When you’re planning your marketing, nothing matters more than focusing on your customers. The best creative ad campaigns in your industry would achieve nothing if they weren’t creatively designed to appeal to the customers with money to spend who were looking to spend it, and targeted effectively so they could be seen by those customers where they live, work and spend their time.
Where to Start
The key to success here is not whether you should choose to start with your targeting or your creative designs: you need to begin with research.
A market research company can help you understand who your customers are, and develop a profile not just for your market en masse, but more specifically for the key segments that make up your audience. Your audience doesn’t have a single profile – you’re not just selling to couples in their 40s who have two children – even if there’s a dominant bloc with a lot of spending power. Look past that bloc and you will see other profiles – other segments of your audience that are waiting for the opportunity to spend their money with you but need to be reached and targeted with your marketing.
A true understanding of your market is one that includes these segments, so you can make more informed decisions about which ones you need to prioritise and you will communicate with each of your chosen segments.
It’s possible to test marketing before a full launch in order to ensure it’s worth the investment you put into it – and to avoid an embarrassing failure of a campaign that misunderstands your audience and damages your brand. Contrary to the saying, there is indeed such a thing as bad publicity and all too often it is self-inflicted.
A market research company can be an asset here, as they are able to get data from customers you don’t have contact with – that is, they can find out not just why loyal customers have chosen you, but also why people haven’t chosen you yet.
Surveys and focus groups can tell you how people respond to your potential ads under test conditions, but you can get more valuable insights by testing limited launches of digital adverts in what is called A/B Testing. This is a process where you launch two similar (but different) strands of marketing on a small scale, and see which one gets the most clicks, and conversions. This can tell you what is working about your advertising and what isn’t, and help to make sure that when you go for a full scale roll out your adverts will be optimised for your customers.