Effective marketing campaigns are the heart of successful companies. Whether the campaigns are internal or external, productive campaigns generate and circulate the lifeblood of business – traffic and revenue. However, as many business owners and managers have come to realize, it is significantly easier to plan and implement a marketing campaign than it is to design the materials which power those plans. So, feel free to play this 20 question “game” with your marketing materials as you move forward and plan future marketing endeavors.
Questions About Your Audience
- What is Your Target Age Range — Determining the age range of your audience is one of the most important steps of creating efficient marketing material. Without this information you may completely miss your target market by using content and distribution methods that are not sought out by your ideal clientele.
- What is Your Target Gender — Whether companies want to admit it or not, gender has a large role with the verbiage used within the content as well as the imagery used throughout the marketing campaign. If you target only one gender, the content and images you use within your marketing material must appeal to that particular gender while enticing the other gender to refer your products/services.
- What is Their Income Level — If you target a younger audience, it may be more pertinent to determine the income level of the household for your audience. However, it is one of the more important pieces of research as it can help craft the entire message and its delivery.
- Why Will They Use Your Product/Service — In other words, you want to figure out what about your product(s) or service(s) appeal to the target audience. Being able to outline these benefits will make writing out the content significantly easier and will boost the efficacy of the content as well.
- Where Do They Get Their Day to Day Information — While this may seem like something that doesn’t or wouldn’t change all too often, you would be surprised to see the dynamics of this research. In previous studies that we have conducted, a target audience’s primary source of information changes two to three times within 6 to 8 months. Of course, this information is extraordinarily useful when looking into distribution methods.
Which Materials Will You Use
- Business Cards — Business cards are some of the oldest and most efficient materials to use in marketing. However, not everyone refers to business cards for contact/marketing information; this is where your audience research plays a large part. On the bright side, once you determine that you need a new business card, the one that you design can, typically, be used for extended periods of time.
- Postcards — As one of the declining forms of marketing material, postcards used to rule the roost and pump a large amount of traffic into companies. The fact of the matter is that they still can; they have just been overlooked due to the emphasis on the internet and e-mail marketing. So, if your audience gets their information via mail, take a look at postcards as an option for your marketing material.
- Brochure — This is a great option whether you post the material online or ship it out to your current/future clientele. To have all of your product/service information in one spot to serve as a constant resource for the recipients. Typically, a brochure is best for a target audience that gets their information from a mix of the internet and their mail or from their friends since this is something that you can distribute to local offices, etc.
- Flyer — One of the most efficient and long-range marketing materials, a flyer has the ability to quickly and effectively deliver your message. The design, layout, imagery, and overall content needs to be concise and action-inducing in order to maximize impact. In general, if your target audience gets their information from friends, coffee shops, local businesses, or you are running an internal campaign a flyer may be the best option for your company.
- Other — From e-mail marketing to newsletters, there are several other marketing materials that can optimize your campaign depending on your target audience. E-mail and newsletter campaigns are currently amongst the highest used and most popular marketing methods preferred by companies and clients. Granted, e-mail isn’t really a “material”, but I wanted to include everything that is considered in marketing meetings, etc. If your target audience wants simple and news-filled information then you may want to look at other marketing materials like the e-mail and/or newsletters.
- Use Background Colors or Images — When you look at the overall layout, one of the most important decisions is to use a background image, background color, or a mixture of both. Remember that you want to use colors that are representative of your brand image, and images that are recognizable with regard to your products/services.
- Effective Font Color — Similar to what was mentioned with background colors and images, your font colors need to be indicative of your brand. If you have a color palette that doesn’t include reds, try to avoid reds and other comparable colors. Keep in mind that you want a consistent message delivered not only through your content but through your color choices as well; having a streamlined approach delivers a more efficient image.
- Representative Font Family — Believe it or not, but font families have a lot to do with company image. If you have an open and supportive company (non-profits are good examples), you can use open, space-oriented, and tail-less fonts (i.e. Cachet, Verdana, etc). For more corporate companies, you may want to stick with serif fonts (with a tail) like Times New Roman, Rockwell, etc. This simple (yet detail-oriented) choice is one of the difference makers when it comes to competitive advantages, and can set your campaign (and company) apart from the rest.
- Use of Space — The modern layouts and designs now have a lot of unused open space (white space) that provides a variety of affects. Make sure that you use the space wisely and appropriately so you don’t waste space but you deliver a strong message. A good suggestion is to use space between headlines and content, around images (especially the logo), and around the borders of the material.
- Emphasized Headline and Benefits — At the center of your layout, or at least in prominent area(s) needs to be the main headline(s) and benefits of the products/services that you are marketing. The key is to draw as much attention to what you have going on and how it will help the target audience. If you are able to accomplish that task then you will experience a great marketing campaign.
- Does The Content Reach Your Audience — The format, structure, and vocabulary you use with any amount of content needs to be directed towards your target audience. If any of those (format, structure, and vocabulary) don’t match up then you run the risk of a failed marketing campaign or one that reaches a different audience than the targeted one(s).
- Do You State The Benefits –You don’t sell products or services; you sell the benefits of those products or services. You need to make sure that the content drives home how the product will improve their lives in some way. If you are able to clearly deliver that message your campaign is absolutely on the right track to a successful ending (or beginning).
- Clearly Outlined Contact Info –As one of the most important areas of content throughout the entire marketing piece, your contact information needs to be clearly outlined so your audience can get in touch with you and your company. In fact, you might also benefit from putting your contact information throughout multiple-page materials like brochures, newsletters, sales letters, or press releases/articles. Again, the idea is to make sure your audience has ample opportunity to find out how to get in touch with you.
- Do You Call The Audience To Action — All the great layouts, content, colors, fonts, and the right marketing material are outstanding starts to a successful marketing campaign. However, if you don’t ask your audience to take action then you will undoubtedly lose a good number of your target audience. Make your call to action items as pronounced and emphasized as possible. Remember, you want them to take action as soon as possible so you can accurately measure the effects/results of your campaign(s).
- Can It Be Constantly Used As A Resource — You don’t want your campaign to be a one-hit wonder, right? Make sure that you include useful dates, information, and other information that they will need for your products/services on the marketing material. For business cards, this can be your contact info as well as a discount code for when they get referral business, etc. For flyers, it can be dates for sales or holiday specials. The idea behind this is that it will be something that they want to keep so you are in constant contact with your audience.
Playing 20 questions isn’t always a bad thing, especially when the 20 questions will help your marketing campaign soar to new heights and pump much needed financial blood into your company.
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