Online or offline? Above the line or below the line? Targeted or generic? When it comes to marketing, it can be hard to know where to begin. The problem isn’t the lack of choice – quite the opposite! And with so many options available, how do you even know where to begin? Every marketing guru seems to be offering a different opinion. They all make sense – but what makes best sense for your business? It can be tempting to simply close one’s eyes, leap right in and hope for the best. But if ever there was a recipe for disaster, this is it. The key to finding the right marketing mix for your business is to ask the right questions, and plan, plan, plan.

Make the Triangle work for you

If that fills you with dread, relax. Planning should be fun, as it will highlight the red-hot opportunities that are your ticket to success. And it’s easy – if you know how. Think of marketing as a triangle: your offering, your audience, and the outcome. They each drive the other – so your marketing has to support all three. Ask yourself the following:

  • Who do you want to talk to, and how do they like to be communicated with (Your audience’s age, demographic, and preferred method of receiving information)
  • What do you want to say? (“I’ll change your life!” – “You’ll be glad we met” – “Call me” – “Where are you?”)
  • What outcome do you want? (A phone call? A visit? A purchase?)

Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what to say (your marketing messages), how to say it (your brand’s tone of voice), and where to say it (your marketing strategy). You can be as detailed or as light-touch as you like: the beauty of approaching your marketing this way enables you to achieve short-term ‘quick wins’ and longer-term growth objectives.

Measure by measure

Your next step is to plan your measurement. And if you remember one thing, let it be this: plan how you’re going to measure your marketing before you begin your marketing. Why? Quite simply, if you can’t measure your progress, it’s not worth investing time and money in. Think about it – would you start a diet or an intensive exercise programme if you knew you’d never see the results? Of course not!

Remember: measuring your marketing success isn’t just about higher sales, more telephone enquiries or increased website traffic. It’s also about perception, brand awareness, referrals, long-term loyalty and market share. Don’t panic – this is where you can ask for help. A good marketing or branding consultancy will help you plan your measurement and will define what ‘good’ looks like for you.

The proof of the pudding…

So the scene is set. You know what you want to achieve, and how you’re going to achieve it. You know the results you want to get. It’s time to start your marketing activities. And if the results don’t meet your expectations, change the mix. Back to our diet analogy: if it’s not working, tweak it, tighten it up, or try something else entirely.

Plan – measure – refine. Getting the marketing mix right really is as easy as that. And if you need any help, just give me a shout!

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