Although many marketing strategies and tactics appear to be adaptable, this is something of an illusion. Yes, you may be able to tweak a tactic that works for another type of business to market your own products or services, but marketing campaigns will differ from one business to the next because the target audience is different.
Perhaps an illustration may make this idea less abstract:
Writing in-depth articles in a car magazine with the name of your dealership in the author’s resource box may help you sell more SUVs, but writing an in-depth article for a new style of leather jacket in a fashion magazine will be a flop. Although the tactic is the same—writing a long-form article in a specialty magazine—the reader’s emotional triggers will be different. Car enthusiasts want to know about technical specs and are willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a superbly engineered car, but fashion enthusiasts get bored with in-depth articles on a single item of clothing and are only willing to spend a few hundred dollars.
Decide on the Best Advertising Medium
Does your audience need to have a tactile experience with your merchandise? Although it’s possible to sell clothes online, it’s not as effective as opening up a retail store where customers can come in and see how clothes look on them and how well they fit. People love to shop and that’s why department stores continue to flourish in the 21st century despite how much easier it would be for customers to buy from eCommerce stores. Consequently, print ads in newspapers and magazines still typically work best for selling clothes.
Conversely, if you are selling customized business merchandise, then customers will not need to come in to see your laser transfer paper and OKI laser printers in person. Images will be enough. Online marketing methods like Facebook ads will work for business supplies because business people are in a hurry and would rather order something online in a few minutes than drive to a store.
Get to Know Your Customers Well
The first rule of marketing is “know thy customer.”
When you know your customer well, you’ll be able to determine what magazines they read or what blogs they visit. This will help you decide where you should be active.
When you know your customer well, then your advertising will speak directly to their wants, needs, and desires. You will spend your marketing dollars wisely.
When you know your customer well, every marketing message will be relevant. Your words will address their pain points and offer them the relief they’re seeking.
When you know your customer well, you will have a better idea of how to design and deliver your products and services.
In short, when you understand your customers well, they will feel that you understand their needs and want to help them with their concerns.
Understand How Your Customers Think
There are many ways to spend the time to ask your customers direct questions and get to know them better.
Here are four proven approaches to help you understand how your customers think:
- Send out surveys to get feedback on how satisfied customers were with their purchase of your merchandise.
- Use telephone interviews to speak with people who have shown an interest in learning more about your products. This is a particularly effective method for consulting businesses, who can offer a free 30-minute “strategy session.”
- Speak with customers at a trade show. Get to know them in person. Ask plenty of questions. Why did they visit your booth? How can you help them learn more about how your product works?
- Organize focus groupsto research how well your new product will do in the marketplace. Assemble a demographically diverse number of people and start a guided discussion of a product that you’re either planning to launch or hoping to improve.
In conclusion, make an effort to tailor your marketing to meet the needs of your audience. Once you understand who is interested in buying your products, you can make decisions on what advertising medium to use to reach them and how to meet their needs.