Perhaps one of the most irritating things about today’s marketing is how quickly everything changes. The internet has given rise to innumerable types of social media. With the advancement of smartphones and tablets, information is accessible quickly and in a variety of ways. Keeping tabs on all the places your prospects could be is downright exhausting!
It honestly makes you want to just list your business in the Yellow Pages.
For any of you who don’t recall, it was a giant book that a business called the “phone company” would print out every 6 Months to a year and drop on to your front doorstep. It was so easy in those days. You had a printed ad in the telephone book and maybe a few other options for advertising. Poster boards, Radio spots and TV ads (for those with money) were how you marketed your company.
Some people were even using this little thing called ” the mail system” to mail out actual mail to customers telling them about events and upcoming sales.
Ah the old simple days….
Now you’ ve got all that plus online company listings, several websites to cover PC and phone users, a Facebook page, a Linked In page, a listing on Yelp, your own Twitter account and a guy standing on the street corner in a banana suit holding a giant sign driving traffic to your business. With so much being used, it’s no wonder that many businesses often lose sight of their targets periodically.
Figure out your target
Most businesses figure out who their target customer is when they initially launch. You develop a solid marketing plan that fits that particular demographic appropriately and release it. It’s pretty simple and direct.
But with the constantly changing landscape in the world, do you ever check to make sure the target is still there? While you were focusing on your product, new development and sales, do you also remember to keep your eye on your original target. Heck, is your product still targeted at that demographic?
Refocus on Your Target
A great marketing plan has something very important in common with a great business plan; you review it often. Sometimes you can initially create a great product. But after the initial launch, things can change. Perhaps you make adjustments for different versions or upgrades. Maybe you don’t change anything, but the actual customers who end up buying your product are not the ones you initially assumed.
As you take the time to review your business plan to make sure everything is solid and running smoothly, you should also do the same with your marketing plan.
Things to look at:
Where are the people who buy my product hiding? (Social media sites, Twitter, under a rock)
Is my current marketing strategy addressing my primary and secondary customer group?
Am I sending the right message about my product or is it outdated?
Have I updated all my marketing information recently?
Appearance is everything
It’s surprising how many businesses ignore marketing after their initial launch. Web pages that were exciting at their initial launch are soon dusty and outdated. Marketing materials lack reference to current contact information, links to Facebook, etc., but don’t look professional.
The overall agreement from a client is, “If you can’t manage to keep track of these items to promote yourself, why would I even want your product?”
Besides the simple aspect of retaining current customers and gaining new customers, your marketing also reflects who you are and is factored into the overall image you have. How do you feel about a company whose web page has not been updated with anything current in the past year?
The bottom line
It would be great if you could just set up your marketing and then forget about it. But, in today’s world, if you do, there will more than likely be a lot of missed business. You need to be fluid and habitual, almost fanatical about marketing and how you update and use it. So take the time to review your plan to make sure you are focused on your customer. Ideally, it’s your best tool for selling your product; but if you neglect it, it can easily become a detractor.