Developing a plan for marketing

As the global world seems to become smaller, your local world becomes more important.

For most businesses connection with you customer is critical.  Businesses that take a global approach may be missing opportunities for engagement with customers.  Today, localization is what matters to your customer. As customers grow increasingly dependent on social networks, customizing or localizing content for specific markets dramatically increases efforts. To win the hearts and minds of customers, localization also helps customers feel better about their clicks and engagement. Over the next few years, going local will only improve engagement and ultimately commerce. To make the most out of the opportunity focus on localized initiatives for content and create an engagement program that connects with customers in a meaningful way.

And how might you do this?

Create a profile of your target audience.

1. Collect data

  • Collect as much information as possible about customers: jobs, where they live, shopping habits, economic data and family information.
  • Interview or survey current customers

2. Create Personas

  • Develop a couple of “characters” that embody the stereo-typical customers.
  • For instance a healthcare persona may be
  1. Joe is a middle aged father and is interested in getting fit and keeping his high blood pressure down.  He is computer savvy and wants his information quick and on the go.
  2. Martha is an elderly woman and is interested in overall health. She enjoys the monthly newsletter she gets from her doctor with tips for keeping healthy.

Look at what your local competitors are doing.

1. Competitive Analyze

  • Note how they present their products, where they advertise and the type of people who purchase their products and services.
  • Review their products and services and identify the things you do better in terms of service, price, features or value.
  • Identify the things that will make your business attractive to customers
  1. What things do you offer that other businesses do not.
  2. What things do you provide that is better.
  3.  What are your main selling points?

Choose the best ways to reach your target audience based on their behaviors and activities.

  1. Evaluate digital marketing strategies such as online advertisements on websites and blogs, pay-per-click, or GoogleAd words.
  2. Ensure your business website is optimized for search engines
  3. Submit your business to online directories (many are free)
  4. Claim your business on mobile and review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Foursquare
  5. Consider online coupon deals such as GroupOn, Living Social, and Portland Perks
  6. Develop social media strategies and campaigns for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube based on where your customers are interacting
  7. Create email marketing campaigns for eblasts, newsletters, deals & offers
  8. Traditional marketing strategies like print ads, postcard mailing campaigns, booths at festivals or fairs, or sponsorship of local events.
  • Investigate costs and requirements for each type of media.
    • Ask about deadlines for print and online ads and get a copy of the editorial calendar.
    • If you will need to submit a digital file, find out what the preferred format.
    • Gather all of the practical information into one place for easy reference when planning a marketing calendar down the road.
    • Tailor your message for each marketing strategy.
      • Write copy for each channel using your selling points.
      • Edit the copy to work with the limitations of each format: short and to the point for radio, segmented for easy scanning for print and online, and distilled to a few words for visual advertisements.

Now that you have a basic plan, next let’s talk about how your business can grow your digital online market.  Creating a strong local online presence will help your business connect with your customer in a meaningful and beneficial way.


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