Do you know your target market? When asked that question most trainers, consultants, and professional coaches can paint a fairly clear picture of what a target client looks like. When asked how they market to that target audience a list of marketing channels or media follows. But is the target market using those channels or media?
The ease in which digital marketing campaigns can be started has created some laziness in investigating which channels are most appropriate for a particular demographic. The thinking is that it’s so easy to set up the channel, we might as well give it a try and see if there are any results.
However, appropriately using a marketing channel typically has a significant investment in time and resources. Getting started might be simple but maintaining the presence in an effective way over the long term is likely not a small investment. Even more damaging is when a focus is placed on “positive” metrics that aren’t drawing the right audience. Some trainers, consultants, and professional coaches personally like using a particular channel and justify its use through irrelevant metrics that have no tangible impact on generating sales or leads.
The flip side of the problem is disregarding a channel because your prospects “don’t use it.” Often times a marketing channel is derided because a trainer, consultant, or professional coach doesn’t personally like or understand that channel. Just because it’s something that you don’t prefer, doesn’t mean that people in your target market don’t like or use it either.
Two clients recently showed the polar opposite in regards to a Facebook campaign.
The first client said, “I tried Facebook for a while. In fact, we did the whole social media thing. We got nothing out of it so I don’t want to waste time with it.” In reviewing what had been done we found a couple months of posts with no focus on building a following. When we pointed out that the Facebook page was never really given time to grow the response was, “That could be but the result was NO Leads. I struggle with the math there. How much effort multiplied by ZERO results in leads?” This outlook was a self-fulfilling prophecy, “Social media doesn’t work so I’ll put only a little effort in. After applying minimal effort there are no results which clearly show social media is not a valid channel for my target audience.”
Another client experienced the opposite outlook. He loved Facebook and crafted several contests to boost his following. After pulling lead data and finding that Facebook was actually the least effective social media channel he responded with, “I’m sure these leads are from Facebook, maybe they are just navigating in an indirect way which is skewing the results.” Upon further analysis we found that only about five percent of his audience was a valid prospect. The other ninety-five percent had liked his page during contests for a free restaurant gift certificate and likely had little or no need for the consultant’s services.
Remember that the best crafted marketing campaign will be a failure if it doesn’t target and reach the right people. Investigate marketing channels and if it appears that your target market is present make a plan to use it. Then be diligent and objective in investigating the data to ensure that the market you identified truly exists.