Over the last 100 years, our great grandparents, grandparents, parents and indeed we ourselves have witnessed amazing progress in technology, which has impacted on all aspects of our lives. People have gone from travelling by horse and cart to being able to travel into space. And although we may not fully appreciate it, the rate of change is not slowing down.
In the world of marketing, the leap from advertising posters to Facebook ads is no less significant than the leap between a horse-drawn carriage and the International Space Station! Those of us who are in business cannot just be spectators to this change – we must learn to harness it to drive our marketing efforts, because in an increasingly crowded and sophisticated market place, the future success of our businesses depends on it.
When thinking about the future of marketing for our business, we need to distinguish between the two separate aspects of delivery and message, because the distinction is key. In this context, delivery refers to the method or methods we choose to get our message out to the marketplace, and the message is the story we want tell about our company, our products and/or our services to our potential customers.
We need both appropriate and effective delivery and a compelling message for a marketing campaign to be really successful. No matter how great the methods of promotion are, if the offer is not appealing, the campaign will fail. Likewise, a great offer that nobody gets to see because of poor delivery is also destined for failure.
From a marketing perspective, it is the methods available for delivery that have been and continue to evolve at a bewildering rate. Unless we focus all our time on marketing, at the expense of all the other things our business needs us to do, we ourselves may only just have got to grips with the likes of Instagram, WordPress and Soffront, but whether we like it or not, they are bound to be replaced by the next big thing before we know it, so we destined to be constantly playing catch up!
But fortunately for us, the message aspect of marketing is a different story. The elements and composition of a great message haven’t changed for 100 years, and are unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
So for me, where we should be focusing our attention is clear. It’s very tempting to want to play with all the shiny new platforms and products, and to be afraid of getting left behind if we don’t know all about SEO and e-mail automation. But what we as business owners really need to focus on is the message we’re putting out there.
I’m not saying that delivery isn’t important, it is vitally important, but it’s not something we personally need to be good at – we just have to find somebody who is! We are better off delegating delivery to the professionals – the people who keep up with technology, and who are already better at it than we will ever be. That frees us up to devote our efforts to the bit we are (or should be) good at – the message.
We don’t even have to write or design the actual content for our marketing campaigns – that is also something we can delegate – but we should be the overall campaign directors. We will make the decisions, choices and approvals, and review the results, and to do so, we have to understand the basics of a great marketing campaign – 3 simple words – Target – Offer – Copy.
You need to identify who your ideal customer is. Be specific – their age range, gender, geography, behaviours, habits, needs etc. Then you need to identify how you will reach out to them in large numbers. And there you have your target market.
For more information on targeting, please see my previous blog on the topic Here.
Identifying your target market enables you to tailor an offer that is going to be irresistible to that group of people. What is it that they really want? What problem can you solve for them?
This is the body of your marketing piece, and should be visually stimulating. You should tailor your copy to the target audience so it really speaks to them.
- An attention-grabbing headline is a must, otherwise nobody is going to actually notice your great offer.
- Highlight your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) which will tell the target market why they should buy from you and not your competitors.
- End with a compelling Call to Action, which gives the target a reason to act now, rather than some time in the future (or never).
So there you have my take on how we business owners need to face the future of marketing, so take ACTION and focus on getting your message out there using the available technology! And if you need any help on your target – offer – copy, just contact us – we’re here to help!