Three elements that every marketing mix should have…
…that is if you want your effort to be successful. You’ve done your strategy work. You’ve defined your target market, developed compelling positioning and advantage, and packaged your products and/or services in a clear and relevant way. Now you’re ready for the fun stuff — the marketing mix. You know direct mail, email, brochure, public relations, and all of the various tactics you’ve determined make the most sense given your strategy.
But that’s the hard part isn’t it? Now you have to translate your strategy into an effective and efficient (and therefore more affordable) marketing plan. If you look hard at your marketing plan in almost every case, one or more of the following elements is in need of work:
It is important to your marketing efforts that everything—and we do mean everything—looks, feels, and sounds the same way. In order to get the benefits that repetition provides, this element is absolutely critical. If your targets hear the same message over and over again, the same way each time, they are much more able to spread the word in the way you want it to be spread. This is where the “and they tell two friends” becomes your most powerful marketing tool. Audit all marketing communication pieces, as well as other customer touch points (invoices, fax sheets, email signatures, etc.) for consistency of your brand use and message. Where it is not consistent…fix it immediately.
It’s true, frequency makes a difference. But, how often is frequent enough? It truly does depend on your market, your business goals, and your offer. Here are some guidelines, try to “touch” your primary market 2x monthly, your secondary market 1x monthly, and your tertiary markets 1x quarterly. Without this level of frequency your momentum is lost between marketing touches and the impact is severely diminished. As humans, our memory is somewhat short, so constant reminders that you exist and have something to offer is necessary to establishing the brand awareness we all aspire to achieve.
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Consistency is good and frequency is even better, but if your marketing mix lacks variety, your efforts will suffer the consequences. Having your marketing rely on one or two vehicles (i.e. direct mail and brochures or email and web site) lacks the power of “touching” your audience from the many angles they take to review their options. A combination of activities (i.e. a monthly newsletter, an email promotion, public relations, and networking) working together in concert allows you to develop a “relationship” with your prospect list long before you ever meet them.
As you can see, designing the marketing mix to support your marketing strategy is much more complicated than just picking the communication vehicles you’ll use to “get the word out.” You must also be sure that your implementation plan includes all three of the above elements.