NOTE: This is the second blog post in a two-part series, so if you haven’t read the first one, please go here first.

Hopefully you’ve had some time to think and evaluate who your target market is. This post will focus on evaluating your current advertising strategies to see if they are the right fit for your target market. 

First, let’s start off by identifying which advertising platforms your target market uses as well as the ways you currently advertise. I’m listing out both traditional and digital options for you to select from as you complete exercises #1 & #2.

Traditional modes of advertising might include items such as flyers, brochures, business cards, local newspapers (list which ones), regional publications (list which ones), billboards, TV, PR, radio (list which stations), direct mail (postcards, etc), events you attend (conferences/tradeshows – list them out), events you host, store front signage, in-store signage, etc.

Digital modes of advertising might include items such as your website, social media (list out platforms), email newsletter, blog, Google Ads, social media ads, etc.

Exercise #1: Let’s start with writing down 3-5 platforms you think your target market currently uses. The lists above should help you think of ideas. Choose 3-5, then list and rank which ones you feel your target market uses most often to least often. 

Exercise #2: Write out all of the ways you currently advertise. Again, you can use the lists above.

[EVALUATE]

Do your lists match up? Are their places you don’t advertise, but you need to consider because your target market is using those advertising platforms? Are there advertising platforms that you know you can stop doing and no one would notice? These are all critical questions if you want to sort out what’s important and what’s not – and know, it’s okay for this list to change over time as your business evolves.

[ACTIVATE + MASSIVE ACTION]

This year, I was introduced to a concept called ‘MASSIVE ACTION’. This principle can be applied in so many areas of your life, not just business. Thinking about where you want to go, what items can be seen as ‘massive action’ items that will get you moving in that direction? Oftentimes, we confuse ‘massive action’ with ‘activity’ and we focus on the areas in our business and life that won’t move the needle. In order to be more effective in your business and/or life, it’s critical you begin to outline those items that will make change happen AND it’s critical you identify the things you are going to STOP doing. Perhaps you can figure out how to automate or delegate a few of the items in the ‘activity’ category so you can focus more diligently on the ‘massive action‘ items that will make the most impact and get you results.  

Right now is a great time to do this evaluation and then set your sights, goals and actions for 2020. I encourage you to take a serious assessment of what advertising methods you’re currently using and get clear on the ones that will have the greatest impact. They all take time and energy and most of them take money to implement.  What items will really move the needle for your business next year? What things are you going to start implementing and what items are you going to stop doing?

When it comes to implementing ‘new’ marketing activities, drop your excuses as to why you can’t. Be resourceful in your approach. There is so much information available to you at any given time, if you just allow yourself time to get clear on what you need to focus on and stop trying to do everything. 

Maybe you need a website for your business. 

  • There are lots of free DIY website builders – I personally think wix.com and squarespace.com are great options.
  • Is there someone you could hire professionally to do it? FYI – that’s something I do! 

Maybe you need to get on the social media bandwagon.

  • Chances are, if you’re in a rural area, Facebook is your safest bet.
  • Are there marketing classes you can attend to help you figure some stuff out? FYI – I teach marketing classes focused on social media!
  • Is there someone in your area who is doing an incredible job? Schedule a meeting with them to pick their brain. Chances are, they’d be flattered you noticed!

It’s time to think about how you will connect with that target market audience that you’ve identified because if you aren’t, I guarantee someone else is.

Think about where you want your business to be one year from now, three years from now and five years from now. It’s going to take some work and it won’t be easy, but it will likely be WORTH it. Don’t be afraid to take on MASSIVE ACTION, it’s what will set you ahead in your industry.

If you need help or simply just want to brainstorm where you’re at, connect with me. I work with clients on assessing their marketing plans and finding effective strategies to move forward – and I absolutely love helping rural business owners get clear about what’s important for their company.

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