Bill Grunau

You Have To Be Out of Your Mind to Create Great Marketing Strategies

marketing strategy on white boardYou have to be out of your mind to create great marketing strategies and content that connects with your customers.  That’s right, you have to be completely our of “your” mind, here’s why.  I have worked with countless clients that want to base their marketing strategy and  tactics based on their personal point of view.  They want to develop their marketing strategy based on what they like, products they use, brands they like, with the assumption that their customers are have similar interests and behave like them and they are “plugged in” to their customers.    

Subtle assumptions based on your  own personal preferences are often very misleading.  For example, a few years ago I had lots of discussions with clients about using social media and Facebook for marketing campaigns targeting Boomers (people over 45).  Many, in fact the majority, were unconvinced that social media was of any interest to anyone other than teenagers.  This opinion was based on their own use, or lack of use, of social media.  It is now commonly accepted that social media is highly effective across a wide range of demographics, including Boomers.  

Today the debate is often about mobile use, how important mobile is for marketing today, and whether people use mobile devices for viewing websites and the effect and reach mobile has on consumers.  Again, while all of our clients have smart phones, most only use a small fraction of the features available and few use the internet via their phone or at best only very limited.  Thus their view and opinion of mobile use is based on their own use and not representative of the overall market, especially people under 40.  

One last example of  getting out of “your mind”.  I am not a fan of the iPad, in fact I coined an acronym for them, I am Prisoner of Apple Design.  I find them slow, locked down like a federal prison, and they just don’t have the power to do any real work.  We have one at Esotech that we use for testing website compatibility and it works great with Pandora, and yes, I do use it when traveling, but that’s it.  My point is that my view of the iPad is clearly in the minority as their are tens of millions of loyal iPad fans that are madly in love with them.  If we based our website design and marketing strategies on my opinion of the iPad we would be missing a huge market that has now emerged into a wide range of other tablets.  I recognize that my opinion of the iPad is based solely on my personal preferences and is not representative of the general market.  

The same applies for much more simple assumptions about your customer’s behavior, likes-dislikes, even who your customers are.  Many organizations make these assumptions about their customers and then base their marketing strategy on these assumptions, resulting in an ineffective marketing strategy.  The first step to creating a great marketing strategy is to get out of your mind and into your customer’s.  

5 Steps for Out of Your Mind Marketing

  1. Get out of “your mind”, accept that you are not representative of your customer demographic, and open your mind.  Start the process with no opinions and no assumptions.  
  2. Define your target demographic.  Be as specific as possible and if necessary define multiple groups.  
  3. Do some research on these groups.  It’s pretty easy to do a few Google searches and get some great data and excellent blogs/articles.  
  4. Do some surveys.  Yes, ask your customers what they think, the results may surprise you, and even if they don’t at least you know for sure!  
  5. Develop your marketing strategy
    • Creative Brief 
      • Define the persona of your customer, be specific. 
      • Define the writing style and tone for your website, blogs, and social media posts. 
      • Define the look of your marketing materials.  Consider what will touch and resonate with your customers. 
    • Marketing Plan 
      • Establish your goals and objectives. 
      • What is the most effective media to reach your customers?  Choose your media and how you will reach your customers.
      • Create outline of how you will use each media.
      • Define your budget. 
      • Implementation plan – develop a specific plan to with a timeline.