Courtesy of Poverty Project Salt Lake City
In its simplest and most basic form, there are four things that we need to take note of when rolling out any marketing strategy. This can be represented by the acronym TART as a yummy mnemonic device.
The first T stands for Target audience. Understand who your customers are as well as their key attributes: socio-economic backgrounds, consumption patterns, lifestyle behaviours, and so on. Without a keen knowledge of the customers whom you’re serving, it’ll be difficult to meet their needs, wants or desires in a cost effective fashion without lots of expensive investments.
Other than the more traditional forms of market research like surveys, focus groups, and visitor counts, consider more in-depth ethnographic interviews with a few key customer groups. Conduct “guerrilla research” by silently observing customer behaviours and interactions at a competitor’s premise. Look not only at what they are saying but how they are saying it.
Once you’ve identified who you’re precisely serving (as much as you can anticipate), you should then determine how you can interest them in your offering. In an increasingly crowded media landscape, what is the best way to attract their attention and hold it there?
Other than straight out advertising, what can you do to go deeper not just mentally but emotionally? How do you spin a yarn that holds their focus just for that much longer than usual. Here, it is clear that content is often far more important than the channels used to reach one’s customers.
There are three ‘Es‘ here which you may want to consider:
– Entertainment: everybody likes some fun and humour in their lives
– Education: teaching your customers to be smarter (in as objective a fashion as possible) is always positive
– Enlightenment: consider how your product or service stands for a cause (health, environment, community) that is greater than just dollars and cents
OK, you’ve waved your flag and managed to get his or her attention. You must now ensure that your entire package – campaign message, product features and benefits, company values, etc – resonate with your customer. After listening to your entire spiel, would your potential customer be convinced? More importantly, would he or she go forth and tell one/5/10/100 others in his or her social networks?
Achieving resonance isn’t just about spreading the word of course. It is also about tapping into the beliefs of your targeted customers and aligning your product or service offering with them. What are their possible concerns and worries? How can you help to make their lives better?
The final T stands for timeliness, ie being at the right place, at the right time and perhaps for the right reasons too. Being timely is about being relevant to your customers and touching them in the right places when it is appropriate to do so. Instead of jumping the gun at the earliest opportunity, one should consider the best date to launch any marketing activity (research, campaign, product) based on a combination between current environmental factors, customer expectation, and company needs.
Timeliness also means phasing your messages correctly. What should you say at this juncture so that it leads your customers to want more at the next ‘episode’? How should you unveil your product or service – all at once, or bit by bit? In this regard, don’t just look within your industry, but consider looking externally towards other businesses that have timed their marketing appropriately.