It’s hard to get through a day any more without hearing someone say, “Well, that’s not written in stone.” The idea is that everything is negotiable. People and businesses aren’t rigid—they’re flexible. And there’s a lot to like about that.
When it comes to marketing success, however, there are a few things that should be written in stone. There are some fundamentals that simply don’t change. Methods can change. Technologies can change and make it easier for us to accomplish some tasks. But there are certain principles that are essential for success—regardless of what else changes.
If you’re responsible for marketing—whether you use direct mail, email, television, radio, print advertising, or online marketing tools—you need to make sure you pay attention to these unchanging essentials.
- The Right Audience: If you’re talking to the wrong audience it doesn’t matter what method or technology you use. You’re not going to get through. But identifying the right audience is about more than simple demographics. Sure things such as age, sex, income, and zip code are important. But you need to be more specific. Even if you’ve identified a specific group of people such as “environmentally-conscious car buyers,” there is a huge difference between someone who is looking for a Smart Car and someone who is considering a Tesla.
- The Right Message: Once again, technology takes a back seat to content when it comes to getting your message across. Whether you’re posting beautiful pictures on Pinterest or notifying potential customers about the latest developments on Twitter, if you’re not providing information that they care about, your message will fall on deaf ears. And in today’s marketing environment, it’s not what you want to say that matters—it’s what your audience wants to hear (and say) that’s of importance.
- The Right Way: Of course it’s important to deliver your message the right way. Here’s where technology sometimes does matter. A more personal appeal may call for a more personal touch (such as a letter). If your audience is more of an online audience and looks there for information—that’s where you need to be. But the “right way” is about more than technology. It means providing your audience with the motivation to respond and the ideal way to do that. And it means giving them a call to action.
- The Right Time: You’ve heard people say that, “Timing is everything.” It’s really true when it comes to marketing. But timing is about much more than making sure your catalog arrives before the Christmas shopping rush. If you’re promoting something that has a long sales cycle (a custom home or enterprise software) you need to be aware of what kind of information your audience wants at which point in the sales cycle. If you push for a sale before your prospect’s questions are answered you can actually do more harm than good.
Getting the right message to the right people in the right way at the right time is essential to marketing success—no matter what method or technology you employ. We’d love to help you come up with a plan that helps you get it right!