Imagine going over to your local electronics store, purchasing a marketing GPS, plugging in your target audience and having it navigate your marketing so that every one of your efforts reached your ideal customer at the exact right time with a message that moved their wallets to open up to make an immediate purchase. That would be small business utopia wouldn’t it? Your bank account would be overflowing and you would be making expansion plans rather than scratching your head trying to figure out what to do next.
Unfortunately, no such machine exists but the thought process can be implemented nonetheless. As a small business owner it can be challenging to determine which marketing tactics are right for your business because there is no one-size-fits all formula.
Plug in Your Destination
When you get into your car and need to use your GPS to navigate to your destination what do you do first? Plug in the address, of course. The key to using your Marketing GPS and developing a successful marketing plan is first figuring out where your customers are. You must understand and be able to think like your customers. Which for some can be difficult to do if your ideal customer is very different from who you are. Here are some questions to ask yourself about your target audience in order to figure out where to find them.
- What web sites, blogs or Podcasts do they subscribe to?
- What print publications do they read?
- What industry associations do they belong to?
- Who do they go to for recommendations when they’re considering a purchase?
- Where do they shop, eat, or attend social gatherings?
- Where do they network and make connections?
- Which social media sites are they most active on?
Follow the Turn by Turn Directions
Once you know where your customers are the next step is to follow the path to reach them. Be sure to try marketing through each of the channels where your target audience can be found. Do they regularly read blogs? Then you should be blogging. Do they purchase a specific magazine? Either advertise or seek to be featured in that magazine. Are they members of a specific professional organization? Offer discounts to the organization, join, or speak at their events. And the list continues. Your marketing efforts should follow the life your ideal customer’s leads.
Nothing makes a sane person scream in their car faster than the GPS repeating the word “recalculating”. It’s frustrating to miss your turn, or to have to take an alternate route, but it happens. The same is true with your marketing. Not every marketing tactic that you try will be a success. When you try something and the results are lackluster rather than get frustrated, pause, evaluate and recalculate your plan.
Use this approach to develop your own Marketing GPS and you will find it easy to develop and execute a sound marketing strategy. For help with really understanding your target audience and where to find them or developing your marketing plan schedule a complimentary discovery session and let me help you successfully reach your target audience.
What is your biggest marketing challenge? Do you feel you know where your customers are? Leave me a comment below.
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