How to Choose the Best Marketing Techniques
By Karyn Greenstreet
"I'm going nuts," one of my private clients emailed me last week. "There are so many marketing techniques, how in the world do I choose the best ones for my business, without making massive mistakes?"
Putting together your marketing plan and your marketing campaigns can be a daunting task. You hear rumors that a specific marketing technique is a "must" for your type of business, yet you wonder: Will it really bring the desired results before I run out of cash and patience?
There are over 50 internet marketing techniques, and another 50 or more traditional marketing techniques.
How do you choose among these 100+ possible marketing techniques to find the most powerful ones for your business?
Here are some things to consider.
The Purpose of Marketing
First, let's talk about the purposes of marketing. Knowing which goal you want for your marketing will help you choose the proper technique. There are thousands of books and websites on marketing, and by distilling them down to their core essence, we discover there are four primary purposes for marketing:
- Brand Awareness - Helping your target audience to become aware of you and want to learn more about your services and products. This includes getting known as an expert that people can trust.
- Lead Generation - Getting your target audience to request information and/or a sales conversation with you; also, for building a pre-sales relationship.
- Brand Consideration - Your target audience is considering buying from you or at least has included you in their short list of possibilities, along with your competitors.
- Direct Sales/Direct Response - Getting your target audience to purchase directly from you.
For example, you might use search engine advertising, like Google Adwords, for lead generation purposes, but it may be a poor choice for direct sales, especially if your target audience doesn't purchase that way.
Your Target Audience
That leads to the next thing to consider: Which techniques does your target audience pay attention to and respond to? This all depends on how well you have identified your target audience.
Some audiences will not purchase directly from a business without first getting to know them (brand awareness, relationship building). If your audience buys this way, then use one marketing tactic for brand awareness (such as public speaking, or free webinars), another for lead generation (such as a free offer), and a third technique for direct sales (like an email marketing or phone sales).
Where is Your Audience in the Buying Cycle?
If your prospective customer is in the early stages of the buying cycle (perhaps he's only just realized he has a problem he wants to solve), then he may be searching for more information about how others have solved the same problem. The marketing techniques you use to get in front of him (articles, blog post, educational videos) are geared towards helping him understand his problem, and NOT towards getting him to pull out his credit card on the spot.
If your prospective customer is in the decision-making stage of the buying cycle, then using marketing techniques that show him how your solution works, and building a relationship of trust and respect with him, will lead you to use nurturing techniques like free webinars, phone calls and personal emails.
Want to learn more about the buying cycles and how you have to market differently to each type of prospective customer depending on where they are in the cycle? Pick up my free Discover The Missing Link ebook. It's geared towards selling to business owners, but the information in the ebook is easily adapted to selling to the general public.
Marketing Products Versus Marketing Services
If you are selling products, then you need a different mix of marketing techniques compared to when you're selling services. Before working with me, one of my private clients tried to use the same marketing techniques to sell both her services and her products - with poor results.
People purchase services (such as consulting, classes and mastermind groups) differently than they purchase products. Therefore, you need a unique marketing campaign plan for selling your services and a completely different marketing campaign plan for selling products, even if you're selling to the same audience.
Additional Things to Consider
Also important are your goals, the specific product or service you are selling, your timeline to implement this marketing campaign plan, and your budget. Budget includes both your financial budget and your time budget.
Some marketing techniques appear to be free (like networking), when in actuality they take a huge amount of your time -- time you could be spending more productively elsewhere in your marketing or business.
There is No Silver Bullet
There is no "one magic marketing technique" that will guarantee you results. There are certainly best practices and techniques that have worked for others in similar businesses, but I have never seen a situation where a business only needs one marketing technique to fulfill their entire marketing/sales requirements. Start with 4 or 5 marketing techniques, master them, and then add new ones as needed.
Within each major category of marketing techniques, like social media marketing, there is a plethora of specific techniques to choose from. By knowing your audience, your time and money budgets, and your goals -- and testing your results -- you'll eventually choose the most productive techniques that you can use over and over again.
Choose your marketing techniques based on the above criteria, and then track the results to see which ones work best for you...and your audience.
copyright © Karyn Greenstreet. All rights reserved.