Marketing is one of the most critical components of your business’s success. You may have a fantastic product or service, but if customers are not aware it exists, there’s no point in continuing the line of work.
In order to make sure your product is exposed to your target customers, you need to develop a robust, killer marketing plan. Once you’ve spent time identifying the four Ps, start adding some elements and details to your strategy. Let’s look at the areas you should focus on when developing your marketing plan.
Each generation uses digital differently to consume content and shop for products and services, and marketers need to understand these differences to target their desired audiences on the devices they are most likely to be using.
Millward Brown Digital surveyed more than 1,000 consumers in three generations (millennials, born after 1980; Generation X, born 1965-1980; and boomers, born from 1946-1964) to see how different age groups favored different screens for various activities.
“What the data demonstrates is that even with our advanced knowledge of digital today, advertisers and marketers can’t make assumptions about how various demographics and targets are using digital devices and mobile to access content,” said Joline McGoldrick, research director at Millward Brown Digital. “It is easy to stereotype and say the best way to reach millennials is on mobile, but that is not always true. As the analysis shows, device usage varies from generation to generation based upon what the activity is. There needs to be a more granular understanding of how activity and type of content dictates preferences for screen usage in order to make a truly effective and efficient marketing strategy.”
If anyone understands the millennial mind (or that of Gen Z, coming up right behind it), it’s Kevin Lyman. Since founding the live music event and brand strategy firm 4Fini in 1995, Lyman hasn’t just immersed himself in youth culture—he has helped brands like Truth, Ernie Ball and Journeys stay connected to it. The Vans Warped Tour—his cornerstone event, which jams up to 100 bands into 10 hours of portable, mud-filled mayhem—is now the longest-running festival tour in North America. In his more than two decades as a marketer and promoter, Lyman has learned a thing or two about reaching teens and young adults. Here, he shares some of his best practices.
My husband hates marketing. He thinks that it’s generally hype and BS, cynically calculated to manipulate you into acting, vs. an honest communication of value.
He’s not completely wrong. Most of us are pretty skeptical about the marketing messages we’re subjected to in the media, because so much marketing focuses on convincing us that product X is the answer to all our prayers (think Ginzu knives or Sham-wow), or on trying to terrify us into buying product Y in order to avoid some horrible consequence (home security systems and life insurance tend to rely on this approach).
But there’s another side to all of this. Many of my clients are well-intentioned, high-integrity branding and marketing folks who are honestly trying to figure out how to let people know, in a compelling way, that they have something great to offer. And my colleagues and I spend a good deal of time thinking and talking about how to communicate Proteus’ value in a way that’s both meaningful and true.
From over 25 years of experience in marketing, copywriting, conversions and online business, I can easily tell you that one of the most difficult tasks for people when it comes to marketing is defining their differences. In fact, at Marketing Words, we have a questionnaire all new clients are asked to complete. Among others, it contains the question, “What is the single most important unique competitive advantage (UCA) you offer?” What answer do we see above all others?
It is left blank.
Or a question mark is inserted in the space.
That’s because the quest to analyze how you are different or better than the competition is a mind-numbing process for most people. Coming up with a short, impactful phrase that immediately lets others know what their strengths are and how they outperform the competition is like digging a ditch with a teaspoon.
Our client, Megan Hyman, opened her dog daycare, grooming and boarding facility in 2013. She took a huge bet on herself in which she wagered an inheritance to pursue her desire for a new future. Nearly two years in, she’s winning, but not without some serious challenges that we went through together.
In this video she discusses the difficulty of finding the right location and how she got out of her own way to fill her business with enthusiastic clients.
Why did Google GOOG whip Yahoo! YHOO so decisively? How did Apple AAPL become the world’s most valuable company? Why have we all heard of Intel INTC? The answer is simple. Or, to be more precise, simplicity.
The ability to distill highly complex business concepts into simple consumer propositions is one reason why Google, Apple, and Intel are three of the most valuable brands in the world. Google’s breakthrough insight was to make everything about its brand and user experience clean and simple, unlike Yahoo and other search engine companies that thought a busier page somehow communicated more value. Apple rejected complexity in everything from its operating system to product design to advertising. And Intel created a five-note musical signature and two-word catchphrase to make us all believe that a computer was better if it had “Intel Inside.”