With the World Wide Web, it’s easier than ever to market your brand online directly to the customer. Never before did a company have the chance to engage in a two way dialogue with the consumer to learn the good, the bad and the ugly–what do they like, what do they dislike, and how can the brand improve.
In the “traditional marketing funnel” a brand would blindly send out a one-size-fits-all marketing message to the “general public” with the idea of converting people to make a purchase.
Messages were not segmented based on demographics or psychographics. Therefore, your grandmother would receive the same ad as your teenage son. Social media and the Internet have totally changed the ballgame by letting you target your pitches directly to individuals instead of blinding tossing out a ball in hopes of someone catching it. And, those individuals can respond by throwing the ball right back to you. Instead of a one-way funnel, you find yourself looking at a marketing and sales cycle with a fully engaged consumer.
According to a marketing and communications conference I attended this Spring, 70% of people actually formulate a purchasing decision before ever contacting your organization directly. That’s the power of the Internet. They use tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Word Press and your company’s website to discover and explore what you have to offer. In fact, social media is impacting purchasing decisions in a very big way. Some key stats:
- 40 percent of Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook users have purchased something after watching and sharing it.
- 3 out of 10 consumers think that Facebook influence their purchasing decisions.
- Almost 5 out of 10 people follow brands on Pinterest to learn more about products.
- Almost 2 out of 10 consumers follow brands on YouTube to make purchases.
- Nearly 2 out of 10 Twitter users purchased an item after favoring on their feed.
Read more about that here.
Therefore, your first communications with customers via any of these platforms might as well say:
Next, there is no such thing as a “general public.” You are marketing your product or service to key individuals. That is why it is so important to carefully Acquire, Aim, Fire instead of firing blindly and hoping to miraculously reach your mark.
For a case study example, I will use my friend’s small business Text and Tote. She is very creative and sells small wristlets and smart phone bags of all designs, both formal and casual. Here is an example:
My friend has limited time and resources at her disposal. After all, she is a one-man band running a business from her home. Therefore, her ads and business messages need to make a stellar first impression that will hook the customer and encourage them to make a purchase.
The big question is WHO is she marketing to? Let’s narrow it down by demographics.
First, she is marketing to women who own mobile devices. These women are mostly ages 16-60. She is located in the Southeastern United States, and although she does some business across the country, this is her primary market. Annual income for these women is $30,000 plus so that they will have the resources available to make this kind of “luxury purchase.”
Now, certain products will of course appeal more to a certain type of woman. For example, this product would obviously appeal mostly to educators.
This is where psychographics come into play. What would interest the typical woman who would want this bag? Education, Children, Childcare, etc. Sure, but let’s think outside the box! It would also appeal to students who may be looking to purchase a gift for their favorite teacher, to teachers’ relatives and friends, and for teens who wish to pursue a career in education.
This next bag would appeal mostly to breast cancer survivors, family members or friends of those who have experienced or are currently experiencing breast cancer. It would also appeal to philanthropists who are willing to donate money to a good cause, even if they have not personally experienced cancer. It may also appeal to those who wish to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves and united with society as a whole during Breast Cancer Awareness month.
The ad copy would obviously vary on each bag to be compelling and memorable to that audience. For example:
“We didn’t invent the Apple, just the Apple Text and Tote. Give your teacher her favorite gift this year! #TeacherAppreciationDay.”
“This isn’t just another pink bag. It’s a bag that can make a difference.” #MoreThanPink #SewingForACause
The best messages are carefully formulated with a full awareness of the target audience’s basic demographics, interests, values and desires. Here is an article with 4 succinct steps that can help you to best define your target audience. Remember: Acquire. Aim. Fire.
Question for You: What is a recent marketing message that made a big impact on you, and what elements made it compelling/memorable? Share in the comments below or on Twitter.