Marketing managers are faced with the challenge of choosing the right mix of tactics to promote their company’s products and services. In many instances there are budget constraints, so it’s important to choose wisely.
Developing Your Marketing Plan
A good first step is to develop a marketing plan, which organizes the marketing information and provides strategic direction for the program. A new plan is often done in advance of a new product launch, or as part of the annual planning process. The marketing plan is a very effective tool that summarizes the current situation (the big picture), describes the size of the market, identifies the target audience and what those customers want as it pertains to the product or service being offered. Information is also gathered about the competition, and trends in the marketplace. From this data, a marketing strategy can be developed, and specific tactics will be described.
The completed marketing plan will serve as the communications roadmap to help achieve the marketing objectives. It will streamline your efforts, and help keep the marketing team focused. Instead of reacting to the crisis of the moment, it will be possible to work the plan and be prepared for each upcoming initiative.
The Best Choice is Both
When considering various options to promote your company’s product or service, keep in mind that the best choice may not be an “either-or” proposition. Rather than putting all of your dollars into one vehicle, better results could be gained from implementing a multi-faceted approach. Direct mail can be a cost-effective way to reach your prospects and customers. A good advertising campaign placed with frequency in targeted publications can be very effective in communicating the message to the intended audience. The results are enhanced when combined with a comprehensive public relations (PR) program, which provides support to both display advertising and direct mail by generating editorial coverage. When an editor prints a press release or product announcement, it acts as a third party endorsement, lending credibility.
Develop A Salesperson Who Never Sleeps and Works 24 Hours A Day
Don’t forget about your web site. This silent salesperson is on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is often the first place your prospects visit. It gives an instant impression, and it should be a positive reflection of your company. A slow loading, poorly designed site, will discourage potential customers. Design should never be complex, its look should be consistent with other advertising materials, and it should be easy to navigate. The copy should be short, with subheads and bulleted lists, since visitors tend to skim on the web and want to find information quickly. You must establish “Call to Actions” for every type of visitor that may read your site.
Save On Cost With Larger Quantities First
Another suggestion to help stretch your marketing budget is planning ahead for your printing projects. When developing materials, consider printing larger quantities to save on set-up costs, instead of printing small quantities a few months apart. The per-unit cost will be less when printing in larger quantities.
Consistency Conveys Impactful Message
By developing marketing materials that convey the same message and have a consistent look, your message is reinforced with every communication to your audience. This gives your marketing program added value, as all components work together, and build on the strengths of each other.