No matter what you’re doing, there’s a good chance you could increase your potential with a bit of effective marketing, and if you’re in business, you probably get bombarded by lots of invitations to “invest” your hard-earned money into clever marketing campaigns, promising unbelievable returns on your marketing investment.
The minute you buy a domain your email starts filling up with offers and promises of being rich and famous and you start getting emails and calls from strange email addresses and phone numbers with representatives from some of the best companies, like Google, Go Daddy, Facebook, and Microsoft, speaking broken English insisting you’re not using your technology correctly, but they can fix all your problems in exchange for your credit card information.
Hopefully, you become aware of the tech marketing scams that are out there before you get taken for a ride by these clever imposters.
The best way to get a handle on your marketing dollars is to remember who your target market is. If you haven’t already, create a person who represents the most people in your target market with all their idiosyncrasies and characteristics, assign a physical appearance to this person and give him or her a name. This is your customer avatar.
The identity of your customer avatar, let’s say his name is Corey, helps you stay on track when you’re approached with marketing schemes. You can ask, “What is the likelihood that Corey will be the recipient of this marketing campaign? If not, you can easily pass on the opportunity because it clearly does not reach your target market.
Community organizations and non-profits will approach you for support in exchange for exposure or endorsement. If you are able you should participate in some of these opportunities because they build good will in your community, but you should remember to ask yourself if their campaign is going to reach your Corey. If the answer is no, then pass on it, unless of course it’s your nephew’s little league team.
Keep in mind that you are looking for a balance between what you spend and the promotional payoff that can be measured in additional sales, increase in business or attracting new clients. As you manage different campaigns and closely monitor your results, you will find which programs benefit you in the best way, and you can have a sense of expenditure vs. benefit. Having this information gives you something to use in comparison. If a program does not fare well, stop it.
You need to consider three areas regarding a potential marketing effort, they are:
1 Will it reach your target market (Corey)?
2 Will it impact and benefit your position?
3 Will the investment compare to the projected results?
If the answers to 1, 2 and 3 are on track, the marketing plan is worth a go, if not, pass on it.
You need a marketing plan. If you don’t have one, you need one and you should set aside a certain percentage of your revenues (10 to 40%) to invest in marketing. If you do not have a marketing plan in place now (or soon) don’t be surprised when your revenues dwindle and you find them severely deteriorating over time. If you wait too long, the damage may not be repaired via marketing.
Whoever you are, whatever you’re doing: You need exposure to new people and potential markets. The new blood will help to sustain your continued success. No business succeeds in a vacuum.