8 Steps to marketing your products or services to the right customers.
You may have the most amazing product or service in your industry, but if the right people do not know about it, you will fail. Your business needs to promote your product or service to the right audiences, at the right price, in the right way, at the right time and at the right place, this is how you do good marketing.
Good marketing depends on how well you understand your target market, creating specific audiences of people to promote your product or service to and then finding the best ways to get your product or service in front of your prospects in order to convert them to customers. It is all about discovering who you are selling to, why they should buy your product or service and what value is in it for them.
Here are our 8 marketing steps for your business:
Step 1: DEFINE YOUR TARGET MARKET AND TARGET AUDIENCES
A good starting point is to be clear about who your target market is and who your target audience will be.
What is a target market?
A target market defines who the consumer of your product or service is. For example, if your product is toys for children aged 5 to 10, then your target market are children aged 5 to 10, because they will be the people who will be playing with your toys.
What is a target audience?
A target audience is the specific group/s of people who you should focus your marketing and advertising efforts toward, because they are most likely to buy or influence the buying of your product or service. So, the target audiences for toys for children aged 5 to 10 could be:
· Parents of children in that age group
· Grandparents of children in that age group
· Children who are in that age group
Each target audience group will require a different marketing and promotions approach.
Now that you have defined your target market and identified the target audiences who are most likely to take action and buy your product or service your next step would be to do a marketing promotions plan for each of your target audiences.
Let's do a promotion campaign plan for the “Parents of children in the age group” target audience from the above example.
Step 2: SET OBJECTIVES
The first thing to do when creating your promotion campaign plan is to set the objectives. Objectives is how you measure your ROI (return on investment) for the campaign. It needs to follow the SMART way, referring to your goals being specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time orientated.
An objective for our example above could be to:
Increase sales by 10% of toys sold to parents of children, aged 5 -10, by the end of December 2021.
Step 3: DECIDE ON MEDIUMS/MEDIA
During this stage of your planning you must decide on the communication channels you will be using during your promotional campaign to reach your target audience. You could use above the line, below the line or through the line channels. Considering each channel will help you determine which is most beneficial to reach your audience and meet your objectives.
· Above the line (ATL) – this kind of marketing has an overly broad reach and is largely untargeted. Think about a national TV or radio campaign, where viewers and listeners across the nation see or hear the same advert aired across the various tv channels or radio stations. You will mostly use this for-building brand awareness or to get quick results if your business has a wide reach and are running specific sales promotions or competitions. Additionally you would generally require a very big budget to use this approach.
· Below the line (BTL) – this kind of marketing is when you target specific groups of people with a specific focus. Think about doing a leaflet drop in a specific area, a Google AdWords campaign targeting a certain group , Social media advertising targeting specific audiences based on their interests and engagements, or a direct telemarketing campaign targeting specific businesses or people from your databases. You will be able to measure sales conversions and engagement from your target audiences using this marketing option. Depending on the medium you choose, it can be highly effective and very inexpensive on channels such as social media.
· Through the line (TTL) – this kind of marketing is about having an integrated approach using both ATL and BTL marketing methods to reach the customer base and generate conversions. It may seem like most marketing campaigns would do this, but some are more suited to only use ATL and others BTL, it really depends on budget available, who you are targeting and your objectives.
We would most likely use a below the line approach for the above example, by running our promotion on social media and google search.
Step 4: DEVELOP YOUR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS
Promotional materials are any tool you use to attract your customers and influence them to make a purchase. Your choice of materials will depend on factors such as the type of product or service you are promoting, your target audience, and the channels or mediums of communication you will be using.
This could be your social media content, website blogs, promotional merchandise, point-of-sale advertising materials like flyers, brochures or posters, and any other print, digital or broadcast advertising materials.
For the example, we are using social media and google search as channels therefore we will need to develop content posts that we can use on these channels. A cover image for Facebook, social media posts and adverts, and google search keywords.
Step 5: DEVELOP YOUR PROMOTIONAL MESSAGE
Promotional campaigns are all about communicating a message to your prospects or customers, which goes without saying that you should know what to say and how to say it best to get a positive response. From your headline to keywords and the main idea, make sure these are stated using power words and other attention-grabbing techniques.
When crafting your promotional message, you should know your audience well enough, specifically the kinds of people who might be interested in using your product or service. This familiarity with your audience can help you highlight how they might benefit from what you are offering.
For the example above we are targeting parents of kids aged 5 to 10. A pain point for this target audience could be that kids are very busy during this age and toys are a great way to keep them occupied. However they want to find toys that are affordable, entertaining and educational for their kids, that will not only distract them but also empower them at the same time. With this in mind we could develop a promotional message that speaks and solves the need these parents have, like: FUN, ENTERTAINING AND EDUCATIONAL TOYS AT INCREDIBLE PRICES - KEEP THEM HAPPY AND OCCUPIED AT THE SAME TIME.
Step 6: SET A BUDGET
Your budget should be an honest assessment of how much you can afford to spend in order to reach your goal. To help you determine what a reasonable budget is, you could make projections about return on investment (ROI), percentage of sales, and the number of prospects you will be able to convert to customers.
The idea is that breaking down all these numbers can help you calculate how much profit you can generate from a customer at any given time so that you don’t end up losing money on new clients.
A good way to think about it is to ask yourself what you are willing to spend on gaining a new customer. Lets use the example above:
The cost to produce a toy: R150
Sales mark-up percentage: 50%
Selling price (SP) of a toy: R225
Sales last year: 500 toys
Sales increase percentage: 10%
Sales projection: 550 toys
Marketing percentage: 10% of SP
Marketing budget per new toy: R22,50
Marketing budget for 550 toys: R 12 375
Now that you have your budget amount, the next step is to spend it strategically in order to ensure that you convert customers within the set budget. In our example above the budget would go towards the:
· Development of promotional materials
· Implementation and management of promotional campaigns
· Advertising costs
· Lead management
· Sales conversions
· Reporting of sales
Step 7: DEFINE YOUR SUCCESS MEASURES
Measuring the outcome of your promotional campaign can give you valuable insights such as which medium or channel is the most cost-effective or which draws the greatest number of customers.
Equally important is to have a tool or system that you can use to keep track of your goals and conversion rates such as the widely used Google Analytics or other marketing software products.
You could even gauge the effectiveness of your campaign by surveying customers on what they recall about a particular advertising message, how they felt about it, or if it contributed to a change in perception toward your brand.
For the example above, our measure of success would be reach, engagement and sales conversions. Meaning of the number of people who was reached with the promotion, what number of those reached showed an interest and how many of those interested was converted into sales.
Step 8: REPORT, ANALYSE AND IMPROVE
Once your promotion has ended, you must create a performance report to determine the success or failure of your campaign and whether you have achieved or exceeded your objectives for the campaign.
Utilise the results of your performance to improve your marketing efforts to your audiences when you plan your future promotional campaigns.
What is next?
It is your turn to get started on a promotions strategy for your business! If you are not sure how to start with your marketing strategy and promotions, you don't need to do it alone, we are here to help.
At G and T Impressions, we have over 11 years of experience in developing winning marketing and promotional strategies.
Ready to get started?
Contact us to learn more.