[This article was written by Lizzie Weakley.]
The most fundamental idea of advertising is that it contacts potential customers directly. When a campaign does not reach its target audience, it costs the company money in two ways. First, the advertising budget has been wasted, and second, the potential for added revenue is missed. Here are three ways to avoid this situation.
Cut a Wide Swath
There are two situations in which you cannot use targeted advertising. The first is when almost any consumer will be interested in your product. Things like cars, lightbulbs, and similar items are likely to be bought by anyone, so there’s no need to spend time and energy trying to tailor the market. The second is when there is no way to target your potential customers. This is likely to occur when you don’t have a firm grip on just which consumers might be interested.
In both of these situations, mass media efforts like TV advertising can be very effective. They cover lots of ground and reach lots of eyes quickly.
Use Online Tools
People often joke that their social media accounts read their minds, but there is a more reasonable explanation. If you’ve ever mysteriously seen an ad for something you just said you wanted, you have seen a targeted ad.
The technology is incredibly complex, but the short version is that information about your browsing and interaction with social media is linked to your identity. That information is used to determine which ads will be most relevant for you. That’s why your internet search for “water heaters” was quickly followed by ads for water heaters. By putting that same technology to work for your company, you can bypass the “not interested” viewers and send your ads directly to those who are likely to buy.
Almost everything today bears some kind of sponsorship. The contributions of an interested party can help an event or facility meet its financial obligations while providing exposure for the sponsor.
When your product has natural linkages to sponsorship opportunities, it can be very easy to find your customers. A simple example is an ice cream shop that sponsors summer baseball and softball teams. Win or lose, kids are usually interested in a cold treat after the game, and your sponsorship can bring them to you for those snacks. Other examples are music stores sponsoring a concert, attorneys sponsoring estate-planning workshops, and many more. Find the link between what you’re sponsoring and what you’re selling.
Marketing your business can be highly targeted or very broad, depending on your products and services. With the right plan, you can get your name in front of a high percentage of potential customers without wasting money advertising to people who aren’t interested.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.