Marketing is one of the most important and time-consuming activities of business owners as we all want the right image for our business and more of the right clients. We want them to not only see but to also understand what our business offers and how they can differentiate us from our competitors.
That’s what Marketing is all about. It is creating specific brand images in the minds of our target customers and advertising is the mechanism used to communicate these images to them.
Unfortunately, most businesses do not have a formal marketing plan and their marketing and advertising becomes a series of uncoordinated events. Businesses are often talked into advertising programs that are not linked to any marketing plan.
So how do we avoid falling into that trap? It is important to note that the secret is in coordinating a sequence of activities targeted at clear customer segments and that there is no magic one event in a marketing campaign that works all the time, every time. It is a process of trial and error.
American advertising guru, Ian Ogilvy, made the famous remark “I know that 50% of my advertising budget is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which 50%”. So with that, here’s a process that will help to ensure that you do not waste your money.
Step 1 – Set Objectives
Set clear objectives and start with your Business Plan. Decide whether marketing activities are for the purpose of “brand awareness” or a “call to action”. Take note that both have different response times. Highlight tangible benefits that make your products, services and you different.
Step 2 – Test
Test your message before committing to it with a sample size of at least 30 responses. Gather responses and build in a response mechanism to your ads. Google Adwords can be a cheap & effective method for doing this.
Step 3 – Do It
Run the ads, conduct the promotional workshop, use the script, put up the sign, make the offer, etc.
Step 4 – Measure Effectiveness
After implementing Step 3, determine following:
- Was the communication received and understood by the target market?
- Were the sales objectives achieved?
You may never fully solve Ian Ogilvy’s dilemma, but follow this process and you will do much better than he did.