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
If 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:
- Clearly understand who your product or service is for
- Know where and how and with whom that consumer lives, works, eats, sleeps, breathes, hangs out, passes their time, passes gas and passes out.
- 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.
- Know who influences them and how or whether or not you can effectively work through those influencers to communicate with them.
- 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.