As marketers, we want our first toss of the dart to be a bulls-eye when it comes to hitting our target markets quickly. After all, we only get so many darts to throw (bucks to spend) each year. And many times our budget for next year depends on the success we have this year. We need our first toss to be a winner, and we need instant gratification when it comes to generating qualified leads for our sales team.
Years ago, marketing was much like throwing darts. We would pick the channels that sound good, activities that are the latest trends, or most affordable options with the greatest potential — all while holding our breath, aiming for our target and hoping for the best…hoping something, anything would stick. The result: a large quantity of leads for sales to call upon, but poor in quality when it came to converting those leads to opportunities that actually led to closing a deal.
For our content marketing efforts to be successful, we have to hit the right target with our content and make sure that content is aimed at the right audience. Today, we can get closer to throwing a dart in the center of our target markets more quickly and more affordably than ever before. But to hit that mark, we have go to know where to aim.
That’s where a bit of research can come into play for shaping up your 2018 marketing and budget planning. These five steps are a great place to start. Ask yourself:
- Who are my key buyers and influencers in my market?
- What are their greatest challenges? What keeps them up at night?
- How can we provide them with a solution?
- What do they need to learn about our products?
- What channels can we use to meet and engage with them?
Taking the time upfront to strategically survey your audience identified as key decision makers and influencers is well worth your time to discover how to market and communicate to them in the future. Even the most seasoned marketing professional and industry pioneer needs to check themselves on occasion when it comes to understanding their audiences, pivoting their messages and choosing the channels and activities to best engage their interests.
There are many ways you can collect this information. Whether you choose to send out an e-blast with a linked survey, start a focus group, make phone calls or start conversations on the trade show floor — you will be able to better market your message when you know your market.
By tailoring messages to target markets with these five steps, you can better hit your mark quicker, know which content marketing channels to use, and understand how to best adapt them to your audience to encourage engagement, all while increasing efficiencies, saving money, and looking like a hero with your sales team.