In today’s mobile, everyone connected everywhere we go; marketers have a tremendous opportunity to reach their target market or markets. With this opportunity comes a downside. The downside is noise. People are being pelted continually with messaging about a wide variety of products: Some they might be interested in and some that they might not be interested in. The key: Develop a strategy that takes you above the noise and targets specific people on a personal level. You can spread you message all over social media, advertising, posters, trade shows, really cool material, and so on; however, if you do not engage your audience, you are just added to the noise.
This overall strategy will be some combination of:
- Spreading the word,
In the end, we want our customers to at the very least think about our product or services in a positive light when they are making their buy decision. At the most, we want the customers to demand our product above others.
Do your Homework First – Many of the old rules still apply
They key to reaching any target market is to learn as much about each person in the buy decision as possible in order to reach them on a personal level. Note that I said each person and not companies or market. We are talking to individuals who make the buy decision. We should spark this relatively untapped tool with messages that invoke their passions. In order to invoke their passions, we must open a dialogue with individuals.
The biggest mistake marketers make is to communicate to the desired market and not to the individuals. For example, in b2b marketing, don’t define the different types of companies, but define the different types of people in that company that influence the buy decision.
Before developing any content, like to first define the product positioning. Product positioning is the statement that identifies and defines the product brand. In order to capture all of the attributes of a positioning statement, I always start with the following outline:
- For (target customer – not market. We need to make our position personal.)
- Who (statement of need or opportunity)
- The (product or service name)
- is a (Product category or market segment)
- that (statement of key benefit – compelling reason to buy – a compelling reason to change the status quo),
- Unlike (primary competitive product or alternative),
- Our product (statement of primary differentiation – in other words, what does the target customer get from our product that they don’t get from the competition or alternative).
This will form the basis for the messaging and value proposition. This messaging and value proposition will then be consistently used for all advertising, media, PR, social media, web sites, and social media. The next step is to analyze the individuals involved in the buy decisions. Each person will have a different level of involvement. Look at each individual’s: needs, interests, importance, emotional appeal, risks, and badge value.
With this information, you can then develop your initial messaging to reach each individual. Don’t forget to add proof points to each message for added punch.
Going Beyond Story Telling to an Engaging Conversation
Keep in mind that unlike the early marketing day, we as marketers are not in control of our messaging. The target audience is in charge. We need to talk with them and not at them. In fact, we should recognize that our target customers can produce more messages than we could ever create. We should engage in a campaign that not only creates a compelling story, but also creates a dialogue with the end users. This will spark this relatively untapped tool with messages that invoke their passions. Additionally, be ready to change at any given moment. If we properly open up a dialog with our campaigns, we will learn as much from our target customers as they will from our campaign.
When communicating with your target customers, make sure your messages have value and significance. Inspire your customers to participate and most importantly inspire them to spread the word. The last thing you want to do is to add to the noise. This will disengage your target customers.
Another important point when creating your content, make sure you monitor the results and conversation, react quickly, and adjust your campaign as needed. Don’t let your customers feel like you are not listening.
Spreading the Word
Once you have engaging content, you need to find the right channel to spread the word. This will include social media, print, videos, your web site, presentations, blogs, and any other means that you can think of. What channel you choose will depend on your target audience. Develop an extensive list of where your target market can be reached. Keep basic message consistent in each channel.
If you need any help, send me and email or give me a call.