The Holy Trinity: 3 Keys to Successful Marketing
As my marketing responsibilities have grown at goBRANDgo!, I’ve decided to set some guidelines for myself. I decided that every marketing piece goBRANDgo! produces will abide by these guidelines.
And if they don’t? Well, if they don’t, then it isn’t worth our time… or our client’s.
Why? Well, honestly it makes my job easier. It produces better results. It’s more successful for the client. And well, it just makes sense.
They are simple. They are obvious. Yet, time and time again you see them ignored by the pros.
These aren’t profound guidelines, crafted after years of experience and following one enlightened moment. In fact, I’ll bet your company already abides by these three principles.
…or at least they claim to.
So, here we go. I formally introduce you to the:
Holy Trinity of Marketing
I challenge you to focus on each of these areas when creating every marketing campaign or tactic from here forward. If you are consistent in this approach, you will be successful and your clients will be happier.
Identify a Targeted Audience
You get to pick your target audience – Never forget this. Deep into planning a marketing strategy, you will get sucked into the endless possibilities and myriad of tactics. This is where you need to have the power to say, “no.” Someone on your team will be pestering you, “Should we sponsor this club, that team, or an organization? What about a social media campaign to give away a free gas cards? Or better yet, let’s make t-shirts to give away!” Well, ask yourself, who will see the banner, want the free gas card, wear the t-shirt? Who is actively engaging your facebook wall, that organization and especially, your brand? If it’s not your target audience have the guts to say, “no”. Save the resources for your target audience, because if you chose the target correctly, it will produce the higher returns per marketing dollars spent. You get to pick where resources are spent. You get to pick your targeted audience.
Target audiences should derive from a specific source of revenue in your business. For example, if your business makes bicycles, you shouldn’t ask everyone to buy bicycles. Why? because I’m sure your company makes all kinds of bicycles that all kinds of people buy. Road bikes have different buyers than mountain bikes. Take advantage of that knowledge. Focus on mountain bike owners in your campaigns, but not every mountain bike owner. Find your ideal client – the mountain biking enthusiast you enjoy working with, the one that isn’t afraid to buy the tune-ups every four months and especially the one that refers you to friends non-stop. Your job is to figure out who this person is. Literally, find 7-10 of your clients that fit this mold as an ideal client and get them on the phone. (Stay tuned for next week’s blog post on how this conversation should go).
So, now you have your target audience (ideal client). You know who they are, what they want, what they like about you, how and where they talk about you to friends, etc. The rest – the marketing plan – is the easy part. And remember to say “no” to anything that doesn’t attract attention from your ideal client. Stay focused and save the resources.
Specify a Call to Action
Branding and marketing are different, but apparently no one agrees how. Therefore, here at goBRANDgo! we came up with our own distinction between the two. We don’t wage crusades over our approach, but for us, it makes sense and it’s simple so we stick to it.
Branding includes infusing purpose and personality into whatever it is you create or provide. Marketing is anything that fulfils the three guidelines listed here. It must have a targeted audience, call to action, and must be measurable. Marketing is much more specific.
Simply put, if your marketing piece doesn’t have a call to action then it isn’t much of a marketing piece according to our go!-nacular (goBRANDgo!’s vernacular). A call to action leads to measurable objectives, which mean results. If your marketing campaign can’t produce results (positive or negative) because you didn’t ask anyone to do anything, and you couldn’t measure if they listened to your non-existent request to do nothing, then all you accomplished was brand awareness. Brand awareness is always a good thing, but if your client paid for a marketing campaign, then that is what you should give them.
Never forget the call to action.
Note: Call is singular. You should always have a primary call to action per piece/campaign. Having multiple calls to action leads to competition between your messages and results in less impactful results.
Set Measurable Objectives
When is the last time you asked your client, “How many products do you need to sell from this campaign to make your money back? What about to be satisfied with our service? What about to exceed your expectations? How many do you need to sell in order to spend more on marketing with us next time around?”
If you aren’t asking your clients these kinds of questions, you’re setting yourself up for failure. There’s always going to be the stone-faced client that after you’ve sold their entire inventory for them, twice, they still won’t smile. Set expectations so that you can exceed them. Ask, “How much would sales have to increase to make you smile?” It allows you to quantify emotion and therefore sets objectives you can achieve, or better yet, exceed.
Additionally, make sure your measurable objectives are in line with your call to action. At the end of the day, you want to measure how much people listened to your marketing tactic. If your call to action isn’t measurable, then it will be really difficult to prove success to your client.
Equally as important, setting measurable objectives establishes a finish line for the campaign or tactic. When you reach your goal, it opens up the opportunity for new goals. Without a finish line, marketing tactics can spiral out of budget and control, lasting months longer than you intended because you keep pushing to satisfy the client. Know the expectations for success immediately and that is your finish line.
And there you have it, the Holy Trinity of Marketing. Like I said, they are simple guidelines, but they go a long way. These guidelines aren’t revolutionary and I’m sure you were thinking, “I know this, I know this, I know this” when reading each one. So, you may know them, but do you consistently follow them? Better yet, do you consistently explain to your client each tactic, it’s intended target audience, the primary call to action, and exactly how you will measure its results?
If not, I challenge you to do so. It will make your job easier.
(Stay tuned for some useful templates that can help you stay on task with your next marketing campaign)