Home > Business Strategy, Marketing > Help! I need Marketing!

Help! I need Marketing!

When meeting business owners for the first time, I’m often faced with a very panicked and urgent statement, “Help, I need Marketing”!
Help!  I Need Marketing!
While this is usually true, my priority is to work with that client to understand their specific needs and objectives in order to develop a marketing strategy that will deliver the results they are looking for.  It happens in the industry too frequently – marketing and advertising professionals are often approached by clients who will ask for a specific campaign or execution such as a print ad or search engine marketing program.  We’re happy to appease the client and develop beautiful creative and tantalizing copy that meets their requirements but without an understanding of ‘why’ they are doing this, the client is unlikely to realize the results they desire.

“Creative without strategy is called ‘art’, creative with strategy is called, ‘advertising’.”– Jeff I. Richards, Advertising Professor, University of Texas.

To peel the onion, we ask the client these five very complicated questions:

Seems simple, doesn’t it?  While the crux of it is easy enough; answering these questions accurately can mean the difference between a successful campaign and an overblown marketing budget.

Who? Who is the audience (demographics, psychograhics)?  Can you describe them for me?  Who influences them?  How do they respond?  Why will they buy what you want them to buy or behave in the way that you want them to behave?

What? What are you trying to do?  Are you selling a service?  A product?  Are you trying to encourage people to join a charitable initiative?

When? What is the timing of this?  When are the key periods for this audience, (season, holiday, week, month, year)?  What is the sales cycle – an important determinant for tiered marketing campaigns.

Where? Where is this taking place, where is your market?  Where will the focus be?  Local, National, International? Are you trying to drive activity to a store?  A website?  A sales rep?

Why? This is really the most important question and we often ask it first.  Why do you want our help?  What is the business need, difficulty or objective are you are trying to fulfill?  Are you trying to drive sales of a product or service?  Drive registration to a webinar?  Inform your audience of an upcoming event?  Understanding the answer to this question makes the above questions easier and assists in the development of a concrete, focused strategy – and turns art, into successful advertising.

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