3 simple steps to choosing the right marketing channels
In episode 1, we talked about the 3 simple steps you should take before you start to create your failsafe marketing plan.
This time, I wanted to look at the channels available to you and how you choose the right one/s.
There are a multitude of possibilities to consider: online, offline, TV, radio, events, PR, AI, chatbots. It can be hard to work out where to start, but fear not… there are 3 simple steps for this too.
1. Fish where the fish are.
Philip Kotler, the ‘Father of modern marketing’ says: “fish where the fish are,” and although that advice is now some years old, it still rings very true today. Knowing where your customer spends time and where they do not will help you cut down the options and focus your efforts.
I am sure you have heard the term ‘ideal client profile (ICP)’ – and there is a reason for this. Now is the time to visualise who your ideal customer is.
An ideal customer profile defines which companies are a good fit for your offering and which ones are not. If you are a B2B company, the definition should be at the company level, not the contact level. Once you start building this out, you will be able to form patterns and undertake research to see where they are online and offline.
2. A saga of Good vs. Evil.
In all good stories there are goodies and baddies. If you picture your business as the goodies then who are the baddies? Competitors. Whether you are entering a new market or offering a new product or service, knowing what is already out there will help you understand the market and how and where to position yourself against it. No 2 businesses are the same of course but using information gathered in market research will set you on the right path.
There are some simple but effective actions you can take:
- What’s on their website? Sign up for newsletters and find out more.
- What social media presence do they have? Follow them and observe.
- Do they run events? Can you attend one?
- Are they discussed or advertising in the media? Start collecting a scrapbook of sorts.
Once you have all this information (if you have the funds, you can hire marketing research professionals to do the full 360 for you) – what channels does that information suggest works for them? These can be on your shortlist of possibles as competitors have tried and succeeded there.
3. What is the end goal?
Every channel is more or less effective depending on the position in the sales funnel and the action you want to achieve. For instance – social media marketing is great for maintaining relationships with existing customers. Personalised Video Marketing can be used throughout and TV advertising and SEO are better for broad reach brand awareness activities.
Consider your task/s and what channels suit the KPIs. Keep it simple to start, but if you’re game to try something completely ‘curve-ball’ (such as TikTok, or whatever is deemed a ‘curve-ball’ in your market), give yourself the time to do it properly, analyse the results, and revise the styles and content before you decide it doesn’t work.
You have to invest both time and money in channels to really know if they work, so don’t over-stretch yourself or your budget by trying too many things at the same time.
Gather internal opinion before you start too; this is a team game after all! Have any of these channels been tried before? Did they work? Why did they fail? How long ago and by whom? Are there any relevant objections to certain channels you need to consider?
Channel choosing can be started using insights and some research and then it is an educated decision where to start… and start you must! Do not let fear of failure stop you trying!
Classic channels such as social and advertising are pretty sure-fire bets if you need some ‘bankers’, but you need to determine what suits your business needs and go for it! Keep your customers and what you have learnt front of mind at all times and you can’t go wrong.
Next time on Failsafe marketing: Episode III – Revenge of the Sales Funnel!