advertising dollars are spent most effectively.
Use consistent branding.
Here’s an example: What company do you think of when you see a cow? Chick-Fil-A. You need to have a brand identity that your customers associate only with you, and this “look” needs to carry through cohesively in all your marketing collateral.
Give advertising time to work.
Advertising doesn’t always generate instant results — don’t quit because you didn’t experience a fast increase in new business. Although some tactics are intended to produce short-term results, building a loyal customer base and increased brand awareness requires a long-term vision. Did you know that the average person has to see an ad at least three times before they remember it and take action? Repetition is key to expanding your business and smartly spending your money. Of course, if an advertising medium clearly isn’t working, you also need to know when to stop and try something else — until you find that perfect, most effective advertising mix.
Seek PR opportunities.
Public relations is all about getting your brand out there and creating buzz. The opportunities are endless, including features in newspapers or industry publications, attending trade shows and getting involved in charitable causes. Best of all, PR is generally free or much less expensive than advertising! Another great benefit? PR is about getting a positive endorsement from a third party, which generates more consumer trust than paid advertisements. The more consumers see your brand name, the more positive their perception is of you.
Follow these five steps, and there just might be more green (and a pot of gold!) in your future.