These are all comments and complaints that I hear from business owners and potential clients every day. Truthfully, I can’t blame them. I try to put myself in their shoes and quickly realize that if I was taking money out from my bottom line and getting nothing, or less than optimal results, I would be frustrated as well. The real question is, why aren’ttheir marketing dollars producing better results?
Many times, after reviewing how clients have traditionally been spending their money, I am suspect in how they are targeting their audiences. Media professionals have been using the term “spray and pray” for years. It’s akin to wanting to paint the front door of your house red and taking a paint sprayer full of red paint and covering the entire façade of your house. Will your door be red? Yes. Your neighbors will also be furious.
So, how do we avoid spraying and praying? We research. We research some more. Then, we pull additional research. And finally, we ground our spend recommendations in research. There is no way that we can spend money wisely if we don’t really understand our target audience. What do they do in their free time? What interests do they have? How do they consume media? How much time do they spend in the car? This year especially – what is their political affiliation? Are they motivated by politically-charged topics or do they avoid them like the plague?
It’s not as easy as “my target audience doesn’t like to spend time at the mall, so I won’t run advertising at the mall.” While that statement may be true, how does that information proliferate into other aspects of what you are spending? Maybe you have a sponsorship with a local franchise QSR and you realize that half of your “added value” is table top tents in locations in the mall. The money you are spending on that sponsorship isn’t hitting your target audience. What if you moved that element to table tents at QSR locations next to movie theatres? And you knew, without a doubt, that your target audience had an affinity for going to the movies. You know this, because you paid attention to the research. Now, those sponsorship dollars are working for you.
A perfect example of a beautiful, red door.