The discipline of marketing can often be complex and confusing. As a marketing veteran, I have seen countless marketing professionals get hung up on various aspects of marketing which have little impact on actual marketing results.
Based on my experience, there are four critical elements to an effective marketing campaign. Whether you're looking to improve your search engine marketing results, internet marketing, or marketing in general, be sure to follow these simple guidelines which I refer to as the A.T.O.M approach.
A.T.O.M - Audience, Timing, Offer, Message
1. Know Your Audience. No one can effectively market, communicate, or sell without knowing their audience or what motivates them to buy. Is your potential customer male or female? Young or old? A first time buyer or frequent purchaser? Are they the final decision maker? Do they have preferences for a particular product, service, or delivery method? The more you know about your audience, the more targeted and relevant your marketing can be.
2. Timing is Everything. Even with the most convincing marketing campaign, prospects will have no interest in your product or service if you aren't communicating to them at the right time. Be sure your marketing message is in front of prospects when they're ready to buy. This could be at a particular time of year or perhaps prior to a life event.
3. Finding the Right Offer. In direct marketing, experts say that results are 40% dependant on your list, 40% on the offer, and 20% on your creative. The same is true for internet marketing, search engine marketing, and the like. Test your offers and find the one that out performs all the others. This offer should continually be tested and refined to improve your results.
4. Its all about the Messaging. If you know your audience well enough, you should be able to craft a message that addresses their needs and differentiates your product or service from the competition. Additionally, be sure to stress benefits over features. This will give your audience a reason to read, try, and buy.
The next time you are conducting a marketing campaign, use the A.T.O.M. approach. Knowing your audience, ensuring that you reach them when they're ready to buy, experimenting to find the most productive offer, and communicating to them productively, are essential for any marketing campaign to deliver results.