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It’s a natural urge when you own your own business, to want to use every millimetre of your ad space to sell, sell, sell. But in a world where people have choices and make snap decisions on who to deal with based on who they like, you can’t afford to be getting these three things wrong:

  • Your ultimate goal
  • Where your target audience is right now
  • And what channel to use

The three things to consider before you start marketing

In my upcoming book, Get Known, Get Found, Stay Known, I spend a bit of time introducing my three-threes of marketing. They are your three ultimate goals of Get Known, Get Found and Stay Known – that what’s the book is named for. Then there are the three stages of the customers journey, Awareness, Consideration and Conversion. And finally, there are the three kinds of channels that you have access to use. The ones you own, the ones you earn way on to, and the ones that you pay your way on to.

The three mistakes that we most often make in marketing relate to getting your ultimate goal wrong, getting your target audience wrong and choosing the wrong channels.

Problem #1: Choosing the wrong objective

Ultimately you want something in return for your marketing efforts. But what exactly is that? With almost any business that is more customers who spend more in each transaction. But you’re unlikely to get them if you just simply yell out to an empty space, “come and buy my stuff!”

The trick is to market to your goal. And by that, I mean, match your marketing to what you want to achieve at the end of the day. And, *spoiler alert*, that will probably involve more than the one goal.

The three main goals are; Getting Known, Getting Found and Staying Known. If no one knows you or even wants what you do, your goal will be to Get Known. If they know you and want what they do, your goal may be to Get Found so that they can buy from you. If they’ve already bought from you, then your goal might be to stay on their radar, or Stay Known.

Choosing the right one of these means that you are ensuring that you are also putting your head in the right place to choose from our next three.

Problem #2: Choosing the wrong point of the customer journey

You know what you want to achieve from your marketing activity now. This step is choosing a point of the customer journey to aim your marketing at. And there are three major stages.

Awareness: this is the stage where the customer has no idea who you are or even any desire to buy what you’re selling.

Consideration: this is the point where they may know you, may want what you are selling, but they are still shopping around and comparing you with others who do what you do.

Conversion: this is the point where they know you, want what you are selling and are at the point of buying it from you. But they are still easily distracted or swayed, so they need a little extra to push them over the line to become your customer.

Choosing which point of the customer journey your particular customer is at, means that you are setting yourself up for the final set of three.

Problem #3: Choosing the wrong channel

We’re not talking about TV channels here, though TV itself can be one of your channels. We’re talking about whether you will use your Owned, Earned or Paid channels to deliver your message to your potential customer.

Owned channels are placements like your website, your vehicle signage, your shopfront signage, your social media properties and even letterbox drops in your local area. These are things that you control access to, and control what the content is.

Earned channels are placements like getting an interview on the radio or television, being featured in someone else’s blog, earning a good position on search engine results, getting a mention from a celebrity or influencer without paying for it, and getting good reviews and recommendations. You don’t necessarily have control over the content or the channel, so anything good that happens to you out there, is something you’ve earned.

Paid channels, as you’d suspect, are ads. You don’t own where they go, but you do have some controls over what message is delivered, within reason. This can include TV and radio ads, Facebook Ads, paid search engine results, featured listings in directories or paid editorials in newspapers, magazines and trade publications.

Making sure that you choose the right channel, ensures that your message is reaching the right people.

Bringing it all together

By choosing the wrong combination of Objective, Stage and Channel, you risk wasting a tonne of money and time on marketing. You don’t have to pour thousands of dollars down the advertising drain though. By mindfully choosing the right end-goal, the right stage of your customer’s journey and the right promotional channel, you can better match what your customer wants with what you want. And that is a win for everyone.

The reality is that most small businesses will waste a lot money on marketing this year. But you don’t have to. You can fast-track yourself to making the right choices when it comes to promotion of your business to the right people. Book your free initial call with me below, and let’s see what we can achieve in just 15 minutes.