Trying to advertise your products and services has grown increasingly complex. Not only is there more competition than ever, but there are many more distractions. In fact, if you take a category like above ground swimming pools, you’ll quickly discover how many manufacturers and distributors are trying to access a very small niche. I began doing some work for a swimming pool company and was literally shocked at the number of SKU’s available and long list of competitors.
The most common question I receive from fellow markers is, “What are you using now to reach prospective customers?” Even within marketing circles we ask this question because it’s grown increasingly more difficult to reach your target audience at the right price. Add to this the reality that many companies are reducing marketing budgets, as opposed to increasing them, and you quickly see the challenge.
My feedback is usually the same? Begin with a thorough understanding of your customers. Who are they? Where are they? What motivates them to buy? A successful marketing campaign, even for swimming pools, begins with knowledge and understanding of your target market. There are still inexpensive ways to reach your market from Facebook advertising to affiliate programs, but if you don’t know who you’re marketing too, your money will be wasted.
Always Be Testing
The other question I like to ask fellow marketers is, “What have you tried?” I’m rarely shocked when someone tells me they tried this or that, but with very little discipline or measurement. You may think that you’ve tried everything but nothing could be further from the truth. Think of Thomas Edison and the light bulb. He tried over a 1,000 experiments that failed until he got the aha moment. I’m not suggesting you spend all your time trying and trying without tangible results but you definitely need to try more than one or two things to be successful.
Start your product promotions and marketing with a goal. Focus on ways to achieve that goal and experiment. You’ll never know what works and what doesn’t until you give it the old college try. Also, what worked in other markets may no necessarily work in a new market - that is a market that is new to you. In this example, I tried a number of ways to promote the swimming pool business only to find that what worked in another niche wasn’t as effective in this one.
Before you throw in the towel on a product promotion, give yourself time and budget to make a few mistakes and determine what works. When you do, you’ll emerged successfully with a new marketing program that gets results for your client.