Modern marketing is complex and ever-changing. Since digital advertising exploded in the 2010s, consumers are absolutely bombarded all day every day with marketing on their phones, in their cars, on their couches, and everywhere in between. For seasoned professionals attempting to adapt to the new landscape, or new marketers, it’s more important than ever to have a thoughtful approach to presenting your product. Here are some essentials to keep in mind.
Have a Focused Approach to Your Media Mix
With a seemingly limitless number of advertising channels to employ, many advertisers fall into the trap of spreading themselves to thin. This takes a toll personally, as marketers may start to ask themselves, “How much sleep do I need to function?” Professionally, diluting your message across too many channels can drain your budget or diminish your reach.
Unless you have a staff with enough people to monitor and manage every platform your business has a presence on, it’s far better to focus on a few key outlets. Start small on two or three channels that line up with your target audience’s interests and demos. You can always take more on if you find it manageable, but you can drive yourself crazy quickly if you try to maintain a presence in too many places.
Build a Deep Understanding of Your Target Audience
Speaking of your target audience, perhaps the most crucial tenet to marketing in any medium is understanding thoroughly who they are. Professional research studies and focus groups are expensive, but they are usually worth the money. If you can’t afford that, you can work to assemble information anecdotally based on your loyal core customers, and some common-sense analysis of your service or product.
Sometimes the answer is obvious. If you sell pantyhose, you’re probably targeting adult women. If you sell beard-coloring solution, you’re probably targeting older adult men. If you sell dinosaur dolls, you’re targeting young parents. The more specific you can get, however, the more you can hone your messaging.
One of the reasons this is more important than ever is that Facebook and other social media platforms now make it possible to deploy different messaging to different demos at the same time. Using the pantyhose example, you might run an entirely different set of creative geared at women ages 25 to 35 than you would for women ages 55 to 75. Both are valuable customers, but both will respond to very different ads.
Stay Aware of New Channels and Evaluate Them Objectively
If you are working with a boutique digital agency, chances are they will constantly be up to date on the latest hot platforms and opportunities. They’ll also be able to make solid recommendations for your business based on your specific needs.
It’s still possible to do this if your marketing department is all internal, though! Subscribing to a few trade publications’ emails and following their social accounts on major platforms will make it easy to stay in the know. Not every channel will be worth your time and money, but you need to know what’s out there to determine value.
Give Your Strategies Time
Finally, recognize that while you have more options than ever, the fundamentals of marketing still very much apply. It takes a while to know if a strategy is effective or not. Don’t panic if you’re not seeing the results you’re hoping for after a week or two. Rather, look at your social and SEO analytics (or whatever relevant data you can collect from the media you’re buying) and make minor tweaks to individual elements like specific demo information, the time of day ads are served, and your daily spend. If you’re still not seeing results in three to six months, you can re-evaluate, but try to stay the course as much as possible during your campaign’s initial flight.
With nearly limitless options and access to an over-abundance of data, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed trying to market in the 2020s. Stick to these basics and start small. You’ll learn a great deal as you go, and become a stronger, more discerning advertising pro!