Successful marketing communications will never be a set-it-and-forget-it proposition. You will be continually evaluating the results of each tactic and expanding on your successes.
You might apply a successful message to another tactic or expand its reach by using it with a different customer profile group. If you allocated resources to a tactic that failed, you can shift that budget to a successful tactic that you want to expand.
At every step along the way, you will be arming your sales team for success by giving them updates on what is working and what is not.
If you are not surrounded by people who are constantly asking the question “How well did that tactic work?” you are surrounded by the wrong people.
Successful marketing communication targets and persuades potential customers that what you have to offer is for them. But these messages only prepare a prospect for a sale. It’s someone from the sales team who makes the direct contact, reinforcing the value of your company, product or service with the goal of converting that prospect into a customer.
Arming sales teams with strategies, tools and messages that are properly designed to drive customers to action is only half of the equation. Your sales team needs to know the how and why behind every tool and message. They need an in-depth understanding of the wants and needs that will be driving a prospect to action.
If your marketing and sales teams are not working together, STOP and reevaluate. Go back and do the work so your sales team has everything it needs to be successful.
Push marketing takes the product to the consumer and pull marketing brings the consumer to the product. The difference lies in how the customer is approached. A push strategy can be a quick way to move a customer from awareness to action, while a pull strategy tends to create an ongoing relationship that builds stronger brand loyalty and repeat business.
Push and pull marketing can and should be used together – but they are executed individually using different tactics. Both approaches require planning and consideration of the media, audience and marketplace along with strategic decisions about which one will have the most success at driving a desired customer action.
Tactics are the communication tools used to accomplish strategic objectives. Successful tactics have a clear purpose and well-defined goals that have measurable impacts.
The best way to ensure that a tactic will reach a customer when they are ready to buy is through a holistic approach that covers a variety of places where they might be. Influential messages can arrive in many forms from websites, social media, and PPC to brochures, traditional advertising, public relations, trade shows, point of sale, and more. Not every tactic will work for every goal or successfully target every potential customer. Developing accurate customer profiles will help you identify the most effective tactics for a specific customer group in consideration of your budget.
This tactical mix is never static. You will be constantly measuring results and adjusting each tactic based on those results.
Successful marketing begins with knowing and understanding your customers so well that it becomes easier to drive them to action by directing the communication of a product or service in a way that impacts a specific strategic goal.
To create tactics that support your marketing strategies, you have to start with a profile or general description of your ideal customer. The journey from not knowing to knowing your target customer’s demographics, preferences, buying behaviors, and more will help you craft effective communications.
Most brands have more than one ideal customer segment, so the outline below offers an example of how a set of customer profiles might look:
Each customer segment is unique in its description and preferences but also unique in the way you need to communicate to them via their preferred channel (print, digital or other). Without this information, it would be difficult to define the tactics that will most effectively drive your customers to action.
Description & age range Likes & Dislikes What’s important to them How to Communicate Preferred Media
Marketing is a conversation between two individuals (seller and customer) that takes them from not knowing to knowing what each other needs. That understanding leads to a strategy for delivering products and services through customer experiences (tactics) that drive customer action. Tactics are strategic actions that impact a specific marketing goal.
Public relations, advertising and branding are often perceived as “marketing” but they are merely tactics that can only be successfully developed and implemented with a strong marketing strategy. Here’s a simple illustration of the differences:
Your business says, “We do/have what you need or want.”
Someone else says, “Trust me, they do/have what you need or want.”
You say, “We do/have what you need or want.” Over and over.
The customer says, “I understand that you do/have what I need or want.”