Target Practice! Marketing Marksmanship


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Marketing is not as straightforward as it used to be back in the mid-20th century. You knew where you were with your platforms, there was TV, print, and radio and using a combination of these platforms gave you a total coverage for your product because you knew that these were the only platforms people used. Flash forward to the present day, and we have so much choice that it becomes a difficult task to pick the best platform for your product. While there were memorable jingles in the 1950s or a flashy billboard, now even the most expensive commercial seems like old-hat. The problem is that now that the buying public are so used to high-budget or high-octane commercials, that their expectations are high, almost too high. The difficulty that marketing agencies have now is not just understanding the buying habits of one demographic, but that one demographic of, say 18-21 years old, is easily broken down into sub-demographics. Each sub-demographic has their own habits and preferred platforms. Marketing techniques need to become more widescreen in scope, and more focused in their efforts. Standing out from the crowd is very difficult now when it comes to marketing your product. What can we do to help our marketing campaigns hit the targets?


Who Is Your Target Market?

Do you really know? Not knowing exactly who your product is aimed towards is something that, surprisingly, many businesses are guilty of. So many think that covering a wide-ranging spectrum of customers is a safer bet than focusing down on specific areas of a demographic. And it sounds very sensible to cover all bases, but the issue with this is that you are using a very general approach to try and appeal to all areas. As a result, you are very likely to appeal to no one at all. It’s the marketing equivalent of spreading yourself too thinly. Instead, take the time to understand who your product is for and target that group with carefully plotted techniques, and get on the platforms they tend to use to consume their information. Social media is widespread, but which platforms do they use?



Do You Know Your Social Media Platform Etiquette?

It’s more than posting promotional materials on a regular basis. A measure of online success is about being able to communicate with your target market, not to them! Using your product to add value to their lives via social media is about going through user comments and asking questions to further establish what people require and what people do not like about the product. The perils of using social media to communicate with customers means that you can get caught up trying to please one person purely because they are “shouting the loudest” on Twitter. Because your business is, to an extent, naked on social media, it means that you can easily be targeted for complaints and “verbal” attacks. Learning how to deal with these is part and parcel of social media etiquette. Likewise, posting on social media is not only about aiming for the lowest common denominator; it is about making the right content for your audience to encourage shares and distribution by your followers. If you get this right, you will be using your customers as a marketing tool. Customers are the best marketing tool because they are the true measure of whether your product is appealing. They are so compelled by a product they will tell their friends about it, and the message is compounded. There are also little tricks to getting your post the most views as possible. There are what is called “Social Media Dead Zones” and knowing when to not post to social media is just as important as knowing when to post. You can find these at this website to get a better idea of when to post. Being an influencer is the buzzword on social media, and this is attainable by one simple thing, content. Being a source of information on all things relevant to your product is what will build up your reputation as a worthwhile source. If you establish yourself as an influencer, people will keep coming back to you and show you an allegiance. Content is the most valuable commodity in social media, and by making content that is compelling it will get shared, and it will increase traffic.



Is The Message Clear?

Sometimes the message can become caught up in the mix of flashy graphics and wondrous colors that the actual thing you want to communicate is garbled. The point behind marketing a product is not to blindside the customer with flashing images, but to instill a need to buy the product. If you get feedback on a commercial, for example, and the comments are on how creative it is, you have failed. Write a commercial that people find so interesting that it makes them want to buy the product. By all means, use flashy images if it doesn’t get in the way of the message. The message needs to be clear, and if you need a lot of dynamic action shots and big, bold imagery, is what you are saying enough? If so, then you need to rethink your message. The message is a clear and concise statement of your product and its intentions, so think hard about what you want to say. Making the message clear is about one thing, getting your audience’s attention…



Have You Even Found A Way To Grab Your Audience’s Attention?

It’s a perfectly valid question. The whole idea of standing out from the crowd in the modern business world is a massive headache for marketing companies, and every company or small business has its own identity, it’s just about making that identity unique enough to compel people to purchase the product. You can take various routes down this road – there is the approach where you can make your business so memorable, that it borders on insanity. For example, the rental company convinced the residents of Halfway, Oregon to rename the city to! They did this by offering the town a package deal of company stock, internet access for the town (this was in 1999), computers, as well as a free giveaway. was bought by eBay, for over $300 million! They also got a spot on the map! Never be afraid to think outside of the box. Even if your product is a little unsavory, look at the Poo-Pourri ad campaigns. They took a product that was designed to make toilets smell better while being used and scattered (sorry) it everywhere, using a beautiful actress and cracking (again, sorry) poop jokes. The result? A viral video sensation and a dedicated customer base that will stay with you for life! The method doesn’t even have to be that extravagant. A common way to get people to click onto your site is to have a tagline that is extreme in its nature. Many blogs thrive on the extreme nature of its titles, How To Kill Your Business In One Week Flat! is a very extreme and immediate title and one that is likely to inspire a few people to read on…



Provide The Solution

This is what all marketing hinges on. Customers need a reason to buy your product. Why are their lives going to be better by owning this product? How can you do this? Look at your target market and do your research. Give your target market what they want or what they are interested in, and give it to them. It may mean modifying your product to meet their needs, or it might mean reconfiguring your marketing campaign and focusing it more on a certain aspect. But in providing the solution to your target market’s problem that is what will get you sales! If there is a demand for the product that is half of the marketing job done. If you look at why you buy a product, it is because it is fulfilling a need in your life. Even if your product isn’t an “essential” part of everyday life, you need to find a way to make it so. The computer wasn’t essential, and now it is! The need for the item far outweighs anything else in your marketing arsenal.



You can dress up a product in many different ways, but the fundamentals of marketing will never change, it’s just now there are a lot more platforms to cover. In one way this can be a massive challenge, but in another way, it means you are able to reach a more diverse scope of people. That way, you can really figure out who your product is best suited for, communicating yourself properly on social media, conveying the message in a way that demands attention, and is the solution to all their problems. Regardless of your business, whatever product you are marketing, it all boils down to the same old basics. While marketing is not as straightforward as back in the mid-20th century, the principles are the same.   


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