Marketing: What Works?
Everybody wants their business to market products and services effectively with a keen eye on return on investment. It makes for a sound business, but building a marketing strategy is about trial and error – there’s a scientific process. Finding the right message and promoting it at the right time is a challenging process and it requires patience and a methodical system.
In one instance, we found that advertising was 300% more effective when the times of the adverts were moved to later in the evening. Refining your message, advertising techniques and delivery will inevitably produce an enhanced return on investment and make the marketing more profitable in the long term. One of the most effective methods to refine your marketing is to conduct research so you have the information to make strategic promotional decisions.
Use Research – It’s your friend
When it comes to finding out what works for your marketing, one of the best ways to minimise wastage on your budget is to conduct research. If you’re planning on investing money in your business it’s best to understand your target market.
Through understanding your clients you can make definitive decisions on how best to promote your product or service. The upside is that research doesn’t have to be costly or difficult. You will likely already have clients in the target audience that you’ve helped in the past and they can be the key to your success.
Speak to a number of your existing clients and ask them about your planned promotion. You can do this in a number of ways, such as a round table qualitative method or individual interviews, either face to face or over the telephone.
Working several years ago, Northstar was involved in a TV campaign with an advertising budget of £500,000 per year. Before launching we insisted on a qualitative survey with 20 existing clients. Without research we didn’t know if the message was correct, people felt they could relate and would trust the brand. The research was an overwhelming success and subsequently, so was the advert. After a year the advert was revamped and changed. Once again, research was conducted to ensure the advert was going to be a success before spending large sums of money. In this instance, the feedback from the research could not have been any more negative. People didn’t understand the advert or what was being offered. The advert ran for 2 months and was eventually withdrawn due to poor performance.
The moral of the story is that we all think we know what clients want and in highly innovative industries even clients don’t know what they want, but research can provide a methodical insight into the likely outcome.
With the same product and brand, on the same marketing medium (TV) and to the same target audience the margins between success and failure are miniscule. The wrong message at the wrong time can be detrimental to the outcome of a marketing campaign. This is why research and understanding target markets is imperative.
So, In Marketing, What Works?
Instead of writing 10 things to look out for this year or the next marketing technique which will revolutionise your business, it’s time to stop and listen. Marketing isn’t about staring blindly into the crystal ball hoping for an answer because that’s not realistic. You may get lucky, but marketing isn’t about luck – it’s a science. Listen to your audience, understand their life and what they value. The answers will help hone your marketing message, your delivery method and advertising times. It’ll help you better communicate with your customers – and potential customers – better so you waste less marketing budget and increase your return on investment for the long term.