Ask any marketer to explain his trade and he will say that it is all about placing the right product in the right place, at the right price and at the right time.
Simple, eh? Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds. The right approach would be to arrive at a marketing mix that will help you consistently win new sales while sustaining customer lifetime value over a long period of time. How exactly do you achieve this? These five simple guidelines should serve as a basic starting point to get you on the right path to finding the right blend of marketing channels:
1. Do you really understand you products and services?
The first step to arriving at the right marketing mix is to understand the value proposition of your products and services. What problem do you solve; how do you solve it; and what other solutions are out there that you need to account for in positioning your product?
Is your product or service market-ready? Does it have any drawbacks that may result in it failing eventually? If yes, then you should market your product only after you have sorted out all possible glitches and concerns.
2. Don’t skimp on your marketing budget
One of the most difficult aspects of marketing campaigns isn’t necessarily how to promote yourself, but how to allocate the budget. Be generous while planning your marketing budget, especially when you’re first starting out and don’t have a solid set of historicals to benchmark from.
If you have historicals, analyze last year’s budget and explore whether your marketing needs were fulfilled/unfilled. Add or cut from the budget accordingly.
3. Try a variety of marketing tools
Coupons, trade promotions, TV/print ads, flyers, direct mail and press coverage – the list of marketing tools is nearly endless.
Don’t just settle for one particular marketing method – combine it with others as well. For example, if you are starting a new store, you could have flyers distributed locally. Get promotional bags imprinted with your store’s logo and use them to pack groceries. You could have some in-store promotions as well.
4. Know your audience thoroughly
How well do you know your target audience, whether B2B or B2C?
It’s ideal to create a generic profile of the people you wish to target. Write down personas for different types of customers and research which channels most effectively reach that segment to determine where you want to promote your products. At supermarkets? Online? Direct sales? Or trade shows? It pays to do market research.
5. Create realistic, measurable sales goals
You should focus on realistic sales goals that are easily measurable. For example, I remember a local shoes manufacturer in Albuquerque who set targets of 50 thousand units per month for a newly announced product. Needless to say, his expectations were too high.
Do not set yourself targets that are too high to reach – it’s all about balancing ROI between your campaigns. Track each campaign’s performance against
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