With so many marketing channels to consider today, choosing the right one can be tough. In this post, I’ll show you how to choose the right marketing channel for your new business.
The right marketing channel can mean success; the wrong one can doom your new business. It’s a bit like that scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade — “He chose poorly.”
Identifying the right marketing channel will keep you focused.
So many new business owners make poor marketing choices. They inevitably go through a trial and error phase, testing marketing channels until finding one that works, or running out of money, time and energy.
Don’t be one of these businesses. Do your homework.
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So many options…How do I know which one is right?
Many businesses today use a multi-channel approach to marketing, using all of the modern marketing conventions to drive brand awareness.
But this reminds me of the phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
The question is, how do all these channels work together?
With so many options, it’s no wonder small business owners are often overwhelmed when trying to choose the right marketing channel.
And of course, you can’t forget, marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all business. For all of the channels, you must learn the technical and social nuances.
The trick to choosing the right marketing channel starts with three very specific, yet simple, questions. These questions should be answered in lock-step.
- Who is your customer?
- Where can you find them?
- What’s the right marketing channel to reach them?
1. Who is your customer?
When trying to identify your target customers, just visualize one at a time. Really nail down your target customer in terms of age, occupation, geographic location, marital status and children, spending habits and other noteworthy psychographics.
Remember, the more specific your customer profiles, the better chance you’ll have at identifying the right marketing channels.
Let’s say you’re opening a small bar on a beautiful Costa Rican beach, with the idea to market to a thriving community of young expatriates — Maybe you’ll call your bar “The Expat.”
NOTE: If you take my advice to open an island bar, and use the name “The Expat,” you might as well hire me on as your in-house marketing director to retain my services full-time.
So, can you picture your typical customer or “guest” at The Expat?
Raoul Duke is an American citizen, 30 years old, a writer for the Tico Times, Costa Rica’s leading English-language newspaper; he’s recently married and lives with his wife in Ojochal. Duke reads the Associated Press, The New York Times and the Tico Times for local news.
SEE ALSO: How to Create Buyer Personas
As for his spending habits….Duke doesn’t make a lot of money, but will spend on good food and good booze, valuing experiences over things. And he’s not alone.
Studies show that most people (not just millennials like Duke) are placing more value on living than having. In fact, Mintel’s 2015 American Lifestyles report predicts that over the next five years, total spending will increase by over 20%, with the greatest growth seen in the areas of vacations and dining out.
Duke drives an old and rusted Volkswagen that he affectionally refers to as his “island hopper.”
He and his wife look after two dogs — One small dog, with a Great Dane’s appetite and one medium-sized dog, with a chihuahua’s appetite.
Duke is only one type of guest — the “Classic Expat.” It’s important to create consumer profiles for your other target guest types (e.g. tourists, surfers, honeymooners).
2. Where can you find your customer?
After identifying your target consumer, you can then move on to the next two questions. Your work with the consumer profiles will set the foundation for the next two steps, so whatever you do, don’t rush through this important first step.
With our target guest in mind, we can combine our imaginations and technology to find out exactly where they, or people like them, hang out.
Based on what we already know about Raoul Duke, we can type “Expats Costa Rica” into the Facebook search bar.
Here’s what we find.
The page has about 2,000 likes, which might not seem like a lot at first, but when you consider the specificity of your search query, 2,000 is a nice-sized community of one consumer type.
At any rate, it’s probably a safe bet that Raoul Duke is hanging out here.
3. What’s the right marketing channel to reach your customer?
If you’re trying to reach Duke and other expats like him, you can use Facebook advertising.
Alternatively, a good marketing channel for expats, especially Duke, would be the Tico Times itself, since it’s the leading English-language newspaper in Costa Rica.
New expats might feel great relief upon finding a newspaper they can read in a land where they might not yet speak the language. Imagine how they’d feel towards a full-page ad for “The Expat,” a place where they can get a bite to eat, drink and make friends, all while taking in the sights, smells and sounds of the ocean.
But, it’s not as simple as announcing your existence. After identifying the right marketing channel, you must then figure out your objective.
Facebook Ads gives you a few different options to choose from as your objective. In the case of The Expat, you could encourage people to claim a “first-time guest, first drink free” coupon.
After deciding on your objective, you can specify your consumer profile targeting even more.
Here’s how it would look for Duke:
- Age 30 – 35 ( young professional)
- Remote work
So for Raoul Duke, we know we can reach him via Facebook; however, we only know this after answering the first two questions — Who is your customer and where can you find them?
Just as no two businesses are the same, you must remember that marketing is not a one-size-fits-all activity.
Take your time in crafting your consumer profiles and be specific. This is how you’ll choose the right marketing channel for your new business.
What’s your method for choosing the right marketing channel? Do you focus on only one at a time, or do you try to diversify your money and marketing efforts among as many channels as you can? Let me know what’s worked best for you and why.