Musings, thoughts and updates from my world. This is not your everyday "updates". These are my views, based on my experience. I don't proclaim to be 100% correct, but I do offer my opinions of what works (and doesn't). I hope that you find it useful.

Tactical Marketing Strategies

posted 15 Oct 2015, 04:23 by Jason Purton

What good is having a blog if it doesn't provide readers any value! Well here you go, actual strategies (well an overview of them anyway) of tactics used in marketing to get a consumer to move from Awareness to Desire, then through to Intent and finally Action.

Tactical Marketing Strategies by Jason Purton

I mentioned in an earlier post on Tactical Marketing (Elements of Marketing - Back to Basics Part #3) that I would Highlight some of the strategies used. Going back to that information you will know (learn) that the purpose of tactical marketing is to initiate a response in your target consumer. Therefore to do that you need to have some sort of interest inspiring incentive and communicate it effectively. Below are some of the strategies used to entice, inspire and sometimes even coerce you...

(NOTE: these strategies are not exclusive, meaning you can use combinations of them together)

Discounts

Well this one is pretty obvious, and usually the first thing that businesses do. It is it the good ol' "Get this amazing gadget for XX off". The reason that this Tactical Marketing Strategy is probably the most often used strategy is; 1) it is easy to implement, and 2) that it is easy for the customer to see the value (Roll out the psychologist here). Because it is easy for the consumer, it very often works as well. 

Limitations

You now only have 30 seconds to read the rest of this post before you you have to pay to read the rest... Well maybe not, but this is an example of how this strategy places either time or volume limitations on a product. Placing a limitation around something, creates a number of psychological effects in consumers minds, including; perceived demand, urgency, and the desire to not want to miss out. All, or one of these can cause a shift in someone's purchasing state of mind. This tactical marketing strategy can be used to increase sales volume, or to maintain price. If the limitation is actual or created is an area for moral discussion (I.e. Creating false limitations to increase either price or demand. An example being the petroleum industry). 

The Follow-up

Have you ever had one of those really annoying sales people that would not leave you alone? I have them all the time. The problem with knowing what they are doing is that you have to respect the ones that are good at it. This strategy is basically aimed at bringing the item to the front of a persons attention as many times as possible until they make the purchase. In marketing the objective is pretty much the same. say that you send out an email that has a special offer that lasts until the end of the month. Great, your customer reads it, is excited, wants is and thinks OK I will buy it when I get paid next week (you know what I am going to say). Between when they read the email and the time that they would intend on purchasing they have received 300 other email offers, they had a flat tyre, they have taken on an extra project at work and by the time it comes around to the end of the sale they have completely forgotten about your great product. But what if two weeks after you sent the first email, you sent a reminder to all those that opened the email that the sale was finishing. Yes, back to front of mind.

Lead-in Pricing

Like it or not what you see in some advertising is not really what you want or need. The electronics & white goods retailers have nailed this one. you see or hear some marketing activity that says you can get a brand new TV for only $100. You then create some reason that you need a new TV. When you get there, the sales person shows you the TV.,

Free sample or consultation

As the saying goes "There's nothing free in this world". This is likely the strategy that the saying comes from. Like the Lead-in Pricing, but in this case the free item is usually of lesser value. The thing that the consumer is usually asked to give away is information about themselves (age, gender, salary bracket, etc) and most importantly, their contact details. For any business, whether B2B or B2C, growing your database of accurate and relevant contact details is one of the best ways to grow new business (assuming you contact them appropriately). 

Value Add

Complete this sentence "Would you like .... with that?" Yes you know it and it has been used as the perfect example of value adding in nearly every marketing text book and seminar. Whether you call it a value add, bonus offer, add-on, or extra, it is all the same. What you are doing is offering the customer something in addition to what they originally wanted or asked for. 

Need/Want/Desire Driver

This one requires that you know your product and customers very well. This is appealing to your consumers needs, wants and desires with a specific solution. One of the best examples of this that I have seen is the Y2K bug. Anyone with a computer in 1999 was told that if they had an old computer, when the clock changed to 2000 it would blow up (well maybe not but close enough). There was going to be a melt down of global financial and military systems, and the world could even end. What did this do? it created and want (remember, need is primal) to ensure that you didn't loose all your valuable information. Therefore millions of new computers were purchased. the main problem with this was that anyone who knew a how to change their clock on their computer could test it by changing the date to 13/12/99 and waiting a day. Well we are still here and it is safe to say that it was just another desire driver from the computer industry.

Combining Tactical Strategies - Example

Now some will say that this is a little over the top, but what you may not know is that this is happening every day, and not only with large companies.

Lets start with a simple example where a your favourite online clothing store sends you email with a special discount [Discount] for the first 100 customers [Limitation]. Easy.

Ok Let's add a few more... you like an item and click through to the website and you see a beautiful stylish model dressed in the shirt [Desire Driver] and you think I must have it. You find the shirt and on the same page under "Related Items" is the pants that the model was wearing [Value add]. You then go through to checkout and again pops up the pants (they do look like good pants, WARNING, here is where the advantage of modern tech comes in). You have a look at the pants but decide that the shirt will do. You buy the shirt. happy with your purchase you eagerly await your shirt in the mail. 

But lets not stop there... A couple of days after you receive your shirt you get an email from the same store [Follow up] and they are featuring a sale [Discount] on the very same pants that you were had looked at previously (What a coincidence!!!). Well now they are on sale, so you might as well get them too. This completes the purchase and value add combination... but what about those shoes, and so it goes on. 

Tactical Marketing Summary

As you can see in theory there are only a few tools that a marketer needs to know about in order to create the campaigns. The difficult bit comes next; Creating the message, putting them together, distributing them, monitoring them and then finally reporting on the result. 

(Final Note: Yes I have Tactically used the image to increase desire to find out more information and read this post)

Elements of Marketing - Back to Basics Part #5

posted 27 Aug 2015, 05:31 by Jason Purton   [ updated 15 Oct 2015, 04:20 ]

What is Marketing? Many do it, but don't really consider what it is that they are actually doing. When you break it down to the very basics, it is simply a 'Communication between two individuals'. There are 3 very important parts to these 4 words. 
  1. Communication - The encoding and decoding of a message.
  2. Between - This infers that it is two way (i.e requires some form of adaptation and response).
  3. Two Individuals - The sender and the receiver.
Elements of Marketing Communication by Jason Purton

Communication


So you pull into your the newest cafe. Its popular (because its new) and you jump in line. After the 5 people in front of you, order your regular 'Half shot soy mocha latte with half a sugar' (meanwhile I'm standing behind you simply wanting a double espresso) and the 15 year old attendant says sure... next! Your coffee comes and it is a 'full strength soy cappuccino with no sugar '. Disappointed you say they don't know what they are doing, will never last and you will never go back... But, was it simply a lack of communication (I will tell you if it was a bad barista). Question: if you wrote it down for them, would they then have got it right?

Companies spend millions of dollars on marketing communications doing what we all do when we order our favourite cup of coffee, or chat with a friend. Why? To get the message and delivery right.

There are effectively 4 parts to communication message, encoding/decoding, noise and response. Below shows the process as outlined by Kotler, Keller & Burton (2009, Marketing Management).

Marketing Communication Process Model - Elements of Marketing

Contrary to popular belief, marketers are not trying to trick you into buying their stuff. What they are (or should) be doing is trying to create messages that will appeal to those people that are most interested in their products, and, deliver them to the target markets with as little noise distraction as possible.

How to...

So, here is the theory bit. 

Message

If you create a message that is relevant to the receiver, they are more likely to focus their attention on it, no matter how many other messages are being sent (If your coffee above was exactly how the attendee behind the counter liked their coffee, do you think that it would have been made correctly, even with all the other orders?) This is relevance. This makes the message 'Stand out' against the noise, while at the same time appealing to the interests of the receiver. 

Medium

This is how you package and send your message. The important thing to ask yourself here is "Where are my target market finding information, hanging out or otherwise going to be receptive to the message?" E.g. Would you advertise McDonalds at a Fitness Centre? Not likely. The standards come in here, print radio, social media, etc. But put yourself in your target market's shoes for a day? If you drink actually drink the coffee mentioned above, then you are likely health conscious (soy and half strength to reduce caffeine) and also into new trends (remember the cafe is new and popular). You can see how I am building a bit of a profile on you. Now, I would say that you frequent a Gym or Yoga class, and if a cafe were promoting good healthy coffee on the same day you got disappointed elsewhere, well that is just good positioning.

Response

Your marketing for a reason right? Sales, sign-ups, etc. This is one of the responses that you could be looking for. The point here is that you need to measure the feedback from the message you send. One of the results of your marketing campaign assessment (See Elements of Marketing - Back to Basics Part #4), could be that you need to improve the message to appeal more to your target market. How do you know? Well, you didn't get the result you wanted/expected, but all your customers are very happy. This would suggest that the communication didn't appeal to enough or the right audience. 

There is so much more to this but in summary: Right Message + Right Medium + Right Time = Successful Results

Elements of Marketing - Back to Basics Part #4

posted 17 Aug 2015, 04:23 by Jason Purton

Well this is the part that most don't like, either because the results are not as good as what they were supposed to be, or, because they dont know exactly what they are looking for and how to get the information that they need. Either way this is an area that doesn't get as much attention as it should. Why? because how are you supposed to know what works and what does not if you don't assess what you have done?

Marketing research and analysis helps to know what generates ROI.

Marketing Reporting and Analysis

A very smart friend of mine once told me that reporting and analysis of marketing is about "Asking the RIGHT question". What this really means is that you need to know what you are looking for (Preferably before you spend any money on marketing).

Before you begin trying to look at the results of your campaigns, you need to have done something way back in the planning stage... Set your targets or goals. What ever it was, by setting a target, you must then consider how you are going to track performance against that target. This is where most stumble a little. Now if your campaign is all about $$$ then it is easy to track the results of the campaign right? Well not necessarily. 

Example: You go out and spend $1,000 on a marketing campaign. Post campaign assessment of your revenue shows you brought in $20,000 more than last month. While your patting yourself on the back, your boss asks you how that compared to last year. Further assessment shows that last year's result was the same as this years result and they didn't spend any money. 

So did the above campaign work or not? Well this depends on what your were trying to achieve. If you were trying to increase revenue, then you could be questioned that the uplift is just a trend for that month. But, if you were trying to stop a decline in revenue that you have been seeing, and you managed to maintain the level, then it could be classified as a success. 

How to...

To get meaningful results you need to start with a baseline or a benchmark. Start simple and work from there. What were the results for the last week, month, year before the campaign. Note that this means that you need to be consistently (consistently is the key word here) tracking the results over those periods. Once you have this you can then look at the difference in results. Pretty easy so far. you will have some data to show that you did something and it had a result, good or bad.

That leads us to the next bit, the analysis and interpretation. This is where you have to think (insert Gasp). Yes, you have to go back and look at the results and try and determine why the results turned out the way they did. For some this may be as mundane as we had a month of rainy weather, for other more complex situations you may look at further assessment by attribution modelling to work out what channels performed and what didn't (but that is not the basic stuff, so lets leave that alone for now). 

Here is the really good bit. After you have got your results and done your assessment you can turn around to your boss and say you did X something and got X result because of X reason, and so (here is the bit that will keep their attention) next time, to get a better result, we will do that something we did differently. 

So you see it is through your assessment of, and not just the results you achieve, that you learn what not to do, what to change and what to enhance.

Elements of Marketing - Back to Basics Part #3

posted 11 Aug 2015, 03:52 by Jason Purton   [ updated 11 Aug 2015, 03:55 ]

New here is where you get down and dirty. Tactical Marketing is what most people are referring to when they talk about marketing. This is the part that is designed to get you off your bum and spending your money. The best way to think about it is "Target (market) practice" 

Tactical marketing is like target market practice.

Tactical Marketing

Tactical marketing is just that, it is thought out activity that is designed to initiate an action, usually buy their product, but it could be sign up to a database, or even not choose another competitor. It is the one you see with the price on it that says "Save if you buy now!"

The key to tactical marketing is to know what you are trying to achieve at the very start. The old saying "Fail to plan and you are planning to fail" rings true here. The most important thing to consider here is your target market. Why? Because this will determine what product you include, how much and when they will buy, the advertising creative and also the mediums that you use to communicate the offer. All of this is packaged together into what most know as a "Campaign".

How To...

Now this "Campaign" thing is really another word for a project. If you have read the previous posts (Elements of Marketing - Back to Basics #1 and Back to Basics #2), you will know your brand, know who you are targeting. Now you just need to work our what you are going to say to them (the product and offer) and how you are going to get in contact with them (The medium: Search marketing, radio, print, etc). 

Okay, so the reason that this is like target practice is that the more relevant the offer to the customer the higher the likelihood that they will be interested, and then buy the product. It is this fact that has driven a whole development in marketing to create what is known as 1-to-1 communication (i.e personalising the individual offer to the individual) 

Also, to help those that really need some guidance, I have a template (See Templates & Documents) that you can download. It is based on tourism, but it can be used in any context. The idea is that you have a way of planning, integrating and the reporting on the project all in one place. 

I will save the actual strategies for another post (because most likely you have stopped reading by this stage anyway, or you are loosing interest).

Elements of Marketing - Back to Basics Part #2

posted 4 Aug 2015, 03:50 by Jason Purton   [ updated 5 Aug 2015, 04:58 ]

The good, bad and ugly of this one is that, Branding, is the area of marketing that everyone has an opinion on, but very few actually understand the implications of. Branding requires buy in from all departments, not just the marketing department. so after you have done part 1 (Elements of Marketing - Back to Basics Part #1), you can them move on to...

Consistent communication is the key to creating a seamless brand experience

Brand Marketing

Most people associate a brand with their logo. Slap a logo on your product and your done, branded! Well, unfortunately even if you sell something as mundane as water, you still need to do better than that. Branding is about providing a consistent representation of your product/service in every (yes, EVERY) aspect of your business. The reason that people think of a logo as so important is that it is that recognisable "Mark" that the customer associates the experience to. But the brand is just as much your logo as it is the language you use when on the phone, or the mismatched stack of pens and paperclips on the reception desk. 

How to...

Copy those that do it best. Be absolutely anal about what your brand represents. Really, it should take a decisive person about 2 hours to come up with how they want a customer to feel/react/be when they purchase a product from you. Now that you have your proposed brand experience, all you need to do now is integrate that into every aspect of your business. This means when you are talking to your graphic designer, you give them the same perception as you do when you are talking to your staff, or even... your customers. That is right, your Manager, receptionist and even suppliers are brand advocates as much as your product and your logo. 

Example:

Lets take a retail store that says that they are the friendliest store in town. They have created a beautiful store with all the right Feng Shui, have spent thousands on marketing their brand and personality, and, have even given all the information and training to their staff. So far so good. But they are still a business and they need to achieve sales, so they structure the pay of the store manager based on sales performance. you can guess the rest. the manager drives the store associates, and they are interested in one thing, the $$$. 

Now you can see the implications of branding and how it needs to be across every (again, Yes, EVERY) aspect of the business. The key takeaway is that: every communication and decision from every team member must be consistent and in alignment with the brand.

Elements of Marketing - Back to Basics Part #1

posted 3 Aug 2015, 04:49 by Jason Purton   [ updated 6 Aug 2015, 00:10 ]

Okay, lets start to get things straight. I have recently attended some very impressive digital marketing conferences. Marketing is moving forward at a very impressive pace (about time I say). But, in this race to be the most technically advanced there seems to be a problem, the basic fundamentals of Marketing have not changed, Therefore, I would like to just stop briefly and get everyone back to the "Fundamental" basics of marketing.

Searching for the perfect customer - Start with market research

Part #1: Marketing Research

Ahh, the often ignored market research. Ask around and you will no doubt hear from someone "I can't afford to spend money on advertising". Too many times I have seen people and companies dive into spending money on some form of advertising, get no result, then write it off as it doesn't work. All of this effort and some simple customer research would likely have told them that they are not targeting the customers that are interested in their product.

How to...

The first step is to get to know who is interested in, and will buy your products. For some this may be as simple as noting who walks in the door, but the idea is to get an insight into the Who, What, When, Where and Why you event have customers. An example: a cafe spends a week noting (that's right! Noting, in a book, with a pen) who comes. And the results; before 8:00am each morning they mostly have cyclists. between 7:30am and 10:00am they have mainly office workers, and after 10:00am groups of mothers with kids. Sounds pretty simple... it is (well not always this simple, but the concept is).

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