Category Archives: Marketing – General

First Comes Marketing Strategy

30 models of marketing strategySo often I’ll get a request from a company representative for a price on execution of a piece of marketing. A Facebook page. A website. Maybe a PDF brochure or a prospecting email.

All of these items are fine on their own. Marketing Tactics. A marketing tool that helps support marketing results.

But alone, without being in support of a goal, the tactic simply doesn’t work.

Marketing Strategy Must Come First!

If you don’t have your strategy planned out, you will just do things and wonder why it doesn’t have the intended results.

So what is strategy? Many people ask me that. Personally I like to talk about the 4 M’s of marketing. It’s not the same as the 4P’s of marketing.

Today I wanted to link to a website that has many different marketing strategies. Ways to approach the marketing. No one way is correct and the others wrong, but it helps to understand the concepts behind these strategies.

I share this link to Marketing Strategies because it’s a great starting point. This page has 30 different methods, concepts and models of marketing strategies.  Notice each one of these models and concepts are not talking about your social media tactics in your Instagram or Snapchat account, or the color of your logo or how you’ll blast out this email content? No, these strategies are talking about the foundation of the marketing… the why, not the how.

There is definitely a difference between strategy and tactics.

How Many Interviews Does it Take to Make a Decision?

I recently read that Ikea will be doing market research with their customers.

They want to get some ideas for new product development. No big surprise there.

What did surprise me was HOW MANY they were going to do. Not a focus group of 10-12 customers in 3 different cities… or even 2 sets of 10-12 customers in 3 different cities.

Not the 125 or 150 people of one-on-one in person surveys that are sometimes called a mall intercept.

No, they are going to talk with 1,000 of their consumers! In person – at their house – looking at their furniture.

I find that number pretty amazing. I imagine that they will be using customer service staff, R&D staff, marketing staff and more to get all those interviews done in a year. I can just imagine the report! Better not print it out unless you have a few reams of paper!

They’re sure to get lots of ideas, but with a 1,000 interviews, it’s almost like combining qualitative and quantitative market research!

I’m curious… How many in-person interviews have you done with your clients or customers to make a decision? Do you use the results to improve current products, validate new products before launch or brainstorm new ideas? Leave a message in the comments below.

Shifting Demographics May Mean More Intense Marketing to a Shifting Group of Key Individuals

Shifting demographics - like number of babies born - changes how marketers approach their audienceMarketers know that a change in a household can signal a great marketing opportunity. The beginning of school. Moving to college. Buying a home. Getting married. Having that first child.

Shifting demographics can make make you need to re-evaluate your marketing positioning:

For instance:

  • Marriage not only occurs later in life than it used to… In 50% of the first marriages, a baby precedes the wedding. Since 1988, when the “Great Crossover” happened, it is more common in the USA for the first baby to be born to an unwed mother. And the trend is definitely rising.  Baby then marriage: In 2011, the average age for the first baby is 25.5 and for the first marriage is 26.5
  • Since 1970, there has been a huge change in the number of drivers in the USA. The number of drivers has doubled since 1970 from around 100,000 drivers to over 200,000 drivers on the road.
  • And many people don’t realize there is a giant gender gap in new car purchases with women buying 63% of the new cars, and influencing an estimate 85% of all car buying decisions.

Surprised by any of these?

As a marketer, it’s important to know your market. A bit of research can make all the difference. Who is your target market? What do they read, listen to and think about? What are their values?

If you can more narrowly focus your efforts onto a key demographic… and you actually understand how they think, feel and act… you’re way ahead of the game.

Reap the Benefits from Direct Marketing

Are you’re considering the idea of direct marketing to reach the right customers?  While direct mail marketing is considered a traditional type of marketing, direct marketing doesn’t have to be the post office mail distribution.

Direct Marketing provide benefits because it is a very targeted approach.  You’re reaching out to potential customers and clients who are predisposed to your service offerings or products.

There are 3 components to direct marketing: 1) the Creative 2) the Offer and 3) the LIST.

For what ever reason it seems most people spend too much time writing and editing the creative.

They put hours into the brochure, switching photos around and rewriting every each word.

In general, they spend just a fraction of the time working on the offer, the reason someone will contact them back.  The offer may have a deadline or special price or extra value.

Unfortunately many business people who are marketing directly to their target market don’t realize how important the list they use is until it is time to send it.  So they rush out and buy any old list.

Unfortunately, that’s all backwards. The most important part of a direct marketing program is your list. You should be creating your own in house list. One that you OWN. It should be your best customers, your “hot” leads, your potential customers and acquaintances of your business. A house list is the best list and an investment in your business.

Using a rented list that was compiled from a phone company list or even a chamber of commerce will not provide a good return on investment (in general). You’ll want to work to get a strong list of your customers and potential customers for marketing.

So, you can reap the benefits of direct marketing by really focusing on the list, making the offer important and just get the creative done without working on it over and over.  Remember who you are marketing to is the most important component.

How do you cultivate your list? Have you fully defined your target market?

When Should You Advertise on Facebook Over Google?

In an advertising discussion the other day, the question of click-thru  or pay-per-click advertising came up:

“Facebook Ads  or Google Ads?”

Each has their strengths and weaknesses

Facebook ads are postage stamp size, but unlike adwords, at least there is a photo. Google display ads offer better visuals for larger content. Facebook allows you to present impressions to very targeted group.  (You can narrow down by zip code and age for example.)  Google ads work better for business-to-business advertising than Facebook ads. Many businesses block Facebook from work computers.  Facebook ads don’t show up on my smartphone, but I’m not seeing Google ads when I search on the phone either..  Maybe that will change after the IPO and Facebook is looking at quarterly profit reporting to shareholders…

With Facebook’s IPO set to launch tomorrow, I though this might be a timely topic. I even found this infographic that presented some of the pros and cons of Facebook vs Google advertising from a graphic perspective:

So tell me.  Which do you choose and why?  What do you think? Leave a comment below.