Are You Guilty of Shotgun Marketing?

Here's an open invitation to all my newsletter readers:

"Meet me in Vancouver and I will treat you and your family to a spectacular dinner cruise. Be sure to be on time."

Huh?

If I've thrown you off, great. That's what I meant to do. Did I mention anything about:

• What the occasion is?

• Where in Vancouver to meet?

• When to meet?

• Which Vancouver? (For those of you not from the Pacific Northwest, there's a Vancouver, B.C. and a Vancouver, WA within a few hundred miles of each other.)

Without this vital information, you wouldn't stand a fighting chance of getting to the right place at the right time. And, even if you drove past the "dinner cruise" by accident, you'd likely keep on driving because you wouldn't recognize that you had arrived.

Sounds like a silly proposition, doesn't it?

But the not-so-funny thing is that this is the way many small business owners approach their marketing.

GUILTY OF SHOTGUN MARKETING?

Let's look at your own marketing plan: Does your company have specific, measurable marketing goals and outcomes? If you do, great. Now, are they up-to-date and written down?

If you don't have a strategic marketing plan that is current and documented, you are guilty of what I call "shotgun marketing." Shotgun marketing means that you shoot from the hip, spending money on advertising and other promotional campaigns without a particular end-target in mind and not driven by a focused, coordinated strategy. With shotgun marketing, your strategy may be based on the latest revenue crisis or the concerns and whims of your leadership and management team. It may be based on market opportunities defined by market research and analyses, which may or may not be accurate predictors of future consumer demand.

Another problem with shotgun marketing is that if you don't have marketing goals that are specific and measurable, how will you be able to take action on them? Moreover, how will you know when you have "gotten there?"

AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT NOT TO DO:

I once worked at a medical center whose vision was to become the preferred provider of health care in the county. The problem was that no one could ever tell if and when we had ever achieved that goal. The administration never established specific measures of success for this part of their vision. It was just something that sounded good and justified paying a facilitator a lot of money to help create at a weekend leadership retreat.

As a result of this lack of clarity, the medical center could easily have become the preferred provider for patients who did not have the means to pay for health care! Their plan wasn't actually a plan at all. It didn't include specific measures of success or an action strategy for fulfilling on this vision.

In order to be sound and effective, marketing plans must be clearly defined and include specific and measurable results by which you gauge the success of strategies and execution. Without such clarity, it is difficult if not impossible to succeed, much less take any action towards achieving those goals.

THE CURE:

Lifetime laser marketing is based on actual consumer feedback and data that reflects the problems, needs, and desires of members of your target audience, as well as their values, emotions, and expectations.

Obtaining this information is simple. Just ask them.

You'll want to obtain demographic information, such as age, gender, family and marital status, education, and income. And, more importantly, you'll also want to acquire psychographic information that includes descriptions about what your best consumers believe, think, feel, and value—what are their hobbies, what cars do they drive, what do they read and watch?

Whether you use point-of-sale surveys, mail out questionnaires, or use online surveys, the key is to ask your potential and existing consumers about who they are, what they need and want, what they like and dislike. If all you did was ask them: "What would you like to buy from us that we don't already offer?" you'd be way ahead of the game.

SUMMARY AND ACTION PLAN:

1. Define your target audience based on the particular problems and needs they specify you can solve and fulfill through your products and services.

2. Based on this information, develop your marketing plan to include goals that are specific, quantifiable, and attainable.

3. Using your understanding of your target market's values, emotions, expectations, and buying habits, make your product and service offerings irresistibly appealing to them.

To put it simply — Lifetime laser marketing is based on delivering what your consumers say they want. This approach, as opposed to "marketing by shotgun," enables you to enhance your customers' experience, add greater value to your relationship with them, increase their loyalty, and raise their lifetime monetary value.

To your prosperity.

But hey wait…"Where's that dinner cruise?"

Author:.

Dr. George Huang is known as the authority on the anatomy of the freedom-driven business. He helps entrepreneurs enjoy greater levels of freedom in their lives, deepen their contribution to their customers and clients, and achieve their revenue goals. George created the Freedompreneur Training Center for entrepreneurs, coaches, and consultants to learn the best principles and practices for creating high-performing businesses. http://freedompreneur.com George also created the Six-Figure Su...

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