marketing from a to z

Every business has objectives, and to achieve those objectives requires a plan. When it comes to selling more of your product or service, the plan starts with advertisements and ends with your website. Ultimately your site is what gets customers to buy, so it needs to be designed to make that happen.

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Market segmentation

You can't sell your product to everyone. The less specific your marketing targets are and the broader your audience is, the less people will be able to relate to your message. The objective therefore is to target specific groups of people who are looking for your product or service, and present them a message that they can incorporate into their view of the world.

That is, they must be able to substitute themselves and their life into the message you are portraying.

Emotional resonance

Features and benefits are great, but they don't sell products. The decision to buy is ultimately an emotional one. Emotions are the physical manifestations of thoughts, and are the signals by which our subconcious tells us how to feel about things.

Your message needs to appeal to the emotions of your audience. People don't buy things they don't feel good about, so your message has to make them feel good.

Fear is also an emotion, but selling based on fear is unsustainable. The fear happens because of factors other than your message, and it loses potency over time. Pleasant feelings on the other hand can be a direct result of your message, and people will strive to experience pleasure.


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Tests are the best

Advertisements are expensive, and the less specific and emotionally loaded they are the less effective they are. As a result it's important to target specific demographics with them, to ensure the right people see the right ads.

How do you do this? With testing! Designing a number of inexpensive campaigns based on different keywords allows you to get a sense of which ones resonate well with groups. There are infinite ways to do something wrong, and only one way to do them right, so rather than thinking you know the right way it is important to adopt a method of discovering and testing your marketing message.

One can even extend this approach to web design. It's amazing how much of an impact on your bottom line can be a function of wording. Rather than thinking you know what people are going to identify with, it's much better to adopt controlled A/B tests of your content. Setting up tests, and then seeing which versions of your site work better to achieve your outcomes is something that can be entirely automated, and can offer you huge insight into what content is most effective.

It seems like A/B testing should be simple, but it isn't. Creating meaningful tests is the hard part, and it takes a lot of practice.