When creating the best marketing strategy for your Washington DC area business, where should you start? As a marketing professional or business owner, creating an effective marketing strategy can seem like a daunting task and many people don’t know where to start. In part one of this series, you’ll read about the first three essential elements that will help you start creating the best marketing strategy for your business. These elements will give you guidance throughout the process and will ultimately help you create the best marketing strategy for your business.
1.) Understand your audience
Targeting is a subject that is easy to over-simplify. Many furniture retailers, appliance dealers, or home improvement companies might think their target audience is “anyone with a house”…and many grocery stores, package goods companies or restaurants identify everyone as their audience because everyone has to eat, right?
That is the kind of thinking that leads many companies to thinking that anyone and everyone is their target audience. But that is rarely the case.
Don’t over simplify this VERY important step in the advertising process. The deeper you get on understanding your current customers and the customers you want to attract, the better you are able to market to them. Go beyond age, gender, geography…and get deeper into what benefits they are seeking, what objections they have, what motivates them to purchase, etc…
A great marketing message that reaches the wrong audience won’t be beneficial for your company and won’t help your marketing efforts. The key is to understand your audience and tailor your advertising to reach them and to appeal to them.
Read more about targeting in this article we published: Guarantee Results From Your Advertising with These 3 Steps.
2.) Understand your competition
Be in the know. Knowing who your competitors are, what they do, how they do it. Being aware of their advertising strategy can help you create an effective marketing strategy for your own business.
Evaluate and analyze what makes your business different. But don’t focus on differences that don’t mean anything to your target audience. For example, how long you have been in business isn’t really a differentiator…even though you hear and see this claim in MANY marketing messages.
What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? What do you offer that your competitors don’t? What do you offer that you KNOW your target audience wants, that your competitors don’t?
When you think this way, you will find the opportunity for your marketing message. Focusing a campaign around your differences…and the benefits of those to your target audience will create an effective marketing message.
Here is an article we wrote about the creating an effective marketing message: Avoid this Mistake When Designing Your Marketing Message
3.) Make sure your house is ready
You only get one chance to make a first impression. Before creating and starting a marketing campaign, make sure all publicly facing elements of your business are ready for the public to see. This includes everything from your website and mobile site to your sales team and physical front door (if you have a store or building). If there are any aspects of your business that could make negative first impression, wait to start advertising until you have fixed them!
If you start a campaign without being ready for the traffic you will get, you will be wasting your precious marketing budget. More important, you could do more harm than good to your reputation.
As the saying goes…”You only have one chance to make a first impression.”
For more tips on making sure you’re ready, read this article we published: Get Your Marketing House in Order Before You Advertise.
Chcek back tomorrow for Part 2 of this series that will help you create the best marketing strategy for your Washington DC area business. In the meantime, stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends and download this free eBook: