Communicating the value of your business offerings to consumers can be challenging, especially considering how rapidly markets change. From technology to pandemics, the way that we promote products and services is always in a state of flux.
Struggling to communicate with the right demographics is a common problem that can be solved if approached thoughtfully. Here are several of the best steps that you can take to reach the right consumers heading into 2021 and beyond.
1. Take Time to Strategize
Before you invest in any new tech or marketing efforts, it’s important to take the time to strategize. This doesn’t just require setting budgets or deciding how to spend your marketing dollars. It also includes an important first step: identifying your customers.
If you want to reach those who need your products, start by figuring out who they are right now. This isn’t a single event, but rather an ongoing process. Thus it requires attention on a regular basis.
When was the last time you purposefully identified who you’re trying to market to? Have you created a customer persona? If so, is it up to date?
Do you gather existing customer data through website analytics, surveys, and other forms of feedback? If so, are you utilizing this information in your current marketing efforts or is it just what research and advisory company Gartner calls “dark data?” In other words, is it information that your company gathers only to leave untouched and unused?
Think beyond one single customer demographic, too. Are there certain verticals that you can divide your target audience into? If any of these niche demographics are large enough, they may deserve a marketing strategy all their own.
With so much of the world shifting after 2020, it’s important to spend time reviewing who your current model customer is heading into 2021. Doing this in detail gives you a blueprint to help you find the best ways to reach consumers going forward.
2. Don’t Skip on Traditional Channels
Online marketing is an ideal way for companies great and small to reach consumers. However, that doesn’t mean traditional channels are irrelevant. Before you move the bulk of your efforts online, consider if and when you can reach consumers in a traditional format such as commercials or live events.
With that said, just because you’re thinking about old-school marketing, doesn’t mean you can’t apply some cutting-edge creativity.
For instance, if you used to hold events to connect with potential or existing clients, you can still do so. If you want to be effective, though, consider setting up a hybrid event. This can allow both in-person and virtual interactions to take place, regardless of the current proclivities of your customer base. Hybrid event management platforms like the one created by Community Brands can make it easy to still have events, regardless of the location of your crowd.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking into television ads, billboards, postcards, or conventions. Consider what traditional marketing channels can help you connect with consumers — as well as how you can use technology to get the most out of them.
3. Refine Your Online Marketing Options
When it comes to online marketing, it’s easy to drown in a sea of choices. This can make it difficult to truly connect. A scattershot approach isn’t a great idea, either, as it will fail to resonate with an adequate number of consumers.
Instead, you have to parse through the various online channels available and consider which ones are best for your target demographic. This may be an activity that you’ve done before, but if you haven’t done so in the last year or two, it’s worth revisiting.
Take social media as a good example. You may have a social media presence, but are you using the right channels to reach your crowd in 2021? You might be where your target audience gathered five years ago but are they still active in that space? Consider factors like:
- The current nature of your business;
- Your target audience;
- Where your competitors are marketing;
- What each platform offers — i.e. breaking news, visuals, community, etc.
Use this information to help you select the right platform.
Also, consider if you’re utilizing analytics throughout your online activities. For instance, Mail Chimp offers a back-end dashboard of analytics that helps you understand who is opening up your emails, who is clicking on links, and so on.
Sprout Social is another great example of an analytics tool that can help you track various data across your social media accounts. Wherever you’re marketing online, make sure you’re tracking the data to help you refine your process and find the right consumers interested in your brand.
4. Partner With the Right People
If you want to reach consumers, it’s also important that you partner with the right people. In the past few years, affiliate and influencer marketing have become the primary way to create online marketing partnerships. And make no mistake, these can still lend a tremendous amount of synergy to a marketing campaign.
However, there’s another group that you should include if you want to truly resonate with your target audience: your customers themselves. Andy Crestodina, co-founder of the web design company Orbit Media Studios, refers to this phenomenon as Zero Waste Marketing.
The entrepreneur recommends incorporating partners, clients, and even prospects into your marketing content efforts. Ask for a quote, feedback, or even an interview. This inherently adds value to your content, establishes your authenticity, and can draw consumers to you.
Many of the common communication channels of the last few years continue to dominate the marketing space heading into 2021. However, that doesn’t mean that the channels themselves are unchanged.
On the contrary, there are countless management and analytics tools that are reshaping how each marketing option functions. In addition, customers themselves continue to adjust their behaviors, expectations, and stomping grounds — just as they always have.
So, if you want to reach the right consumers in 2021, start with a review of who your ideal customer is. Then use that information along with the available tech tools to create a marketing strategy that takes advantage of the traditional and online marketing channels where your consumers congregate.