Thank you to everyone who attended the Market Like You Mean It breakout session at the Destined to Win in 2010 conference. We had so much fun presenting and loved the energy in the room!
As you know, I ran out of time during my Branding/Target Audiences portion of the talk. As devastating as it was to me to lose out on sharing yet another birdfeeder analogy, all is not lost! Here’s a synopsis of my portion of the talk:
BRANDING: IT’S NOT JUST YOUR LOGO
Elements of your brand include much more than your gorgeous, creative logo! Make sure you keep a record of ALL your brand elements and present them consistently to your audiences. Brand elements to consider:
- Logo and its usage: horizontal format, vertical format, text-only or icon-only format, all-black version, white version)
- Brand color palette
- Brand fonts both print fonts—those fancy, designer fonts—and web/email/Microsoft Word fonts—helvetica, arial, georgia, times, trebuchet, verdana, etc
Brand Description: a statement about your company that summarizes what you’re there to accomplish. Can include your brand’s mission and vision statements.
Brand Story: This is how your brand came to be, it’s the passion behind the company
Brand Services: A clear statement about what your company offers, including the features and benefits.
Brand Voice: This is the tone you use to talk about your company (eg. helpful, wacky, fun, energetic, wise, etc…)
A BRAND IS NOTHING WITHOUT AN UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR TARGET MARKET
To illustrate the above, consider a gorgeous, sophisticated brand for a company marketing to preschoolers. Message lost!
Your target audience has both demographics and psychographics to consider. We’re more accustomed to thinking about the former; it’s information we can get in a number of places (direct mail companies, the James J. Hill library, for example). These are factors such as age, education level, socioeconomic level, gender, race, geographical location, and more. Psychographics are more complex. You need to consider:
- Who’s buying? Why? How? Where? How often?
- Influences: What are their peers buying? What’s mom say? Business associates?
- Media: What are they watching on television? What radio or podcast stations do they listen to? What billboards do they see on the way to work? What newspapers do they read (do they get a paper newspaper or read online?). Even if you never advertise in these mediums, your competitors may. It’s good to know what they’re seeing to be able to differentiate your own business.
TIP 1: SELECT THE AUDIENCES CAREFULLY
- Do they have money?
- Are they someone you want to work with? Do they match your aesthetic/philosophy/company mission?
- Will they withstand fluctuations in the economy? Consider having 3-5 industry focuses.
TIP 2: MARKET TO YOUR CURRENT CUSTOMERS
The best way to get started: survey your customers to find out how you’re doing, what they’d like to see, how you can improve, and more. It’s tough love that will pay off if you make the effort! Here are some ways to get customer feedback:
- Ask your clients. Sounds simple, but when is the last time you did it?
- Comment Cards
- Study shopping patterns. Review your invoices/register data: what’s your most popular suite of products/services? What needs to be dropped or marketed better?
- Ask sales staff. They’re likely to have a lot of good anecdotal information about your clients/customers.
- Solicit blog comments. Offer a discount or special to people who leave feedback.
- Check online reviews. There are a number of online sites dedicated to providing product and service reviews. Make sure you know and check the sites where your customers may leave feedback.
- Polls. You can post a poll to your blog or send out an email poll via a service like Constant Contact.
- Ask in your email footer. With every message you send out, pose a question to your clients in your email footer. Any response is a valuable response!
TIP 3: BUILD YOUR PERMISSION-BASED MARKET
These are people who admittedly want to stay in touch with your business…many of whom will later convert to customers. Therefore, getting their info is critical to your marketing efforts! Here are some ways to build your permission-based list:
- Offer something of value for their email address. They’re giving up their private data, so make it something worth while: an insider’s guide, a book, a gift certificate, a free webinar, or one of your products.
- Make sure your email sign-up link is everywhere: every page of your website, on your blog, your Linkedin site, Facebook page, email footer, etc.
- Comment on other’s social media pages. Especially people who are complementary services to your company. Your comments will include a link back to your website/blog and will build followers online.
- Host a webinar or seminar. They’re a great opportunity to see who’s interested in your services, and to request emails.
- Business card drops. Follow up with people who drop a business card and ask if you can add them to your email list.
- In store sign-ups. One client of mine asks each customer at the time of check-out if she can add them to their email list.
- Email footer. This is unused space, folks! Take advantage of this spot that already has your clients’ undivided attention to provide a link to sign up for your e-newsletter.
TIP 4: CREATE A MARKET FOR YOUR PRODUCT
Educate audiences about your product. Network, host events, give demonstrations, and even offer classes related to your products and services. See more ideas in my previous post, Tips for Surviving the Economy.
TIP 5: MARKET TO A NICHE AUDIENCE
Gone are the days when everyone watched the same programs (and commercials) on television. Today’s audiences are incredibly segmented, getting their information and influences from incredibly diverse sources. Trying to reach, well, everyone, therefore, is a nearly impossible task that requires a herculean budget. It’s smarter, more efficient, and lucrative to go after a small chunk of the market. The trick is to go at it full-on, don’t be timid! Communicate your niche to everyone you know!
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
When you understand your target audiences and present your brand consistently and thoughtfully, you’re on your way to Marketing Like You Mean it!
Thank you to my co-presenters Renee Godbout (May Advertising and Design, Inc) who presented Creating and Stretching Your Budget, and Stephanie Hansen from Printz.com and FM 107 for presenting Marketing Tactics.
Tags: brand elements, branding, demographics, Destined to Win in 2010, Katrina Hase, logo, market like you mean it, marketing, mix creative, niche audience, permission-based, psychographics, target audiences