Ensure Your Marketing Arrow Hits The Customer Target
Updated: Apr 20, 2020
I was shopping in a large sporting goods store last month with my wife, and we overheard a father and daughter commenting on the razor tip of a hunting arrow. “That looks really sharp!”, said the daughter. “Yes, it’s the best they make”, said the father. When they left, my wife asked me what I thought. “The arrowhead doesn’t matter”, I responded. “That arrow has no quills on it, so the arrow isn’t going to fly straight regardless.”, I continued.
At that moment, I was just trying to be amusing. But this morning it dawned on me how perfect an analogy it was for marketing strategy (quill) and marketing campaigns (arrowhead.) All too frequently, we focus on open rates and page views of individual campaigns without taking the time to ensure the intended person opened the emails, or the right customer viewed the web page.
Understand Your Market and Strategize.
Many managers are so busy putting out fires and running the day-to-day business that they never have the time to refine customer segments, uncover market trends, and enhance ROI strategies. In other words, are the arrows hitting the right targets?
Contrary to popular belief, market research isn’t always about uncovering new, market-disrupting information. There’s a lot of value in micro-adjustments or just plain revalidation of the known. Such analysis does, however, need to provide insight into customer needs and their value to your organization. Any sized business can conduct its own market research and thankfully it doesn’t have to be intricate, expensive, or outsourced. A lot of insight can be garnered through tools such as:
· Customer feedback
· Competitive research
· Online research
· Market trend analysis
· Key Opinion Leader (KOL) advisory groups
Don’t overthink it. Use the tools that are easily available and right in front of you.
Qualify and Quantify Strategic Opportunities.
First things first.
“WHAT business opportunities exist?”, is the first (and obvious) strategic question to answer.
“SHOULD the business focus on such opportunities?”, is the second, and just as important, question.
All opportunities aren’t created equal and not every opportunity is the right one. Saying “Yes” is the easy part of business. Knowing when to say “No” is the difficult part. A sound strategy helps guide management through the “shiny-coin” dilemma and support objective yes/no decision making. Don’t forget to revalidate current program/efforts as well. Sometimes saying “No” to existing business is the right decision because it no longer supports the overall strategy.
Value Strategy vs. Pricing Strategy.
It’s simple to survey the competition and make sure your pricing is competitive. But don’t overlook value. Sometimes cheaper isn’t always less expensive for your customer. It helps to understand total product value before developing a pricing strategy. In the long run, you could be over/under pricing without even knowing it for temporary, short-term profits.
Include a Testing Strategy.
Actual market validation is the best way to determine which marketing campaigns work. In marketing lingo, this is called A/B testing. Most marketing and advertising platforms offer tools to complete such testing. This analysis helps determine which efforts are producing results that best delivery your strategic objectives.
Why it Matters.
Small business owners who understand marketing know that marketing strategy and implementation go hand-in-hand. A well-executed marketing strategy energizes demand for a company's products/services within the ideal customer segment(s). Don't waste time focusing on running marketing campaigns…rather…focus on delivering marketing strategy. Your arrow will fly true and have a better chance of hitting the right target.
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