When reviewing advertising and marketing strategies for the New Year, there are a few basic strategies that should be addressed for 2018. Utilizing uncommon methods for defining a target market and how it has changed, gathering information about that new market or customer and reining the power of social media are some of the major facets to pay attention to this year.
1. Defining Your Target Market, or Determining How It Has Changed
If the business or product has been available for some time, it’s likely to be somewhat obvious who the target customer base should be. Once this is determined or altered, the marketing methods should fall into place rather easily. Who buys the product or wants to learn more about it? Who is likely to be a repeat customer and refer their friends as future customers? What kind of motivation do they need to act? These are all questions that should be addressed when reviewing methods that will be enacted during the year.
Customers are constantly changing their tastes and preferences, online activity and purchasing habits. Is there a new generation of customers in the market that hasn’t been tapped? If a business markets specifically toward one group, perhaps there are new members of that demographic that need to be accessed. Conversely, those who were once part of a target market may not be today – did their income/age bracket/ hobbies and interests change? These are all variables that a business marketing manager needs to keep tabs on at all times and revisit frequently.
2. Use Public Records to Determine Target Customer Demographics
Public records are an often-overlooked resource available to businesses that offer valuable information about surrounding customers and their needs. Add to that the fact that most are free and easy to access, and this method of customer targeting should never be overlooked. Searching for income levels and property ownership rates in the area, if the business is a brick-and-mortar location, can offer a wealth of information regarding the affordability of a product and therefore likelihood of purchase.
Employment rates and career information can also attune an owner into the type of local market that’s available. Are they mainly dual-income households with children, young professionals or students? Or, are they likely to be business owners themselves?
Any virtual business or product can also learn to market toward a specific area if local demographics are understood. Perhaps the product is popular along the coast but not in the middle states, even though it could be needed there, too. In this scenario, owners need to assess whether their marketing methods are even reaching those potential customers, or use public records to determine whether their pricing may not be in line with what those customers are comfortable spending.
3. Survey Current and Past Customers
Surveys are often thought of as an out-of-date marketing practice, but they can offer a wealth of information about what customers want to see from a business or product. Conduct a survey among past or potential customers and ask specific questions about pricing, quality, types of services and other feedback from them. This helps in developing future offerings and products, as well as how to market the business for a fresh look to target customers that may be overlooking an offering they should be interested in. The deal can also be sweetened by offering a free gift to complete the survey, or enter customers in a drawing.
4. Offer Samples, Gifts or Special Pricing
Sometimes the sales process is multi-stepped and some target customers need an added incentive to ever take action. If you have a marketing list of potentials showing results from past marketing attempts to a contact, send them an offer they can’t refuse. Sometimes a free sample will do the trick, or offer a free gift upon purchase. Limited-time special pricing can also instill a sense of urgency and encourage them to act now.
Businesses should be sure not to overlook past customers, too. With every new product or service offering, they should be given the opportunity to buy in at a special price before the general public. When a customer feels special, the business will always benefit.
5. SEO Optimization
Conduct analytics to determine whether the business’s online presence is utilizing the necessary SEO words and phrases to show up in searches conducted by target customers. Are customers searching the same phrase they were last year? This is likely not the case. Researching the competition’s online presence can also provide insight into how new customers are being acquired. Just as important is the frequency of which content is being added or changed. Failing to constantly update websites or blogs means that search engines don’t take the business as seriously and typically fail to return them on an online search. Adjust website, blog entries and product information accordingly to start acquiring new customers from the target market.
6. Social Media Advertising
Nearly every generation is constantly using some form of social media now to communicate and learn about new products. Initiating an advertising campaign can help target specific demographics, interests and even friends of customers that haven’t heard of the product yet. Some of these social media campaigns can be set up quite inexpensively to fit any budget, and allow owners to determine everything from location to interests and hobbies of the targeted audience.
Following up on any advertising campaign is also a vital step to success. Owners and marketing professionals should pay close attention to the audience actually reached at the end of a campaign to determine whether different demographics should be targeted. In addition, click-through rates can help determine whether the product or service is even of interest to the chosen customer base, or if the ad needs to be altered to be more successful.
Utilizing these methods of consumer marketing in 2018 can help ensure any business is harnessing the power of social media and its influence on customers today, as well as fine-tuning target customers and how they are reached. Reaching a target market is not a one-time deal in the 21st Century. With technology constantly changing, business owners have to stay on top of the changing needs and wants of their customers and the best ways to reach them and encourage continued patronage.
About the Author
Emily Andrews is a marketing communications specialist at RecordsFinder, an online public records search company. EMAIL: email@example.com
Author: Emily Andrews
Emily Andrews is a marketing communications specialist at RecordsFinder, an online public records search company. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org</a