When every dollar counts for your business, it’s important to know all of the options and opportunities available prior to making an investment. This is true for all areas of your business, not just marketing dollars. Successful business owners do their homework, research, and take the time to consider all choices.
When scouting for a brick and mortar storefront, you consider location, traffic flow, neighborhoods, etc. When searching for office equipment you research price, durability, and for some the style and image it will present for the office. When purchasing ingredients for a restaurant, you don’t just go for the ‘lowest cost tomatoes’. So why do businesses continue to throw money away on advertising that doesn’t work?
This year, stop buying the ‘lowest cost’ advertising and hoping for high quality results.
FACT: Marketing only works when you make it work.
Marketing dollars only work when spent wisely. Follow these simple steps when considering where and how to market your business:
A message at the right frequency, consistently reaching the correct demographic will produce results.
What does this mean? It means you have to be strategic about your marketing objectives if you really want to see results. (And ‘strategic’ is not code for ‘cheap’ or, on the flip side, ‘throw lots of money at everything’.) Strategy involves planning and knowing your business.
Let’s break it down
What is the message you want to share with your audience? Are you a brand new store looking to get your name out in the community? Are you a large franchise focused on sharing your local roots? Whatever the focus, make sure all of your marketing clearly resonates with the message you’re trying to convey.
Shockingly I am going to admit that not all advertising campaigns need to run all the time. That’s right, you don’t have to be running ad nauseam to have your message heard. Think about your business. Do you want weekday traffic? Evening guests? Are you looking to book appointments consistently? The easiest way to determine the frequency of your message is to understand the result you hope to achieve from advertising.
Example: A restaurant may choose to run advertising in afternoons, evenings, or on weekends. This is when their clientele is actively searching for dining options. A dentist may not follow the same marketing schedule, as their clients will not book appointments in the same fashion.
Have you ever said the phrase ‘well I tried it for a week and it didn’t work’? It doesn’t matter if you’re referring to a diet plan, an exercise routine, or your marketing campaign – nothing works if you’re going to give up after a week. If you only plan to tell people about your business for one week, what do you plan to do the other 51 weeks out of the year?
Be strategic in your marketing message. Consistency is different than its close cousin, ‘Constantly’. You can develop a marketing schedule across multiple platforms that allows you a consistent place in the marketing world without having to run constantly across all mediums.
Unless you are in the business of family reunions your ‘target audience’ is not ‘everyone 25 -54’. Quit it.
Consider your core audience. Are you trying to reach males or females? Millennials or Baby Boomers? Parents with children at home or Empty Nesters? Is household income something you consider? Once you have your target customer in mind, consider your advertising options. Choose the platform that can best fit the demographic you are trying to reach. Consider too, that some media companies are able to take your ideal customer and create a target profile for them in the digital space. This type of targeted display advertising works best for businesses who have a focused awareness of their core audience.
Someone out there needs to hear this too: Social media is not the ONLY type of marketing in which you should invest.
Now you’ve sat down and considering all of your key points. The message you want to share. When and where you’re trying to reach customers. And most importantly, who that target consumer may be. Next comes the research phase.
Where to Invest
Know all of the available opportunities before you invest in a marketing platform. Be sure to gather information and explore all of the options. Consider radio, print, digital, outdoor, and television. Any credible advertising medium will be able to give you insight into their core audience, reach, engagement, etc.
Once you know what you’re hoping to achieve, it’s easier to see what advertising platforms align with your goals.
Confused or overwhelmed with where to start? Our marketing representatives can provide a comprehensive look at all of the opportunities in the local market. Sure, they’d like to sell you radio and some digital too. But their ultimate goal is to help your business grow. And that’s where they start.
If you still have questions on how to begin or what the best option may be for your business, request one of our free marketing analysis sessions. That’s a really fancy way of saying our team can sit down with your team, listen, and connect. We’re fun too. So that’s a plus.
Jessica Goldberg is the Director of Digital Media for 5 Star Media Group. For over a decade, Jessica has spent time observing how local businesses connect with their community, with each other, and engage in the digital space.