3 min read |  Posted Oct 26, 2016

Be SMART about your marketing

Every business needs to market themselves.

Whether you need to increase sales, to create brand awareness, or you want to push a promotion, marketing can be tailored to your specific needs. Figuring out why you need marketing can be the easiest part.

To make your campaign more successful you first need to determine 3 things.

  • Who is your audience?
  • How much time is needed?
  • What is your budget?

By answering these three questions before you spend any money will help focus your efforts and increase your return of investment. It will also determine where you need to advertise, but we will learn more about that later.

First, Know Your Audience.

Understanding who your audience is, is important because marketing to the masses is pretty much futile. Think of all the infomercials we’ve seen over the years, they work, but at what cost?

Audiences are determined by several factors that can include location, age, family status, earnings, interests, job title or status, the list goes on. More importantly, do the people you seek know they have the problem you are trying to solve?

If a daycare center is looking to increase enrollments they wouldn’t want to promote to families with no children or families that live too far away. Their ideal audience may be families with school age or younger children within 15 miles of their facility who have a household income of $70,000.

Narrowing down the people you want to reach to the ones who may actually have interest in your goods creates a higher percentage in conversion rates. Ultimately, you want to them to feel as if you are only talking to them. Create a “that’s me!” feeling.

Timing is Everything.

Knowing when and how long to run a campaign is crucial. Is it dependent on a corresponding sale or promotion? An upcoming event? Understanding how long to run your campaign can directly tie to what your budget will look like. Short quick runs may mean more money up front, but a long sustained campaign may mean less money up front but more over time.

The best method is to refer back to your ultimate goal and realistically look at how long it would take to reach it. Creating a specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, time-bound (SMART) goal makes know if you’ve actually reached your goal a lot easier to track.

If a florist wants to pre-sell 200 bouquets for Valentines Day they need to look at how many bouquets they sold in previous years in the months leading up to the holiday. If they sold only 50 bouquets in the 45 days leading up to Valentines day on average in previous years, without promotion, the goal of 200 may be a bit aggressive. However, depending on their budget they may be able to reach that goal.

Budget Budget Budget

Marketing doesn’t need thousands and thousands of dollars to reach the goals you set. In fact, there are many options that require no to minimal investment. The key is to be realistic with your budget, how much is a qualified lead or customer worth? If for every new customer you received, you made $50 you’d most likely be comfortable paying $5 for each new customer.

Budget is also dependent on where your campaign is. If your budget is $200 month, it may allow you to pursue one avenue for promotion but isn’t feasible for another. Understanding your budget before you lock yourself into a particular method of advertising can help you reap the most benefit.
Starting Your Next Campaign

In the next few weeks, I will go through 3 very effective methods of promoting your business that don’t require you to sell a kidney. In the meantime, I encourage you to take action.

  • Why are you starting this campaign?
  • Who will your audience be?
  • How much time will you need?
  • What your budget looks like?

If you’re feeling brave, send me an email with your answers.

“A year from now you’ll wish that you started today.” – Karen Lamb

Sarah Perry

With a passion for helping people learn, she is the lead writer of The Weekly Angle email that helps small businesses learn marketing hacks to excel their business. A lover of movies, tournament paintball, and design, you can often find Sarah either on the couch watching a new great flick or at a paintball field.