Solving the Marketing Strategy Mystery
By Lisa Cherney
People ask me all the time, “Now that I have this brochure, what do I do with it?” The “doing” is what us marketers call Marketing Strategies. There is so much advice out there about which ads you MUST run, which direct mailer you SHOULD use and what networking events to attend, it can make your head spin! It makes my head spin and I run a marketing company! So, how do we decide where to spend our marketing money and time? Here’s a simple process:
1. Determine where your Ideal Clients hang out
2. Decide how you want to be there
3. Take action
4. Pay attention to the results
5. Repeat Step 2-5
Now, just so your head doesn’t spin with, “This isn’t what [fill in the blank with your latest marketing guru] said I should do!” Please know that step zero is following your own intuition. Yes, even though you don’t have lots of marketing experience, your intuition still knows what’s right for you.
Step 1. Determine Where Your Ideal Clients Hang Out
If this term “Ideal Clients” is a new one for you, read “Do You Know Who Your Ideal Client Is?” in the May/June ’04 issue. It talks all about how your “target” only scratches the surface when defining whom you want to attract. A target can be “anyone who has a health problem” while your Ideal Client is “people who are excited about trying alternative healing modalities.” It gives us an opportunity to channel all the awareness we have about what we don’t want (i.e. clients who are fearful of alternative medicine) and turn them into traits of our Ideal Clients.
Based upon your Ideal Client description, start to brainstorm places they can be found. Formulate a life-size Ideal Client hologram in your head and see where they go and what they like to do. Here are some questions:
a. Where does my Ideal Client shop, eat and go for entertainment?
b. What does my Ideal Client like to read? (Include websites and free publications like Awareness Magazine)
c. Where do they go for continuing education or spiritual fulfillment?
You will quickly build a list of places where you can connect with your Ideal Client. Be open. Don’t edit yourself.
Step 2. Decide How You Want to Be There
Now, this is where the various forms of advertising come in. If you identify that your Ideal Clients eat at vegetarian restaurants or take classes at The Learning Annex, decide how you want to be there. The most common choices are print ads, directory listings, direct mail (i.e. coupon mailers, flyers, letters, postcards, etc.), in-person networking, radio or TV ads (a.m. stations or cable are affordable) and electronic newsletters. For example: Does your favorite veggie spot have a newsletter where you can advertise? Does the organization have a mailing list you can purchase?
There are many things that are low or no cost like calendar/event listings or being covered by the media (which is referred to as public relations). Then there are the low or no-cost opportunities that usually require a commitment of time like writing articles, being a speaker at an organization or community classes.
You can also simply hang out in the place where your Ideal Clients are, and
introduce yourself (no, this is not being a stalker, just being friendly). Maybe
the owner will let you do a free screening or some other event that gives your
clients a sample of your product or service.
Step 3. Take Action &
Step 4. Pay Attention to Results
There are lots of strategies to choose from and lots of theories on what is the most effective, but the important factor is to choose something and get started. However, whatever you choose, be sure to track your results! You can minimize a waste of time and money by simply paying attention to what works.
This means always asking people “How did you hear about us?” Add a field to your order form, train your receptionist and make yourself a HUGE reminder sign above your computer. When you track results, you can release worry about trying something and failing. Try something, wait a few months, and stop if your results show it’s not working.
As a professional marketer, and a big fan of asking for help, I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest that sometimes you need to consult an expert. If you are trying lots of things, the results are dismal and it feels like something is missing, find someone who can guide you. Sometimes it is not the advertising venue, but the ad itself that is not working.
Solving the marketing strategy mystery may be as simple as deciding to start
your journey, choosing a path, adjusting the course when it doesn’t feel right
and being willing to connect with strangers. Those strangers just may need your
service and will be grateful you crossed their path.
Lisa Cherney is a Business Intuitive, Marketing Consultant and President & Founder of Conscious Marketing™. Visit www.ConsciousMarketing.com or call (888) 771-0156 for more details.
© 2006 Lisa Cherney
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