May 16, 2017
Flying blind? How to nail your marketing channel selection
Marketing is an essential element for business growth and success, which is why businesses allocate significant budgets to marketing activities that will get their brand in front of more eyeballs and drive more sales. But many businesses are ‘flying blind’, not understanding what channels are contributing to marketing success and which are simply not the right fit and/or draining the budget.
It may be from a lack of marketing experience or expertise within the company, or it may be that the person driving the marketing has so much on their to-do-list they are struggling to keep all their plates spinning. Whatever the reason, this trend can lead to missed opportunities and/or a loss of time and money.
A key step to overcoming this problem is making sure every channel within the marketing mix has a clearly defined purpose, in line with the marketing and business-level goals and objectives. Tips for how to do this are outlined below.
Understand the ‘What’
To make an informed marketing channel selection, it’s important to first familiarise yourself with the marketing channels available. Beyond simply knowing they exist, you should also explore deeper to identify what goals each channel is best suited to help accomplish.
Further, as budget is a key consideration when planning the marketing strategy for a business, it’s important to understand the expected costs associated with each channel.
Clarify the ‘Who’
Marketers are becoming more aware of the need to understand ‘who’ they are targeting, to guide more strategic marketing decisions. To identify which channels will be best suited to reaching the right audience, you must first have a comprehensive understanding of who that target audience is, including:
- A top-level understanding, defining the overarching market;
- Identification of the key target market segments (or groups) that exist within that overarching market; and
- A detailed understanding of the characteristics and preferences of each target market segment (i.e. a ‘profile’ for each segment).
Identify the ‘Why’
Every business decision should be tied to the overarching business objectives. Before selecting marketing channels, both the business objectives and the marketing objectives should be clarified and understood. This will allow you to consider how each marketing channel can help you achieve these objectives, and then set clear goals and KPIs for exactly what you want to achieve through each channel – giving each channel a clear purpose, driven by your objectives, with metrics by which to measure success.
Monitor and Analyse
Tracking must be correctly set up across all selected channels to ensure the data can be recorded to measure performance. Creating a monitoring and measurement plan in line with the KPIs is a good step to take. This plan should clarify which metrics will be measured and what methods will be used for measurement (e.g. Google Analytics to measure conversions on the website).
You should then analyse the success of each channel at regular intervals and adjust approach based on performance insights. This shouldn’t be a case of set and forget, and you should continue to consider if there is anything you should analyse that you haven’t thought of before. You should also continue to consider the purpose that each channel is serving and review your channel strategy in line with the performance insights.