Every business needs an explosive marketing strategy to break new ground, and the best pioneers know how to lob some powerful marketing bombshells straight at their target consumers. Looking at big hitters, you may think you need millions of dollars to market as powerfully as they do, but all you really need to deliver a marketing bombshell is to know your target, build a compelling message, get the proper logistics and confirm that your bomb has met its target. It’s not easy, but it can be done. It does take a bit of work, however, so before you bust out the “Mission Accomplished” banners, read on.
Know Your Target: Market Segmentation
Segmentation will enable you to improve your aim and target your customer with your marketing bombshell. By building segments from the broad target market, you will use the data and information you gain to strategize according to these subsets. The factors used to determine your segmentation depend upon how you plan to categorize your broad target market. You can categorize by geographical region, demographic, psychographic, behaviors or cultures.
By devising subsets of consumers, you’ll identify your target customer’s interests, needs, wants and priorities. This will serve your sales pitch and marketing strategy, enabling you to communicate your brand directly to your base via their preferred channels. After nailing down your customer’s profile, some businesses opt to go about marketing with an undifferentiated strategy, covering wide swathes of consumers, while others choose to differentiate according to their consumer base, creating targeted product lines and services based on demand. Defining your target customer will define your marketing objectives.
So how can businesses segment their consumer base?
One way is through market segmentation. Segmentations can predict models of your consumer base and their behaviors, which will help you craft relatable communication to target various audiences. For instance, as a market director, you can apply cultural segmentation to readily available customer data in order to assess the market penetration of certain channels, brands, or products in these key groups. Doing so will help direct your marketing strategy by gauging particular buying and communication trends amongst different cultures. To learn more about market segmentation, read our article 7 Steps to Connecting With Your Customers (The Right Way)!
Build a Compelling Bombshell: Connect with Your Customer
So you have your data, you know your target customer through and through, and now it’s time to create content just for them. And not just any content: compelling, intriguing, all-immersive content that keeps them coming back for more.
Compelling content can be rendered through a variety of mediums: blogs, podcasts, memes, infographics, eBooks, videos, social media, etc. Again, so many channels to choose from, but how do you produce something that stands out from the deluge of blogs, podcasts, memes…
What you need are effective techniques to content creation that blend with your marketing strategy. The following are three exceptional techniques to get you started:
- Boost the Ego – Most people care about three things more than anything else: me, myself, and I. From the dawn of time, mankind has been taking selfies – although in the early ages, they came in the form of cave paintings – so if you really want to create loyal customers, your brand must not only reflect who they are but literally involve them.
You can do this through personalization. If you market directly to the consumer, using their name rather than some impersonal tag will make them feel important and connected. Consider the “Share-a-Coke” campaign by Coca-Cola, in which first names labeled the cans and bottles of their long-standing brand, boosting sales by 2%.
You can also create competitions using Instagram that enable customers to get creative and submit their own photos of your products, thus giving their ego a boost and giving your product’s ego a boost too.
Allowing user-generated content on your website is a surefire way to engage customers, get them involved in your brand, and distribute your message to a wider consumer base.
- Emphasize nostalgia – “Aw, the good ol’ days!” Even if the ol’ days were not so good, most folks remember them that way. We reminisce about the good times, when we were young and carefree; it’s a way to escape the reality of the present. There’s just something about this tendency that’s nearly always a hit when it comes to marketing.
Whether it’s recalling 70’s pop culture or the evolution of advertising itself (think, Mad Men), we love looking back at how the world was and how it’s changing around us. Patrick Burke (@Patrick_H_Burke), contributor to the contentmarketinginstitute, offers some great examples of nostalgic marketing: “For instance, a cellphone brand could recall the evolution from the bag phone to the flip phone to today’s smartphone; or an education brand could relive the maddening experience of using microfiche and the Dewey decimal system.” Hit on the nostalgia bone of your customers, and you’ll have them eating out of your hand.
- Grow a Sense of Humor – You can also try to tickle the funny bone. As most consumers have a funny bone, if you don’t have one, you’re not going to go far as a brand if you don’t relate. Making your consumers laugh is one thing, but a self-deprecating brand is playing a whole other ballgame. Get folks to laugh at your own expense, and you’ll win their hearts.
One excellent example, noted by Jillian Richardson (@thatjillian), contributor to the Content Strategist: When the satirical publication, The Onion, took a swing at sponsored content, creating an article titled, “Hey, Everybody! This Cool New Tide Detergent Video Is Blowing Up All Over The Internet!” not only did Tide respond without getting defensive; they played along. They posted this video in response, which gave consumers something to laugh about. And customers approved of the reaction, reeling in a number of fans.
Don’t undervalue humor; it’s an effective marketing tool and an entertaining way to draw in and relate to consumers.
Get the Proper Logistics: Publishing Channels & Marketing Techniques to Communicate Effectively
Once you’ve created your compelling content, you must choose which channel through which to distribute it, and choosing the channel that will best reach your target consumer depends upon their preferences. Publishing channels include social media and email, while marketing techniques include direct and indirect marketing and viral marketing. Let’s check out the advantages of each.
- Social Media – Social media marketing can enable you to reach all of your loyal consumers at once. The immediacy of this can be a blessing and a curse, as once something is posted, it’s out there in the digital world FOREVER, even if you delete it. On one hand, if you have a disgruntled employee running your Twitter account or if you put something out there that’s simply way off the mark, this could hurt your reputation severely. On the other hand, social media allows you to communicate with your customers frequently and effectively and gives you the opportunity to connect with more people than ever before.
Although social media marketing is like the Wild West – there are no rules – one thing’s for sure: you should strive for quality over quantity when connecting in the social media sphere. As Susan Gunelius (@SusanGunelius), contributor to Entrepreneur, notes, “It’s better to have 1,000 online connections who read, share and talk about your content with their own audiences than 10,000 connections who disappear after connecting with you the first time.”
- Email – You can use email marketing to send a message directly to a consumer group via – you guessed it – email! The content in your email could include promotional material, ads, sales, calls to action, etc. With a current customer database or sales list, brands can contact consumers directly in order to fortify and improve the brand-customer relationship, whether customers are new or loyal. The intention of effective email marketing is to build trust and loyalty in your brand, as well as to make consumers aware of your offers and newest products and encourage them to continue giving the merchant business.
- Indirect vs. Direct Marketing – Indirect marketing is usually done through blogs, newsletters, social media accounts, etc. – channels where products or services are not directly sold to consumers but, instead, are implanted into the consumer’s brain. By offering useful content along with promotional material, this technique helps build customer trust and loyalty, creating a rapport with potential, new and loyal customers, alike, without coming across like a salesman only interested in breaking into wallets.
Direct marketing is more pitchy. Newspaper ads, YouTube ads, magazine ads, and TV commercials are examples of direct marketing. These allow you to pitch your compelling content directly to your target audience.
While direct marketing may come across as insincere – after all, no one likes to feel as though they’re being sold to – this type of communication doesn’t beat around the bush. It delivers its message directly to the customer, and if done right, direct marketing can feel authentic and positively impact your target base. Indirect marketing has the advantage of building that trust and loyalty through informative and helpful content; however, the subtlety of indirect marketing can sometimes be lost on your target consumer, making this means of communication redundant.
- Viral Marketing – As people take in their content more and more through the internet, this channel has set the stage for viral marketing. Viral marketing latches onto buzzwords and smash media, creating more digestible content to be eaten by various online consumers. The goal of viral marketing is to generate buzz around a brand; to catapult brand awareness, particularly through social networks where content can be spread like a virus. This technique relies on a content’s popularity or its “wow” factor.
Sometimes, the more outrageous the content, the better. Considering the sheer volume of content on the web, in order to “go viral,” you must create a viral vehicle that both appeals to the masses and is somehow unique. This can be in the form of a website, meme, images, emails, texts, eBooks, interactive games, video clips, etc.
One example of a viral marketing campaign is Red Bull’s extreme sports campaign. One video showcased a record-breaking freefall by Felix Baumgartner for which 7.1 million people tuned in on YouTube. This just goes to show that one of the first rules of viral marketing is to go big or go home.
Confirm the Bomb Has Met Its Target: A / B Testing
When you choose your channel(s) and marketing techniques, you must test them to ensure that your initiatives are effective and that they’re reaching your intended audience. Only effective marketing techniques will drive traffic to your site and generate leads.
Known as split testing, A/B testing compares marketing variables to each other to find out which receives the best response rate from your consumers. You will need a “control” – the element that’s being tested – and a “treatment” – the element that may give a better response.
For example, if you’re testing a “Call-to-Action,” you might want to see whether a longer trial of a product might appeal more to your consumers than a short trial – and if so, how much more it will appeal to them. An example of this is given by Magdalena Georgieva (@mgieva), contributor to Hubspot: Hubspot’s original homepage offered a seven-day free trial, which they tested against a 30-day free trial treatment. “Results from the test showed that the 30-day free trial enticed more visitors and had a significant effect on conversion rates,” Georgieva notes. “The 30-day free trial won with a 99.9% confidence rate and created a 110% increase in HubSpot free trials. The control had a 0.326% visitor-to-free-trial conversion rate, while the treatment had a 0.709% visitor-to-trial conversion rate.”
This just goes to show that you should never be satisfied with your marketing strategy; you should never let it ride because you can always improve it. By testing your marketing tactics, you can significantly increase your conversion rates and give your consumers what they want, creating customer loyalty and brand awareness.