Random Acts of Marketing

Are Not Sustainable or Effective

I like to think about marketing strategy the same way people talk about a stock portfolio: you’ve got to invest wisely and you’ve got to diversify. Otherwise, you’re taking a huge risk that in all probability, it won’t pay off. If you feel that your marketing efforts are a waste of time and money, I’m going to challenge you to take another look at your strategy and ask yourself,

“Am I committing Random Acts of Marketing?”

Ad hoc marketing is ineffective and incredibly costly. And while they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, I’m going to argue that the definition of insanity is marketing without a plan.

4 Elements of a Successful Strategy

#1: Define Your Target Audience
#2: Diversify Your Channels
#4: When In Doubt, Test It Out!
#5: Measure or It Didn’t Happen

#1: Define Your Target Audience

I’m going to assume for a moment that you know about creating your Ideal Customer Avatar, or ICA, and you understand what that means for your business (if you truly don’t know what this is, we would love to chat with you!). Defining this is a vital step to succeed not just in marketing, but in your business. This is so important because when it comes to building a campaign, you must consider who your target is if you plan to be effective.

I know it sounds counterintuitive when you’re trying to grow your business to tell you to narrow your audience, but the more specific you can be, the better chances you have of being noticed by your right customer.

Think about sitting in a stadium full of people who are screaming and shouting as your favorite band takes the stage, and you’re trying to make a comment to several of your companions sitting next to you, but they can’t hear a word you say. Between the noise, the special effects, and the glow of the big screen, there are tons of distractions and your friend just can’t receive your message the way you intend it.

Now shift that conversation to a small venue where you are able to sit at a table with chairs, the band is just mere feet away under a few small spotlights. Which venue do you think you have a greater chance of being heard?

The same is true with your marketing messages–the smaller and more targeted they can be, the more effective they are. And the more clear you are on who you want to receive your message, the more likely they are to hear it.

#2: Diversify your channels

One of the things that will waste your budget quickly is to put all of your efforts into one area, whether it’s a specific ad campaign, an email campaign, or an offline campaign. The problem with this is, you can only get so much traction among the same audience before they are exhausted.

If you can spread the same message across different channels, you’re more likely to see success with your marketing efforts. I do want to caution you that not all audiences are equal across channels, so keep point #1 in mind when building your content for each channel.

#3: When In Doubt, Test It Out!

The key to optimizing your marketing is to know what is working and what is not working. But the fun part that I enjoy is testing my hypotheses when I’m just not sure which subject line is snappier, or if I put the call-to-action on the left or the right of my graphic.

Planning for testing when building a strategy is a great way to help resolve these types of niggling debates you may have among your team, but it’s also a good way to test out offers or a certain audience segmentation. Testing is also a way to further refine your audience as you can use strong results to build an even more targeted market.

A/B testing is a great way to unlock these mysteries, but it’s important that the test be done in a scientific manner. Build a hypothesis, a control, and execute your method so that when the results come in, you really know which one won.

#4: Measure or It Didn’t Happen

There is nothing more frustrating than running a marketing campaign and not knowing its level of effectiveness. The importance of measuring goes beyond the question, “did it work?” It also helps measure ROI on your spend, determines the influence alongside other channels, and clearly shows whether or not you achieved your campaign’s goals.

We talked about goals recently and establishing clear goals when building a marketing strategy is a must. These goals are often even more specific on a campaign level, as you’ll determine the amount of traffic you expect to receive, the amount of engagement you want, or even how many new customers you hope to attract.

A/B Testing Rule 101:
Take a scientific approach so that you know which variable truly won.

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