Marketing sight testBe honest – when you’re planning to promote one of your products or services where is your focus:

  • On the product/service?
  • On the customer?
  • On getting it all to the printer/publishing online ‘in time’?

If the answer is any of these your marketing probably needs a sight test!

What do I mean by this?  Well, it means that your marketing is a bit (or a lot) out of focus.

Do any of these sound familiar?

You’ve had a brilliant idea for a new (or repackaged) product or service and are sure that there is a really strong market for it.  It may even be something that you wish you’d had at some stage in growing your business.

You’ve been working hard at your business and your existing clients love what you do, so you want to attract more clients who might find what you do useful too.

Someone suggested that you need to write press releases regularly to get your business in the spotlight and more awareness of what you do.

You know how good your service is and want to tell people that so you think that a marketing flyer will be a good idea to distribute at networking events – and maybe do some drops in local business areas.

You’ve heard that social media is very effective so you thought a bit of Facebook activity and maybe a couple of ads would be good – after all, you can really target the right people with Facebook ads.

They are all things that most small business owners have done or considered at some point – but they are missing a key ingredient – focus.  It’s a bit like looking at that eye chart without the glasses you really need.  If you have specs you’ll be familiar with the ‘er, N, no it might be M, Q – or is it O – or it might be D …’  scenario.  Using any of the above approaches is exactly the same.

Focusing your vision

To really get your marketing on target – you need to be able to see your target very, very clearly. That means knowing exactly who you want to reach – not just ‘small business owners’, but men who own a small business that specialises in logistics, who are 45, very entrepreneurial, love schmoozing with clients, see marketing as a necessary evil and are very busy.  And are called Darren!’  OK, I put that last bit in to tease, but the more detail you have the better.

Once you’ve got this you’re armed with some of the information you need to focus better – but there’s more.

What bugs this chap?  What irritates him and frustrates him?  What keeps him awake at night?

What could your product or service do to fix these things?

Now you have the information you need to get the message right on target, but that alone is not enough.

Finding Darren’s hang outs

Having a great message is no good at all if you don’t put it where your ideal clients are looking.  So now you need to explore where to find lots of ‘Darrens’ in one place.  What does Darren read?  Where does he spend time – online and offline?  Who are his influencers?

If your message is where Darren is looking he’s much more likely to get it.  It’s no good getting featured in the local weekly newspaper if Darren only reads the Telegraph – or doesn’t read newspapers at all.  It’s no good trying to talk to him on Facebook if, when he’s on Facebook, he’s more interested in what his sister in Australia has been up to or what happened after he left the Rugby Club do last weekend.

This means that you need to be getting your press coverage where he’s likely to read it and be on the social platforms he visits when he’s in business head-space.

The right presription

A little time invested in these exercises will result in much, much more effective PR and marketing activities.  It’s like when the optician puts the right lens in front of your eye and suddenly you can see clearly!