A program is the final step you've been working towards. You'll actually place advertising or marketing media to deliver your message to your
customer segment, using the best channel.
It's the last step of your marketing plan, but it's a common first-timer mistake to go straight to programs first, without
branding or channels. Failure follows.
Before writing a check to anybody for anything, you must have the following in place:
- Your target segment.
- A brand statement for that segment.
- The best channel to reach that segment.
Next, we'll get specific on the program you'll use to get the message to your segment.
Marketing program planning
Programs are the last step of your marketing plan. However, it is a common first-timer mistake to go straight to programs first, without branding
. Failure follows.
Programs deliver your message to your channel; advertising; direct marketing; events; sales etc. You are about to spend money on one of these, so you must have:
- Your target segment.
- A brand message specific to them.
- Creative materials.
- Measurement in place for the program before launch.
- The cheapest program chosen first.
Your choice of marketing programs decides whether you'll be sleeping in a mansion or an alley five years from now.
This is where you can wipe yourself out financially without the following:
- Choose one favorite target customer segment.
- Understand exactly the message your going to employ.
- Create effective creative media to convey it.
- Research the best placements for your target customer (Web, magazine, billboard).
- Try a small (cheap) test program and see what happens.
We're not going to blow a bunch of money. We're not going to 'throw everything against the wall and see what sticks'.
We're going to try one program, place one piece of media, and watch very carefully.
A popular place to start is Web advertising. Entry costs are very low, and it's a great place to experiment with messaging and creative before increasing your budget.
Marketing programs - Web
A website is now the very top priority in your sales arsenal, and has largely replaced other traditional media for the small business. In fact it can reliably be your only marketing program.
Before the Web, there was no alternative but to pay to play - and dearly. Small businesses (you) were no more than easy prey, bled dry by traditional expensive media like print advertising and trade shows.
Access to information was difficult other than 20 year-old books at the library.
The Web also rewards creative and competent marketing, not expensive marketing. Things have changed in the last decade; quality is king now, as opposed to the long reign
of Spam. Search engine companies have largely won the ongoing arms race against the spammer and spamdexer.
Marketing programs - Measurement
We're updating the measurement section through today.
Allright, we'll need a little more time...