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Procrastination is a time thief in any industry but there is a difference between wasting time during rest periods and wasting time on marketing. One is an annoyance in work times, the other could cost you money and customers.
Wasting Your Marketing Time
Your marketing budget, whether it is in time or money, is a cardinal sin. In this day and age there is no excuse for wasting time on marketing, yet every day I see companies marketing in totally inappropriate places.
There are so many different avenues for marketing that it is easy to get confused about what works for you but there are a lot of ways in which you can measure the success of a marketing strategy or campaign. Social Media has played a big part in procrastination these days, not just staff wasting time on Facebook during work hours but also companies thinking that they need to be on Facebook and Twitter for their marketing. Of course social media is an excellent tool when used correctly, you can build customer loyalty, raise brand awareness and generate new business but you need to be smart.
The biggest form of procrastination in Marketing is social media, some self appointed marketing guru has told a business they NEED to be on Facebook and Twitter because they have millions of users, but in reality it is not for every business.
Who are you Marketing to?
First things first, you need to understand your target audience, ask yourself these 3 important questions;
- Who are they?
- What are they interested in?
- When will they be most receptive to buy or enquire?
Once you have the answers to these 3 questions you will be in a much better position to set up a marketing strategy.
A good example would be a Photographer specialising in wedding photography or family photoshoots. In this case you would be targeting engaged couples or parents. Couples and parents do spend a lot of time on Facebook in particular and are interested in what their friends are doing. They will be receptive to enquire after looking at their friends wedding photos or family photos on Facebook therefore Facebook would be intrinsic to a marketing strategy.
Another example may be a Business management course provider, in this case you would be targeting business owners and HR managers, they are interested in things relating to their business and work however they are only receptive during work hours so an email marketing campaign may be a good basis for a strategy.
Of course these are just examples in the differences in how businesses should adapt a strategy, if a photographer bought a list and emailed people they would be accused of spamming and if a business service chose the wrong time and used the wrong social media they could also be reported for spam by users and leave the target audience with a bad opinion of the brand.
Creating a Good Marketing Strategy
So you know who you are targeting, what they are interested in, and when they are most receptive now what?
This is where you need experience in marketing, and if you don’t have that some common sense and creativity is a good start.
These days it is rare that you will be the only business in your industry and even if you were the market leader you still need to compete with hundreds of businesses all wanting to get the same leads and sales.
You need to stand out from the crowd and the best way to do this is to be creative, but at the start of any creative design or content go back to your initial 3 questions and create something your audience will enjoy.
Do your research
Find out what your audience are talking about right now, release your content or ads at the right time and on the right platform.
For example when Fiat wanted to show their Fiat 500 as a family car they chose Mums as their audience, they created the below video of a Mom rap and the lyrics could have literally been the titles of threads on the Mumsnet forum.
This was picked up quickly and went viral as Mums (and Dads) who could relate to the lyrics shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Get Your Timing Right
This is very important as it could mean the difference between content going viral or getting lost, it can also be terrible PR if you time things too badly as in the case of British Gas when they released a Facebook advert just after they announced putting the prices up by 9% after record breaking profits. This created a big backlash as thousands of unhappy customers commented on the advert.
Have an overall Marketing strategy
You could have a TV campaign, Video Campaign, Social Media Campaign and a PPC campaign, don’t run these separate to each other, all your marketing campaigns should compliment each other your brand and message should be apparent throughout, you may just have one or two creative’s or concepts but you can promote these on many platforms.
Don’t just be a box ticker, get results
I have been to many marketing meetings where the managers are only interested in box ticking, this is when they just want to be told they are doing what they think they should be doing.
Are we using QR codes- yes
Are we on Facebook and Twitter – yes
Are we doing PPC – yes
What they should really be asking is, are QR codes, Facebook and Twitter, and PPC getting us new or repeat business? Is the time and money spent on these mediums getting a good return on investment? In many cases the answer is no. You can get a good idea from most marketing strategies if they are working, either by setting up landing pages or qualifying leads so if something is not working then stop wasting your time, and stop Procrastinating on your marketing!