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Eight things to help you choose your next marketing piece

September 17th, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

After some exchanges with a few readers of my previous post Eight Things to Have Figured Out Before You Meet Your Designer, I’ve been seduced by the list style blog. I know I’ve written that I don’t understand them, but, well, I’ve had a change of heart because they have said it helps them make a bit more sense of the process, something I love.

So with that in mind, I am going to start a periodical series of blogs called “Eight Things”. I am going to try to break down, either, the information you need to know or the steps you should follow to accomplish a task in your marketing goals.

I am going to assume you have your logo, business card, and a basic website, but you’re finding you need to make that next marketing choice. I am going to begin here with “Eight things to help you choose your next marketing piece”.

  1. Do you have a project in mind – Starting a project just for the sake of it is the sure fire way to end up with costly marketing piece lining your closet. Bounce ideas off of a designer, marketer, or someone who can give advice but without being bias. Take their comments as suggestions and not criticism. Sometimes what we think will be great, might only be worthwhile to us.
  2. What can your budget withstand – You’ve read me going over this before. And I’ve been victim of it early on, but make sure this project is not going to break the bank. Unless you are taking an EXTREMELY calculated risk with your finances, don’t create a piece that isn’t going to provide you a good Return On Investment.  I personally feel that you should be able to see a $2 gained for $1 spent for each marketing piece over the course of one year. For example, if your business cards cost $500 and in the course of one year they bring you $1,000 in a sale, or sales, then they are a success.
  3. Who is your intended audience – Marketing skateboarding to the elderly, or happy purple dinosaurs talking about safety to the corporate sales force, may not be the best audiences for these strategies. Know who will get the most value out of your marketing piece and tailor your piece to them. It might reduce the amount of pieces you create, but by focusing on your target you increase your chances of success.
  4. Do you have a plan to measure success –You should be able to track a sale or potential customer touch back to each piece you create. You can drive people to a specific web page, a specific phone number, or ask them to say a certain phrase. While there are some things you can’t measure, there are things you can with simple questions like “How did you hear about this [insert marketing campaign drive from your marketing piece]?” Keep this in the front of your mind as you’re creating your piece.
  5. What is the added incentive to contact you – Is it a discount code, a limited time offer, something for free if purchased, or simple…humor. Don’t forget that sometimes what you give might be a chuckle. Countless times I have been driven to learn more about a company from an entertaining advert, an emotion provoking commercial, or the incentive to get something more than what is being offered. Don’t limit yourself to needing to have more if you can give something of value for free.
  6. When do you plan on rolling this out – Timing can be everything. If you are targeting college students to do something during the school year…reaching them in the summer might not be the best time. Remember that the desire on your end to move NOW could be driven by the possible outcome you see this marketing piece giving you. A little patience could be the difference between success and a closet full of brochures.
  7. Will all of your current pieces have to be updated, even minimally – If you’re budget can’t withstand it, creating a marketing piece that completely redesigns your logo (so it also needs to be redone on your business card, website,etc.) might not be the best strategy. If your marketing piece does require a global marketing piece change, do a limited run of the effort and plan that in. It might mean you do less pieces initially or it might mean a complete re-branding of your company, but that’s up to you.
  8. How are you going to get this piece to the people – This is just as critical a step as any of the ones above and often the one most ignored. You’ve got the design, how your going to measure it, have your plan for when this will go live, but…how is it going to get in the hands of the masses? You need to come up with a plan on how each piece will get in the hands of those who need it. There are tons of ways to get it out there. Just choose one and stick with it until they are all gone.

I hope these eight small nuggets of advice give you some assistance when it comes time to start your next marketing piece. While some of these are assumed to be common knowledge, it’s been proven time and time again that sometimes common knowledge…isn’t so common.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this and see if there is anything you think I missed. You never know, your comments might make it’s way to being one of the “Eight Things” in a future post. Of course credit will be given where it’s due.

You can leave a comment here, reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at facebook.com/mcdougherty.

As all ways, if you have been reading, thank you and stay wicked.

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View Comments to “Eight things to help you choose your next marketing piece”

  1. Very good points and information. Thanks for the amazing tips. It is always better to market to the target audience.

  2. Very good points and information. Thanks for the amazing tips. It is always better to market to the target audience.

  3. Very good points and information. Thanks for the amazing tips. It is always better to market to the target audience.

  4. […] my last post “Eight things to help you choose your next marketing piece” I mentioned that I was inspired to do a blog series to try to break down, either, the information […]

  5. Thanks again for the comment on that. Let me know if there are any other things you'd like me to write an “Eight Things” list on.

  6. Thanks again for the comment on that. Let me know if there are any other things you'd like me to write an “Eight Things” list on.

  7. Thanks again for the comment on that. Let me know if there are any other things you'd like me to write an “Eight Things” list on.

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