One of the most frustrating things about marketing these days is that everything changes at such a rapid pace. The internet has spawned countless types of social media. With the evolution of smart phones and tablets information is being accessed quickly and in a variety of ways. Keeping track of all the places your potential clients might be is downright exhausting!
Honestly it makes you long for the days of simply posting your business in the Yellow Pages.
For those of you who don’t remember, that was a giant book that a business called a ‘phone company’ would print out every 6 months to a year and drop on your door step. Things were so easy back then. You had a print ad in the phonebook and maybe a few other options for advertising. Billboards, radio spots, and TV commercials (for those with bog money) were the way you spread the word about your business.
Some people even used this thing called the ‘Postal system’ to send out actual mail to customers letting them know about upcoming events and sales.
Ah the good ole’ simple days…
Now you have all of that plus online business listings, multiple web sites to cover PC and phone users, a Facebook page, a Linked In page, a listing on Yelp, your own Twitter account, and a guy standing on the street corner in a banana suit holding a giant sign directing traffic to your business. With so many things being used it is no wonder many businesses often lose sight of their target periodically.
Finding Your Target
Most businesses understand what their target customer is when they originally launch. You develop a solid marketing plan that fits that demographic appropriately and turn it loose. This is pretty simple and straight forward.
But with the constant changing landscape of the world do you ever check that the target is still there? While you focused on your product, new development, and sales did you remember to also keep an eye out on your original target. Heck, does your product even target that demographic anymore?
Re-focusing on Your Target
A good marketing plan has something very big in common with a good business plan; you revisit it often. Sometimes you can initially create a great product. But after the initial launch things can change. Maybe you are making adjustments for different versions or upgrades. Perhaps you haven’t changed anything but the actual customers that end up buying your product on not the ones you initially assumed would.
As you take the time to review your business plan to ensure that everything is sound and proceeding properly, you should also do the same with your marketing plan.
Things to Look At:
- Where are the people buying my product hiding? (Social media sites, Twitter, under a rock)
- Does my current marketing strategy address my primary and secondary group of customers?
- Am I sending the right message out about my product or is it outdated?
- Have I updated all of my marketing information recently?
Appearance is Everything
It is surprising how many businesses ignore marketing after their initial launch. Web pages that were exciting during their initial launch are soon dusty and outdated. Marketing materials don’t reference current contact information, links to Facebook, and the like just look unprofessional.
The general consensus from a customer is, “If you can’t handle keeping track of this stuff to promote yourself, why would I want your product?”
Aside from the simple aspect of retaining current customers and winning new customers, your marketing is also a reflection of who you are and is factored into the overall image you have. What do you think of a business that has a web page that hasn’t been update with anything current in the past year?
The Bottom Line
It would be great if you could just set-up your marketing and then forget about it. But, in today’s world if you do then more than likely there will be a lot of business missed out on. You need to be fluid and habitual, almost even fanatical about marketing and how you update and use it. So take the time to revisit your plan to ensure you are focused on your customer. Ideally this is your greatest tool in selling you product; but if you neglect it then it can easily become a detractor.