Top 5 Fundamental Principles for Marketing, Regardless of Your Target

Regardless of which generation your business targets with its marketing, there are five fundamental principles you need to adhere to in order to make a meaningful and sustainable connection with them. Posted on Friday, February 26 in Reaching The Right Audience.

Perhaps Baby Boomers are your biggest customer base. Or Millennials make up your most loyal consumers.

Sound familiar? When identifying the optimal target audience is for products and services, generational marketing leads many conversations. Which age group has the largest proportion of disposable income? Who spends the most on a household level? Where is there opportunity to grow with a generation and create the highest lifetime value?

Regardless of which generation your business targets, there are five fundamental marketing principles you need to adhere to in order to make a meaningful and sustainable connection with them.

Principle #1: Insights pave the way for all strategic marketing.

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to marketing—and everyone believes they are an expert. Nine times out of ten, the infamous “focus group on one” has led to more marketing missteps than successes (yes! that was made up, completely in contradiction to the point being made).

The truth is, stereotypes, generalizations, and gut-driven decisions can undermine your marketing efforts. What you may think is relevant and trending for your target may actually be dated and over exposed—or completely off the mark. And the differences in preferences and receptivity between those on the leading edge of a generation versus those on the lagging end can be substantial (consider marketing to an 21-year-old while also marketing to a 34-year-old, both of who are generally accepted as part of the Millennial generation).

The fact is, marketing only works if it’s rooted in research and customer insights. Additionally, while national trends are good for benchmarking and informing marketing strategy, the more you can zero in on your local target audience’s insights, the better the potential for insights application.

Principle #2: Smart, cut-through creative connects brands with consumers.

The best creative is more than just pretty pictures: it is strategic, engaging both the rational and emotional sensibilities of consumers. For many businesses, building a brand is a cryptic, cumbersome, and confusing task. Memorable creative can act as a catalyst for defining a brand and building a business faster by making registers ring. Furthermore, like all great marketing, the best creative is grounded in research.

Principle #3: Contrary to popular belief, Christmas is not in July.

Being relevant and timely may seem straightforward and simple enough, but it can become complicated and convoluted quickly. Recall the thin market theory: at any given time, only a small percentage of potential customers are in the market for your products / services. However, these same consumers never stop being exposed to marketing and consuming media.

It is critical to develop a strategic—and consistent—marketing program that activates conversations at opportune times, when it is most relevant to customers along their purchase funnel. Not surprisingly, insights are immensely helpful in navigating how and when consumers are in the market for your products / services.

Principle #4: Everyone is online, and digital marketing is not optional.

Your parents and grandparents are online—and rather deft at navigating email, search, and social channels. In fact, the Silent generation [link to Don’t Sleep on the Silents] (those born before 1946) is among the fastest growing population in social media; their use of it has tripled in the last four years.

Creating and actively managing a digital presence [link to Be Found blog post] is not a nice-to-have part of your marketing strategy. Consumers of all ages actively seek out information constantly to inform and validate their purchases, and if you cannot be found easily during this time, you will be eliminated from consideration before you even have a chance to connect with your audience.

And, what can be even more troubling, is if you do not take control of your digital presence, someone else will, such as a vocal minority of dissatisfied customers, your competition, or an enterprising individual squatting on your domain and brand name for a big payday. Regardless of the culprit, you can lose control of the conversation and may have a bigger giant to battle for a favorable digital reputation.

Principle #5: The bottom line: deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right audience.

No matter how great your intentions may be, your marketing will not be successful if you neglect to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right audience. It’s that simple.

It helps to have a powerful ally who can connect you with consumers. We deliver integrated, measurable marketing strategies to hit your business goals head on, using more industry-leading tools and research than any other local media company. We employ passionate and experienced creative teams who thrive on generating brilliant brand campaigns united across all the right media to motivate your consumers to buy.

Take your share—contact us to get started.

Sources: Collins-Young, Craig. “Social Media Use by Seniors Continues to Rise” Leading Age 7 Aug 2013

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