When deciding which marketing efforts will be best for your business, I find it easiest to ask yourself three important questions.
Who is your ideal customer?
Where are your ideal customers spending their time?
What is working and what isn’t?
1. Who is your ideal customer?
Every business has an ideal customer. This is the individual who needs your product or service the most. This may be Sally, a 42-year old married mother who runs a small business from her home. Or it may be Josh, a 18-year old college student working a night job who loves to go surfing with his friends. Whoever your ideal customer, it’s important to give this person a name, a face, and some specific characteristics. It’s okay to have several ideal customers as well.
2. Where are your ideal customers spending their time?
The key to getting your brand in front of your customer is to reach them where they are already spending their time. For example, Sally may spend her mornings checking online news before taking her kids to school. Josh may spend his day checking Facebook between classes and reading surfing magazines.
There are tons of reports available to help you list the places where your ideal customer is spending time. Or you could simply create a survey asking your current customers a few key questions about themselves. Get to know them the best you can.
3. What is working and what isn’t?
There is a different mix of marketing initiatives that work for each individual business. The goal is to find yours. How will you do this? Test, analyze the results and adjust. Spread your marketing budget across multiple marketing channels, then take the time to review how each is working.
For example, say during the month of April you spent the following dollars on each of these marketing initiatives:
$1,000 on print advertisements
$1,500 on online advertisements
$300 on door to door flyers
Next comes the analysis. This takes time and can be difficult, but is also the most important step. Whether you are offering print ads, online ads or something different, there is always a way to track results.
In our example, say that print advertisements earned you $1,500 in revenue, online advertisements earned you $1,200 and flyers earned you $800.
What is your return on investment (ROI) for each of these initiatives? Return on investment is defined as the measure of profit earned from an investment.
The marketing ROI formula widely used is: (Gross profit - cost of investment) / cost of investment
Therefore, your ROI for the three marketing initiatives you tried in April is:
Print ads: 0.5 or 50%
Online ads: -0.2 or -20%
Door-to-door flyers: 1.66 or 166%
Based on this end-of-month analysis, door-to-door flyers was your most successful marketing initiative, while online advertisements actually cost you money. These results should inform your marketing decisions for the month following.
This may seem like a lot to take on at first. Start slow. Get to know your ideal customer(s). Test a couple new marketing initiatives against those that are already working for you. Your customers (old and new) will thank you for it.
Stay tuned to Social Haven for more refreshing marketing resources.