Today I want to tackle something I believe to be the single biggest reason that so many businesses fail to reach their full potential – lopsided marketing.
Lopsided marketing occurs when a business doesn’t have a robust marketing strategy in place and business owners don’t have a birds-eye view of the full spectrum of marketing channels that are available to them, both on and offline.
Without a marketing strategy to anchor thinking and set a general direction of travel, business promotion is too often done on a whim. Maybe you hear about the latest Internet marketing trend and give it a go, maybe somebody tells you that advertising is the best way to promote your business, so you throw some money at it for a while and see what happens. Sound familiar?
If so, stop! Stop and take a moment to put the challenge ahead of the channels. What is it that you are really trying to achieve? Who are you really trying to reach? Having clear answers to both of those questions is the starting point of marketing strategy. Next, all you have to do is decide how best to get to your chosen destination.
Marketing channels are the vehicles that get you from where you are now, to where you want to be. Would you try and cross a deep river on a bike? Would you try and get to the top of Everest in a car? No, you always pick the most appropriate method of transport and marketing should be no different.
There is no point advertising in online newspapers that your target audience doesn’t read, or promoting your business at events that your target audience is unlikely to attend. The more you know about your target audience the better – what they read, how they travel to work, who influences them – that information is all that you need to make the right decisions about where your business should show up.
And please note the multiple marketing opportunities in the sentence above! If you really want to reach your target audience, you have to deliver your business message consistently across ALL of the marketing channels they engage with.
If you are only advertising on Facebook, your marketing is lopsided. If you are only reaching your target audience through email, your marketing is lopsided. If you move from one marketing fad to the next, your marketing is definitely lopsided.
Marketing success is achieved when you select the right combination of channels for your target audience and communicate consistently across those channels in an integrated way.
5 tips for avoiding lopsided marketing efforts:
- Don’t do anything until you have developed a marketing strategy that supports your business goals.
- Ensure you have a birds-eye view of all of the marketing channels that are available to you as a business owner.
- If a tactic doesn’t support your marketing strategy – if it doesn’t take you to where you want to be, or if you’re not certain it will reach your exact target audience in the right way, don’t do it.
- Ensure your marketing is well balanced across all of the marketing channels that your target audience is likely to engage with.
- Deliver the same message, consistently across all marketing channels for maximum success.