Now, more than ever before, your marketing strategies and tactics need to be aligned with your audience. After all, the glut of social media and pay-per-click-advertisements tends to overwhelm the senses every time you go online. And what you don’t want is for potential customers to lump you in with every irrelevant campaign that pops up on their screens…and tune you out.
So, how do you break through the clutter and increase sales? Quite simply, you need to go back and focus on the basics—the 4 M’s of Marketing—Market, Message, Moment, and Media. Let’s explore each one in a bit more detail.
This piece of the marketing quadrilateral will require some research on your part. Before you can go out and reach new customers, it’s important to understand exactly who your potential clients are, and where they can be found. A lot of new business owners hang out their shingle by spamming everyone, believing their own claim that “My product is for everyone!” But marketers know that this broad claim simply isn’t true. So do seasoned business owners, and frankly, so do savvy customers. There is no single product on the market today that serves everyone.
The bottom line? Know your clientele! Know their needs, their income, where they live, where they shop, and what they buy. This data allows you to be more efficient with your marketing budget. By honing in on the right customer, your marketing dollars will stretch further, and you’ll reach more individuals who might actually translate into valuable clients.
Once you know your potential customer and have an idea of how you can target them, carefully craft messages that will resonate with their needs. These needs can be broken down into two timelines—immediate needs and future wants. For example, an immediate need might be turkeys for sale the day before Thanksgiving, while a future want might be a new set of tires. These two timelines each call for a different approach.
When it comes to future needs, many people take the time to shop around for the best product at the best price. Since they are likely doing their research online, this is information that can be harvested in your market research. Use the data to work on building brand recognition and trust with your message development.
Immediate need fulfillment requires an urgency in your messaging that impels people to purchase right now—and from you. We’ve all experienced that moment online when we’ve got something on our mind that we need to purchase, and bang!—a relevant and well-crafted advertisement pops up. Serendipity? Not likely. More realistically, the company has harnessed the power of the marketing quadrilateral in order to reach you effectively, right at the moment you were ready to decide.
Determining the right moment to target your potential customers depends on your product’s sales cycle and lifecycle. Not everyone wants or needs a turkey in July, but it’s quite another story during those last few days before Thanksgiving! Knowing and harnessing the right moment is key, whether your product fills an immediate or future need.
For future wants, reaching potential customers may require multiple touch points. In other words, if you want to build your brand identity, your product and message will likely have to appear before them several times. And that is perfectly fine! Remember that your best customers are those who have researched and made well-informed decisions about your product, because they will be your best ambassadors moving forward.
In the Market phase, you learned about your ideal potential customers—what speaks to them, their needs, their wants, and their buying/shopping habits. Now, it is time to double back and put that information to work again. With the knowledge you’ve gained, it’s time to choose where to spend your marketing dollars. Is it on social media advertising? Is it pay-per-click? Is it a combination? You know who your target audience is and where you are likely to find them. Now it’s time to go and get them!
Testing various messages and platforms for your messages is essential for success. You won’t always get it exactly right, but it’s an important investment to take the time and put in the effort to craft your marketing quadrilateral with the right balance of market, message, moment, and media. It’s the best way to reach prospects and turning them into customers!
If you’d like help implementing the 4 M’s of marketing for your business, please feel free to give me a call. Our team stands at the ready to help you negotiate the ever-changing marketing landscape, effectively reaching potential customers and transforming them into ambassadors for your brand!