Online Marketing Campaigns: Have a Target

A common mistake in online marketing is not having a clear client target for individual campaigns.  The thinking behind it is usually,  “cast a wider net to have more opportunities to catch something.”  The problem is there are a lot of nets in the water, so the people that know how to catch a particular fish stand a much better chance of landing them.  Every online campaign should be built around attracting a particular target.

The first step in making a target is the overview.  Consultants, trainers, and professional coaches usually focus on executives or business professionals of a certain job role.  Let’s use sales training as an example.  The overall target could be sales professionals, sales managers, customer service professionals, business owners, and service professionals.  This is the businesses target focus but not specific enough for a single online campaign.

The second step is picking out a subsection of your target market that is suitable for your call to action.  Let’s use sales managers from the example above.  If a manager event is coming up then the campaign should be built around problems that a manager faces.  Topics of making prospecting calls or dealing with budgets will have less impact than building a sales team and sales debriefing because these are topics that sales managers directly deal with. 

The third step is identifying group subsets.  The event might be centered on managing a sales team in a particular industry.  If this is the case then targets should be related to that industry with a certain size sales force.

The point is that every online campaign should have a very clear target.  Ideally communications via email will be segmented to that group.  For web and social media communications, (or in cases where email segmentation isn’t possible) communications should clearly define who the offer is for.  This casts a smaller net by eliminating poorly suited people but adds credibility to the message for the target group.  A side benefit is that people outside the target group can quickly see it’s not suited to them and are more likely to take notice when they fall into a target segment for a future campaign.

There’s nothing complicated about defining a target.  It’s simply a matter of taking some extra time to focus the campaign and having the guts to let people know who is and is not a good fit for the offer.

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