Targeted Marketing. Content Marketing. Verticals. Horizontals. Channel Marketing. Omni-channel Marketing. Multi-level Marketing. Market segmentation. Positioning. Value proposition. Immersive experience. Snackable Content. For better or worse, marketing has a lot of buzzwords these days. Developing sustainable strategies around these viral concepts (whoops, there’s another one) can be challenging. For this blog entry, let’s take a look at ways to build a Targeted Marketing Strategy, and exactly what that means.
Definition first: a Target Market is a group of potential customers. Easy, right? Then let’s add in some more buzzwords. A Target Market can belong to the same Vertical (a fancy business word meaning industry or trade) or Horizontal (end users of the same technology). It can be comprised of existing relationships or new prospects. The end goal here is to penetrate a specific sector of the marketplace, establishing dominance in a particular offering, making your brand synonymous with fixing a customer’s pain. Now, let’s get going on building a strategy around your new favorite marketing concept.
Others like to begin with their audience or proposed platform, but not me. I like to think about the problem first, because I am then able to work through who it impacts and how we can help. Instead of blasting the world at large with “WE SELL DOODLEBOPPERS” start with why people or companies need Doodleboppers. By addressing the problem first, you can begin to develop stronger content right out of the gate because you’re responding to a need to purchase rather than your own desire to sell.
Who needs Doodleboppers? Hint, “Everyone!” is not the correct answer here. Remember, we’re building a Targeted Marketing Strategy here, meaning I want you to pick a target. The good news is that when executed well, these strategies are easy to replicate across multiple channels and/or verticals. Consider this first go your template. Let’s say we are going to introduce Doodleboppers to the hospitality industry.
Prospects need to know they matter, and they need to trust you. To build this trust, it is necessary to exhibit expertise and invest some time in not simply identifying but actually understanding the audience. So we have these Doodleboppers and we want our friends in hospitality to know all about them. Research and find out what matters most to this industry in addition to their common language. For example, a sizable chunk of businesses in this industry refer to their customer base as “guests”. If you send them marketing materials that reference making their customers more comfortable, it will stick out like a red flag immediately that you know next to nothing about their business and therefore may not be trusted to provide the appropriate solution to their problems.
This is an expansion from #1, and now that we’re deeper into the strategy we’re ready develop the fix. The problem is why people or companies need Doodleboppers; the pain is what they experience by not having Doodleboppers. It’s what sparks a visceral reaction, an “Oh my goodness, YES, I have felt that way before”. The pain is what prompts the solution, and the solution is what you are swooping in to provide. Finding the pain does not revolve around negativity, but rather building common ground and positioning your company as a bridge to overcome the pain.
Who is going to be selling? Processing orders? Fielding questions? Before you push one morsel of content to the outside world, make sure there’s an internal hub that gets the necessary information to the right team members. This may mean a meeting or conference call to introduce the campaign, or a simple SharePoint site that houses all sales collateral and FAQs. Nothing diminishes credibility more quickly than a prospect responding to a solution or offer that a team member knows nothing of.
It’s time to unleash some Doodlebopper fury. Because this is a targeted strategy and not a general release, I recommend utilizing a sales intelligence tool (such as InsideView) to build a list of prospects not already in your system. Combine this with existing clients and prospects to expand your reach.
Here we go – more marketing buzzwords. How are you broadcasting your message to an audience? Channel Marketing is an important concept because the positioning should be wired appropriately for each different track. Are you selling through partners, retail, or wholesale outlets? Pushing content through social and digital media? Implementing email or direct mail campaigns? Consider all of these realms and whether single, multi, or omni-channel marketing is the best approach.
As you move along, check in with clients. Are they happy with the solution, or can it be improved? If they’re unhappy, act fast and address the concerns before they become rampant issues or PR problems. If they’re happy, ask if they’d be willing to participate in a case study or introduce you to people in their network. Seek permission to use quotes or stats that establish credibility. “In April 2014, Hotel ABC experienced a 30% surge in repeat guests by installing Doodleboppers throughout the property.”
Be accountable for your work, setting appropriate check-ins and documenting lessons learned. But for now, you are off and running with a Targeted Marketing Strategy, working in tandem with a successful campaign!
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