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Successful marketing starts with the customer
May 30, 2013 | Inga Rundquist

customers

One of the hardest things about branding and marketing is figuring out where to start. You’ve got your marketing budget set aside. You know what you want to promote. Then what? What is the best way to use your marketing dollars to achieve your goals?

Too often marketers fall into the trap of simply doing the same thing they’ve always done. If you’re spending boatloads of dollars on a Yellow Page ad just because that’s what you’ve done for the past 10 years, then don’t be surprised if you don’t see results.

How do you figure out which channels you should utilize to communicate relevant and timely messages that prospects will welcome?

Thankfully we’ve got the answer to your question. Well…it’s more like the question to your question… Ask yourself:

How often and through what channels does this person want to interact with and experience my brand?

The answer to this question will ultimately help you build a successful marketing campaign that will truly engage your target audience. That’s because it’s built on a very simple – but important – premise: start with your customer!

Newsflash – it’s highly unlikely that your customer is going to proactively seek your brand out in the marketplace. The days of top-down marketing where TV, radio and print advertising were used to broadcast marketing messages are over. It’s up to you to find ways to inject your brand into your customer’s lives in new and meaningful ways. To do that, you have to see things from his or her perspective.

Start by determining who you want to reach and what your specific goals are.

Next, it’s time to figure out the best ways to communicate and interact with your target audience in order to achieve those results.

This means it’s time to do some digging. Use primary and secondary research to determine what channels to use and how often to interact with consumers. Are your customers active online? Do they listen to the radio? Do they rely on friend’s recommendations to make buying decisions? Are they active smart phone users? Do they fast forward through TV commercials? Do they conduct online research before making purchasing decisions?

Next, figure out how your customer would respond to a marketing message in their preferred channel of communication. Does an ad make sense? Or is a more subtle approach better? Do customers want to interact with your brand? Or would they prefer you take a back-seat?

The goal is to know your customers so well that you know preferences for channel type, frequency of contact and types of offers and messaging.

When you have a full understanding of these preferences, you’re able to build a strategic marketing campaign that will effectively communicate with your customer. And throw in some smokin’ hot creative and you’re well on your way to developing an engaging brand.

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