The Customer Life Cycle: Marketing Awareness and Knowledge
Marketing Awareness and knowledge are two related topics. The first step is to build marketing awareness, to make people aware that your business exists. You may undertake a brand awareness campaign that you conduct via various marketing channels. Once consumers know that your company exists, then you can proceed to knowledge – educating potential customers about your products and services.
Building Brand Marketing Awareness
Your goal is to build marketing awareness of your company and your brand in the minds of consumers in your target market. This will solidify your position in the competitive landscape, and lead to increased revenues. There are multiple approaches you can take to building brand awareness, including positioning, consistent visual presence, advertising, and loyalty-building plans. This section delves further into each of these methods.
Positioning your Business
Positioning is a powerful marketing concept that was made popular in the 1980s. The idea is that each business has to achieve a certain position in the minds of their target market, relative to their competitors. One business might position themselves based on value priced family meals, while another chooses to position themselves based on high quality French cuisine. A company uses the four P’s of marketing (price, product, place, and promotion) to select its position in the marketplace. This positioning helps to refine and target your brand marketing awareness efforts. Ensure that you keep your positioning consistent throughout all of your marketing efforts, such as print and online advertising, radio or television ads, or special offers and coupons. The goal is for consumers to build an image of your brand consistent with the position you want to achieve.
Building Visual Presence
People tend to be very visual, and you want to provide a consistent visual presence that consumers will associate with your brand. If you think about major fast foot chains, such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or Burger King, you can see that they have perfected this. Each of these well-known chains uses a logo and a mascot, both of which are linked inextricably in consumers’ minds with their brands. Other elements you can use in building you company’s visual presence include a signature colour scheme, a unique decor, standard uniforms for employees and signage. Interacting with your customers in a consistent way helps to reinforce your concept and build your brand.
Frequent reminders are great for developing marketing awareness. You want your brand to stay in the front of your audience’s mind, so that when they think of a restaurant in your category, they think of your establishment. Advertising consistently is a proven method of reminding the public frequently about your business. You can advertise in local newspapers, alternative news publications, door to door flyers, coupon books, or even direct mail. All of these can help to remind potential customers about your products, prices, location, and special offers. These also provide ways to help you reinforce your positioning and visual presence. Television and radio advertising are also very popular. Websites and online advertising are another avenue for reminding your target audience about your business.
Use Loyalty to help drive Marketing Awareness
A loyal customer base is a great asset for your business. Not only do they return frequently, providing direct revenue to your business, but they can also help to spread the word about your company through word of mouth. There are many things you can do to build customer loyalty. Some restaurants offer a free dessert bar, free meals for young children, or add extras at the point of sale like a baker’s dozen. Other companies sponsor local sports teams, schools, or volunteer organizations, which can often lead to loyal customers from those organizations. The internet and social media provide more opportunities to build your base of loyal fans.
Building Marketing Awareness of your Products and Services
It does not matter if your restaurant makes the best pizza in town, if consumers are not aware of it. You need to make potential customers within your target market aware of products and services you offer, so that they see your business as a solution for their needs. There are a wide variety of marketing approaches you can take to do this, and your strategies may shift over time. Once you have a base of loyal fans, referrals and word of mouth can become larger parts of your promotion plan. Follow these steps to build marketing awareness of products and services.
1. Maximize the internet
People are online most of the time, with access to the internet via their phone no matter where they are. This is the most common place for people to begin searching. You need to have a quality website design that gives people a good impression of your business. When your website design is optimized for search engines and mobile it will help your business be displayed in search results, giving you free organic traffic. You can also advertise on the internet, placing ads on relevant sites visited by your target customers.
2. Leverage social media
Social Media is key for developing marketing awareness. Building a presence on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter is important today. Your target customers will regularly spend time on these sites. Consumers use them to discuss their likes and dislikes, and share information with friends. Whenever a customer likes something you have shared on social media, they help to spread the word to their friends, too. They are acting as a brand advocate for you, building marketing awareness for your company, and providing social proof to their friends. Your website design should incorporate social media sharing, it will lead to greater marketing awareness, more traffic and revenue.
3. Use traditional advertising
More people get their news online these days, and readership of traditional print newspapers and magazines has declined. There are still many people, however, who do read these print publications regularly, and you can reach this population of potential customers via traditional advertising. To maximise marketing awareness always use a powerful call to action, with an irresistible offer. Make sure to use attention-grabbing headlines and images, so that prospects read your ad. You can work with local newspapers and alternative publications, or contact the advertising departments of national magazines. Sometimes it is possible to negotiate more favorable rates than they initially quote you. The key is to only advertise in publications that will be read by your potential customers, so that you are not wasting your advertising dollars. One downside to traditional print advertising is that it is more difficult to get statistics on an ad’s performance and return on investment than it is with online advertising. One recommended way to deal with this is to advertise a special offer and call to action directing consumers to a special telephone line. If you have a line dedicated to just this purpose, then it will help you to track what results you are getting from that advertising campaign, and how many people made reservations because of that ad.
4. Sponsor events
Sponsoring Events can generate huge marketing awareness. You can get your name in front of a lot of people by sponsoring local events, such as golf tournaments, or charity events. When you choose an event that is going to be seen by people in your target market, then you can prominently display your name to those potential customers, and associate your company with something that they care about. Sponsoring a charity event can provide a positive image boosting for your company, as well as actually supporting a worthwhile cause. You can contact local organizations to see how interested they are in sponsorship, as well as what sponsorship levels are available. Networking within your community and talking with local media personnel and business leaders can lead to additional opportunities. You can even suggest specific events that could bring publicity and media attention to both the sponsored organization and your business as well.
5. Display your business prominently
Try to ensure that your business is in front of consumers as much as possible. There is a good reason that companies want their products on a shelf at eye level instead of on the bottom row, because being directly in the customer’s line of sight makes it more noticeable, and customers are more likely to purchase it. Great Menus, bold and attractive advertising, images, and signage also help to generate marketing awareness for your brand.
Search Engine Marketing
People are looking for what you are offering, paid search will generate marketing awareness while they are searching, it is an extremely effective technique. Local Search engine marketing helps customers who live nearby find your business. Whether you appear in the organic search results or as a paid ad, when searchers see your business appear, they are more likely to visit your website and buy your products.
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
Using PPC ads is a fast way to create marketing awareness for your brand. It will get your business in front of people searching for what you offer. You can set up a good PPC campaign that drives traffic immediately, as soon as it is turned on. You bid on how much you want to pay per person who clicks through to your website, with higher bids getting you more prominent positioning in the results. You can set a maximum budget for your campaigns. It is a guaranteed way to get traffic to your site, but the campaign needs to be well designed in order to be cost effective. Fortunately, there are tools available to analyze costs and performance.
Search Engine Optimizations (SEO)
This approach works by optimizing your website so that Google and other search engines will display it in their organic search results. It typically takes time to build this presence, as opposed to PPC which drives immediate traffic, but once you have a top position in the search results, it can gain you a great amount of traffic. When you can achieve the number one organic position in the search results, a high percentage of searchers will visit your website, and you do not need to pay for each click.
Social Media Marketing Awareness
Social media is crucial for marketing awareness. People spend a lot of time online on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and use these avenues to share information with their friends. Your want your business to be part of the conversation, so that they are spreading the word about your products for you. Creating a social media marketing campaign is different than traditional advertising, but it can be quite cost effective. Here are a few methods:
â€¢ Facebok contests
â€¢ Viral photos and videos
â€¢ Custom Facebook pages and apps
â€¢ Twitter engagement campaigns
â€¢ Building followers and fans on Twitter and Facebook
â€¢ Maximizing Google+ to aid SEO
â€¢ Showcasing products on Pinterest
â€¢ Using Instagram and FourSquare
â€¢ Keep up to date with Review sites like Trip Advisor
Email Marketing Awareness
Email may seem old fashioned, but people who have opted into an e-mail marketing list are highly likely to open your messages. When you use this to promote flash sales and special offers, it can be very effective. A good email marketing campaign should include the following:
â€¢ Subject lines that drive opens
â€¢ Content that drives customer actions
â€¢ Split testing alternative versions of subject and content
â€¢ Monitoring and analyzing results
This article could literally be a book, I feel that there is so much more I could still add. However, I’ve tried to keep it short and sweet, highlighting what has worked best from my own experience, though fully aware that what has worked well for me wont necessarily have worked best for everyone else.
What has worked best for You?
Please feel free to share in the comments at the bottom of this post..
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