We live and breathe marketing everyday, so we can take it for granted that everyone knows the different ways to communicate with their target audience.
Of course we know this isn’t the case. Years ago our Managing Director, Michelle Whitmore, developed these 7 ways to reach your target audience and we use them for every marketing plan we do. Even with all of the changes that have been taking place in the marketing industry, these still stay true.
1. Word of Mouth (WOM)
This is where people talk about you, your business and your products/services. Of course we hope these comments are positive and if you deliver and do a great job they will be. WOM allows others to feel a level of trust with your business, because someone they know and trust is endorsing you. This is still one of the best forms of marketing, and there is no cost to you!
2. Strategic Relationships
Get out and network! Focus on building relationships with people in complimentary businesses who might be able to send business your way. The obvious example here is the builder who has relationships with architects, plumbers, building supply stores etc. Think about other businesses your target audience might interact with then get out and meet them. Hopefully you can send some business each others way and everyone wins.
3. Public Relations (PR)
This is communicating through media channels, which could be industry publications, newspaper, radio and TV. PR is a great way to increase brand awareness and tell your story in an engaging format. One of the keys to good PR is making your communication ‘newsworthy’ and interesting so that it is picked up and published. Don’t do it just for the sake of doing it. PR is also important to understand for crisis management.
4. Direct Marketing
Do you have a database or list of prospects that you could communicate with directly? Direct marketing is sending something directly to someone, mainly by post or email. Email marketing is one of the most common forms of direct marketing now, but don’t dismiss snail mail, as this can have more impact these days as it has become less common.
5. Digital Platforms
There is no denying it, the internet is an important part in most (if not all) marketing plans these days. It is important that you look at the different options to advertise online and how each option could connect you with your target audience. Examples of internet advertising are industry websites, large news sites, community sites, social media sites and Pay per Click advertising (Google Adwords), to name just a few.
We refer to this as mass advertising and this includes channels like radio, newspaper, magazines, TV, billboards, back of bus etc. Mass advertising is just that, advertising to the masses with the hope of capturing enough attention from the right people to give you a return. This channel needs to be carefully considered in relation to your marketing plan, message and most importantly target audience.
7. Events & Tradeshows
This can be very industry dependent. For some businesses attending events or tradeshows will be their only or most important form of marketing. However for other industries this can be an expensive exercise with little to no results. As with mass advertising, events and tradeshows should be carefully considered in relation to your marketing plan and target audience. You also need to think about the marketing resources you will need when attending these events, which could include signage, flyers, business cards, free samples, tables/chairs, branded promotional products and uniforms.
And that is it. Our 7 ways to reach your target audience that we use again and again, and again. Another thing about this list, the order above is typically the least expensive to most expensive options. This framework can be used to form the basis of your promotional strategy and help guide efficient use of your advertising dollar.