It’s not enough to rely on promotional activity and the power of your marketing budget alone to drive new sales. You should also take the time to understand your target audience, what they want, need, and how they view the value in your product or service, so that you can provide them with the right message in the right place at the right time. Finding out this information first will help you create a better plan for your marketing activities which will lead to more return from every dollar you spend on them!
This article discusses some of the key things you need know before launching any promotion strategy including: why marketing without conducting proper research is a recipe for disaster; determining who your target customers are; setting specific goals for your promotional activity; and developing a promotion plan to help you achieve specific objectives.
Why marketing without conducting proper research is a recipe for disaster
You have an idea, great! Is it based on any information or data? Market research is important in any business venture because when you are aware of what your customers want, when they want it and how much they are willing to pay for it, among other attributes, you can easily position your product or service in a way that makes them want to buy from you.
For example, do you know what time of day is the best to send promotional emails to your targets? What type of email will be most effective (example: video vs text)? Do you use statistics and insights to guide your promotional decision-making process? If you do not first conduct proper research and analysis, you run the risk of sending messages that will never be opened or read, promoting products that no one is interested in buying and spending money on ads that result in clicks from unqualified customers. The net result is a lower than potential return on investment.
Marketing takes time and effort to look at your customers and the market, before making any final decisions on your promotional strategy.
Who are your target customers?
You must be able to clearly identify who they are, what their purchasing behaviour is like (example: seasonality), where they live (country, region, state) and how old they are. If you do not know this information, it will be impossible for you to determine a target market to pitch at. And as we all know, if you’re aiming at nothing, you’ll hit it every time!
The best place to start is to examine your current clients, but if you’re just starting out, consider investing in a survey with incentives for respondents to gather this crucial basic data. It will help you adjust the tone and pitch of your marketing activity. (It will also begin to build a database you can market to in future.)
You can also use your competitors to better define your own target market. When you assess their product or service lines, pricing, customer service, location and the products they promote, you can start to see where you should be looking to increase your sales. You may want to offer a similar product or an alternative that will better satisfy the needs of your target market. You can also use information about them to find ways to discourage potential customers from buying from them instead of you.
For example, if your competitor offers a similar product at a lower price than you do, consider making adjustments to your product to make it just a little better while matching or just slightly beating your competitor on price. That way, you can use the intelligence you gathered against them.
Setting specific goals for your promotional activity
This means having an objective in mind, being clear about what it is that you want as a result of your promotional activity. You must be able to communicate that goal to everyone working on your project so they know what you are trying to accomplish.
When promoting your products or services it is important to be measurable in your marketing strategy, which means you need specific numbers and statistics to aim at so the progress of your marketing campaign can be tracked over time. If you’re not measuring your activity, it will be difficult to tell if anything is actually working!
Developing a promotion plan to help you achieve specific objectives.
If you want your promotional plan to be successful, it must be built on solid research and analysis, making use of as much information as you can find about your market, competitors and substitutes.
Promotion without research is actually a form of market research. The most expensive kind! You’re using your live marketing dollars to find out if the appeals you’re making are hitting the right people, at the right time, with the right message and inspiring the right chain of action to result in a purchase. You can lessen the risk at every stage of the buying process by knowing what to say, how and when.
Now that we’ve covered some important things to consider before launching a promotion, you should have a better idea about how important it is to do proper research and analysis first. Remember, aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time. Market and competitive research are the ways in which you will create promotional plan that will be successful almost every time!