Week 4: How - How Do I Find And Reach My Target Customers?
So in week one and two, we covered the ‘Who’ and ‘What’ of your business marketing planning and then the all-important ‘Why’ in week 3 to keep you focused. In week four we will be looking at the ‘How’ of your marketing: How do you find and reach your target customers?
What you need is a marketing strategy
In order to be successful in your marketing efforts though you first need to have identified your customer and their needs, and refined your product or offer accordingly. This knowledge is then used to create a successful marketing action plan, one based on understanding your market and industry, and then identifying where your best opportunities lie.
What is the best way to reach your target customers?
This is often referred to as choosing your ‘marketing mix’. The first question to answer is, how do your customers purchase your product? Online, from a store, at your location or perhaps even through a third party agent or distributor.
The answer to this question is going to largely dictate your ideal marketing mix. For the purpose of this course, we will be focusing mostly on online sales channels and digital marketing strategy as this is largely relevant to all channels however we will touch on other aspects of direct and local marketing in later weeks.
Even if you are a retail store, in today’s climate you cannot afford to be without your own online presence and can benefit massively from a marketing plan aimed to increase awareness and interest in your brand and maximise your reach. So let’s get into the main types of marketing channels/activities available to you to boost your business…
Your website is your ‘store-front’. It is the online face of your business. If it is messy and chaotic looking no one will want to go in. Likewise, if your website is outdated, messy hard to navigate or find, it is going to cost you customers.
2. Social Media
Social media consists of a growing number and variety of online channels to share content and interact with online. Creating profiles on social media channels is like free advertising space. Not to use it, especially the ones your customers are likely to be active on is just mad. Every business should be present on at least one or two relevant social media channels. Deciding which ones are relevant to you will be explained in more detail in week 8 when we post in more detail on social media marketing for your business.
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing where you target specific contacts, grown on your own email signup form and or importing existing leads, with targeted, scheduled marketing messages aimed to promote products and services, share interesting news and build brand recognition and engagement to people who have already been identified as relevant and build rapport nurturing them through your sales funnel. This is a very cost-effective way of directly reaching out to and nurturing potential customers. A lot of tools exist to help you create, schedule and send professional-looking emails and integrate it with your website and other marketing activity on of the best I have come across lately is called Convertkit or you may have heard of others like MailChimp or Dotmailer. All are well worth looking into if email marketing is something you think could work for you.
4. Direct mail
Direct mail seems to have largely fallen off the radar especially for small to medium-sized businesses. Often written off as too expensive or ineffective, today with all the online noise out there, direct mail when done properly can have incredibly high conversion rates.
5. Online advertising (PPC Pay Per Click)
Back online, okay so we have our perfect website up and running and are starting to see some tread in growing online social media followers and referrals to your website, but as with traditional business paid advertising in the local newspaper, yellow pages etc. you can buy space online. Prime online real-estate like the top three positions on a Google search results page for your product or a display banner on a website popular with your target audience are all available to purchase through various partners like Google, Bing, Facebook and more. This is recommended for any business wanting to drive instant traffic to a website, page or product. If you have a budget to spend and want to get yourself out there it is an incredibly effective method of reaching people either already looking for your product or reaching specific new targeted audiences that are likely to purchase.
We will be going through each of these and more in more detail as the weeks continue. To see what else is still to come up take a look at our introductory blog here and don’t forget, as always, please feel free to reach out. If you need help or advice on any of this please just get in touch via email, website or social media – we’re always happy to chat and give advice.
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Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.