In one of my previous roles I was responsible for the marketing department. One day my boss came back to me and complained that our marketing wasn’t working in one of the regions. “We need to advertise more” was his feedback from the regional staff.
My response – “Everyone is a marketing expert.”
Now of course that’s not true. Everyone isn’t a marketing expert and that’s the problem.
In this case, the marketing campaign was working and it generated leads. The problem was, the staff weren’t following up on the leads that were given to them. We were experiencing only a 19% conversation rate across the board which was appalling until I found out why. The staff felt we needed to advertise more. We didn’t need more advertising. We needed them to understand that they played a role in converting the sale. They had to follow up.
What’s the point of spending all this money on marketing if you don’t understand the purpose and the process behind any marketing or advertising campaign?
1. Know your audience
Who is your audience or target market? If you don’t know this, then how do you know what message to create or what marketing channel you should use to reach your target market.
Before you embark on any marketing campaign, you must understand who your audience is. The best way to do this is by creating buyer personas for your business. A buyer persona is a fictional character and is a representation of your ideal customer. Buyer personas outline who your customers are, where they live, how old they are, what are their likes and dislikes along with their buying habits.
2. Have an objective
Before you create a marketing message, know what your objective is. For example do you want to;
- Build brand equity
- Build trust and rapport
- Get more followers on Social Media
- Generate new leads
- Make the phone ring
- Send a prospect to your website
- Send the prospect to an optin form or landing page
- Get the prospect to buy now (limited offer)
- Attract prospects to your place of business
3. Decide what marketing channels you are going to use
Every marketing channel is unique. Placing an advertisement in the newspaper is completely different from a radio or television advertisement. Twitter is very different from Facebook Instagram and Snapchat.
Buyer personas highlight what marketing channels your ideal customers are likely to use. A younger demographic is likely to interact with social media and your website. An older demographic might relate better to a newspaper advertisement or something on the radio.
4. Create your marketing message
Now you are ready to match your marketing objective with the right marketing channel your ideal customers are likely to use. Always use the AIDA approach in constructing your marketing messages.
For someone to read your message, you need to attract their attention. This may be with a photo, a drawing or even a headline. A great marketing message will always have a compelling headline. A powerful headline attracts attention and suggests there is a benefit in it for the person reading the message.
Hold Their Interest
After reading the headline, your marketing message needs to create interest. The heading captures their immediate attention, now the message needs ensure they are interested enough to continue to read on.
Once you have their attention, and they were interested enough to read on, the next step is to stimulate desire. They will ask themselves, what’s in it for me? The main objective in your marketing message is to persuade your audience to do something? Keep to one objective per marketing message. Having multiple objectives will only confuse your audience.
The final reaction to a person reading your marketing message, is the action you want them to take. The action they take depends on your objective. Do you want them to call you, follow you, visit your website or even visit your place of business? An action needs to be included in your marketing message.
5. Match your marketing channel to the message
The way you write your message needs to be adapted to the marketing channel you are using. The AIDA principle is a very helpful guide if you are using traditional marketing channels such as newspapers, radio and television. Apart from knowing what your objective is, you must have a strong call to action so your target audience knows what you want them to do.
Social media is completely different from other types of marketing channels. Social media is not a quick fix. It is fantastic if you are looking to build brand awareness and engagement which is a long term marketing strategy.
Push push pushing what you sell through social media channels doesn’t work and it turns your followers off very quickly. However, if one of your marketing objectives is to gain more followers, build trust and rapport or even build brand equity, then yes this is a great platform to use provided you balance your posts with content that is also useful and interesting.
Social Media can be treated as any other marketing channel if you get into paid advertising. Then your approach is like any paid advertisement. If you are going to use paid advertising on social media, again the AIDA principle is a helpful guide.
6. Train your staff
When your people answer an incoming phone call, email or respond to a social media post, they need to know how to handle the inquiry effectively. There is nothing more frustrating to a potential customer than to be given the run-around. All your people are in sales whether they think they are or not. It helps to train them all on how the sales process works.
Be ready in advance to take those phones calls or handle email inquiries. Make sure all your staff are aware of when marketing campaigns are underway and prepare them in advance. Have scripts and pricing handy for them to refer to. Even have a copy of the marketing campaign so they understand what outcomes you are looking to achieve.
If you are using social media – make sure you or someone in your team is on standby to answer any questions your followers might have 24/7 and respond quickly to people who are interested in your posts. If you don’t, prospects will give up very quickly.
7. Follow up
One of the most basic crimes committed during a marketing campaign is not following up. Make sure you put the resources in place BEFORE embarking on a marketing campaign. If you don’t, here is a lesson in how to lose potential customers quickly. When a potential customer responds to your message, you have achieved your objective only if you can satisfy their needs within a short period of time otherwise they will go elsewhere.
On a final note
Follow these simple steps and you will generate leads that will help grow your business.
In a Nutshell
Don’t waste a lot of time or money on marketing campaigns that don’t work. Follow this simple process to get better results.
- Know your audience
- Have a marketing objective
- Decide what marketing channel you will use
- Create your marketing message using the AIDA principle
- Match your marketing channel to the message
- Train your staff
- Follow up