These two small words can make or break a new business venture.
More often than not potential clients ask us questions like; How often should we post on social media? Is it correct that we need to post at least three times per week? Which social media networks should we join? What should be our budget?
And my answer? It is always the same… It depends.
Know your market
It’s super annoying to hear but it is also true. In marketing, any actions taken should be based on your knowledge of your target market. Who is your target market? What are they doing and thinking? What is their pain and how can you make it go away? Once you have this knowledge nailed down and it is in your mind during every action you take, you have the magic key to successful marketing.
Many companies assume that everybody will buy their products. They decide that the best way forward is to ‘go global’, trying to burst on to the world market and reach everyone at the same time. This type of strategy is not only rash and ill-informed, it can be an extremely costly exercise.
Match your product to the right people
The first market to crack should be your target market. This is the market that will love your brand and fall in love with your product. This is because they are a ‘match’ for what you are offering. They become your soulmates on a corporate level… This is where the love affair can start.
Once you have penetrated this market, only then should other markets be considered and explored. The key is to keep it simple. Know your market and start by taking the easiest route, as marketing can be expensive.
Setting your marketing budget
Another frequently asked question, concerns the budget. When clients ask, “What should I spend on a marketing campaign?”, the answer is of course, it depends. ???? It depends on the company’s profit margin. It depends on how easy it will be to reach the target market. It also depends on how much money the company can afford to spend before seeing any returns etc.
All of these considerations need to be defined in the marketing strategy together with market research and a customer profile (who is your perfect target market). It is also advisable to undertake a modicum of market research to get some feedback on your product and branding. This provides an opportunity to find out if they even like the product and what they really value. The strategy should also cover the marketing channels, estimated costs, KPIs and much more.
Here are 5 top tips to help you and your business follow the It depends strategy:
1. Define your target market – make a customer profile
Go back to basics. Before you can answer questions like, ‘how often should I post on social media?’, it is crucial to clearly define your target market. It may be that your target market isn’t active on social media. Stay focused, don’t go wide.
2. Define your budget
Allocating a budget should be based on where your target market is and on your profit margin. Calculate how much profit is generate per product and compare and check your available funds in order to allocate your marketing budget. For example, if generating leads cost much more than you earn, then maybe this could be a short-term strategy to raise your brand awareness, but it would not be sustainable as a long-term strategy.
3. Define your messaging and graphic style
The tone, colours, look and feel should be based solely on your target market. It doesn’t matter if the colour scheme isn’t to your personal liking, what matters is what your potential clients like. If you don’t like Instagram, but your target market uses this as their main social media channel, then that is where you should advertise. Again, it depends – but not on you, on your target market!
4. Define your marketing channels
Again back to step 1. Who is your target market? What would they like to see and where are they? The next step is to find the most economical method of reaching them to achieve the most impact….so they will remember your brand and ultimately buy your product.
5. Define your campaigns
Once you have defined your campaigns based on the steps listed above, you need to remember to split test, test again and then split test some more. You might think you know your target market, but you will be surprised at how often they decide to go for a different look or message than you predicted. So, continue split testing until your hit the right nerve.
In summary, I can answer almost all of your marketing questions with just these two little words: it depends.
If you remember this, you will no doubt have success in your business. Good luck!