Andy Ditchburn, Creative Director at Perro Design and Communications, shares some insights into how to develop a great marketing strategy.

The ‘Market Message Medium’ process was designed to help you choose the best marketing methods to communicate your unique messages to your specific target audience.

Market - Who Are You Talking To?

Before implementing any marketing activity, it’s crucial to have a great understanding of who your target market is.

Marketing has always been, and always will be a numbers game.

Successful marketing needs to be efficient. It’s not cost effective or a good use of your time to approach anyone who will never be interested in purchasing your product or service.

Having a clearly defined target market will make your marketing more successful and enable you to spend less time looking for customers and more time doing other things, like delivering your product or service or taking more holidays.

Message - What Are You Saying?

Communicating key and relevant marketing messages will help you to engage with your target market and ultimately deliver more successful marketing activity.

Unique Perceived Benefit

Your Unique Perceived Benefit (UPB) is the ultimate reason why people will (or already do) buy from you. In the minds of targets and customers, this is the main benefit that makes you or your product unique and therefore sets you apart from your competition.

It’s a good idea to talk to existing customers to understand the reasons why they currently buy your product or service.

The real reasons why people currently buy from you might actually surprise you!

Key Messages

Key messages support your UPB and should be additional supporting reasons why targets will become customers.

When fully explored and understood, key messages should be prioritised. If you try to communicate too much (or everything), you’ll end up communicating nothing. It’s important to be brave and focus on key messages that will communicate why you are different and how you will add more value.

Your UPB and Key Messages should focus around communicating your difference and solving the biggest problems that your target market face.

Medium - How Will You Say It?

You need to select the most appropriate medium(s) to implement successful marketing activity. The medium should engage with your target market and effectively communicate your UPB and Key Messages.

Marketing strategy can be broken down into Outbound and Inbound activity.

Outbound Marketing

This strategy involves you looking for or targeting customers directly.

All Outbound marketing activity falls into 3 different areas:
• Advertising
• Direct Mail
• Networking (face to face)

Inbound Marketing

This strategy relies on implementing tactics to encourage potential customers to find you. It’s more about ongoing engagement than direct sales strategies.

The inbound marketing process breaks down into the following 3 stages.

  1. Get Found
  2. Generate Branded Content
  3. Engagement and Nurturing

None of these approaches are fundamentally right or wrong. Which ones are best for you? It really depends on what you are trying to communicate and who your target market is.

Some Thoughts on Return on Investment

It’s crucially important that all marketing activity is constantly tested and measured. You need to record how much time and money each campaign has cost to implement and the level of income that’s generated in return.

Income should be measured in 2 ways - the value of the initial sale and the likely long term value of the customer.

Testing and measuring gives you vital information to make better decisions when planning future marketing activity.

If activity is successful and generating a good level of return on investment, then do more of this. If activity isn’t generating the desired return on investment, then simply stop doing it.

It’s crucial that you put systems in place to accurately measure the overall effectiveness and return on investment that your marketing activity generates.

Article by Andrew Ditchburn of Perro Design and Communications.

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