Small business owners share one common goal: to employ highly-effective advertising that works within a limited (read: shoe-string) budget. The best way to achieve this goal is to get the right offer in front of the right audience at the right time. And the right way to do this is to use an optimum media mix.
But when it comes to determining the right mix of media, confusion generally abounds. How exactly do you integrate multiple channels to generate new sales and sustain customer value over time?
By following some specific guidelines.
- Understand Your Product or Service Value Proposition
Before you can determine what marketing mix is best you’ve got to understand the value proposition of your specific offer. Ask yourself a few questions:
- What problem are you solving?
- How do you solve it?
- What other solutions are currently in the marketplace that you must differentiate yourself from?
- Use Discretion When Allocating Your Marketing Budget
Many business owners spend most their time focusing on what channels to use. While mixing channels cohesively is a big part of a successful integrated campaign, you’ve got to think about budget allocation as well.
Use any historical benchmarks you may have collected to plan your budget. Analyze this data to determine whether or not certain channels helped you reach your campaign goals. This will help you plan your budget accordingly.
- Know Your Audience
You’ll never pick the right marketing mix if you don’t know who it is you’re trying to reach. Who is your target market? What kinds of media do they consume? How do they like to be reached? How do they NOT like to be reached? Are you a B2B or B2C company?
It’s important to create a generic profile of your ideal customer. Jot down the different personas you wish to reach, then research which channels will most effectively get the job done.
- Mix it Up
They don’t call it a marketing mix for nothing. Get out of your comfort zone and get creative when it comes time to choose your channels. Take a look at the research you did on your target market. Where is the best place to reach them? Online? At trade shows? In the newspaper? Via flyers or direct mailers?
The list of marketing tools you can use today is almost endless, so don’t just pick one method or channel. Think bigger and combine print ads with social media, flyers and coupons with TV ads. And finally, be certain your brand is cohesive across all channels so that your audience instantly recognizes you.
- Set Realistic and Measurable Goals
In order to determine if your integrated campaign has been successful, you’ve got to be able to set realistic and measurable goals. Don’t assume that after the first run of a print ad you’re going to have 30,000 prospects calling your store. That’s not realistic. But having 100 new prospects call after the third run and using a customized 1-800 number will do the trick.
In today’s global landscape, where brands must fight for consumer attention, marketers must be savvy and strategic in order to get their message heard. Using the right media mix will go a long, long way to reaching your marketing objectives in the coming year and beyond.