Successful Marketing Starts With The Basics

by · August 25, 20143 comments

The same people keep asking the same questions about digital marketing, social media and marketing in general. They keep wondering where the easy button is (there isn’t one). They keep looking for someone to swoop in with an answer (there isn’t one, but many). They keep thinking there’s some magic “thing” they’re missing (there is none).

Good marketing, online or off-, social or traditional, direct or mass, is the same now as it was 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 10 years ago. It will be the same 10, 50 and 100 years from now. The tools and trends change. The audience behavior may change, too. But the key to good marketing does not.

To answer your questions, start over. Go back to your college classes or the first few books you read and re-learn how to market. Stop obsessing with the latest tool, trend, website or hashtag and get back to the core – communicating messages to your audience(s) to persuade.

Start With The First Rule Of Communications

Quick! What is the first rule of communications?

Know Your Audience

Relevance-Bulls-Eye-600pIf anything, the social media movement has taught us that what we do, what we make, what we provide doesn’t matter if it isn’t focused on the customer. How can we then produce something of value that people want to have enough to pay for if we don’t know who they are, where they work or play, what they like and dislike … what channels they use?

From really dialing in your target consumer, doing focus groups and research to know exactly who it is that will buy your product, to listening to feedback from your current customers … all the way to monitoring online conversations — not just your Twitter mentions and Facebook comments — you are dead in the water if you don’t listen, focus, segment and build your messaging around relevance.

The Relevance Bullseye shows us that when you have the right message delivered to the right audience at the right time and in the right location, your marketing is optimal. If you’re not listening … if you don’t react and respond … if you don’t target and segment …

Then you’re spraying and praying.

Guess what that means … you’re spraying and praying your money, too.

Knowing your audience means you do the following things really well:

  1. Clearly understand who your product or service is for
  2. Know where and how and with whom that consumer lives, works, eats, sleeps, breathes, hangs out, passes their time, passes gas and passes out.
  3. Listen to what they say, think and do, what they think of your product, your service, your competitors, your industry and, if applicable, your momma.
  4. Know who influences them and how or whether or not you can effectively work through those influencers to communicate with them.
  5. Once the prospect becomes a customer, you serve them like their business is the only business you need to survive.

Are these cost prohibitive? Are they hard? Sometimes. But if you don’t know your audience, you are DEAD.

Re-start there. The rest will become obvious.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • swathi

    it’s nice….

  • Virginia Harris

    This article definitely makes sense. There is so many established companies out there trying to hop on the digital trend but not doing it right. Its as if they don’t understand the technology itself and then also don’t understand what their customer is looking for from them in the digital arena. I feel like a lot of companies just want to say they are on twitter or on instagram but don’t know what they are doing there or what they are trying to accomplish. They need help!

  • Madi

    This article is the reason why many companies fail to get the most out of their social media marketing strategy. Lots of research needs to be done in relation to target audience. Another thing that companies are doing wrong is not using the different platforms in the right way. You can’t put the same thing on Facebook as you do on Twitter! These require two different strategies.