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When clients ask me “how should I market my business” they’re often disappointed when they don’t receive a simple answer to that very broad question. I usually reply with feeler questions like “who is your target audience and what is your big picture mission?” to get a better idea of what they’re working with (and whether or not they know); but it’s also to initiate the process of defining what they’re trying to achieve and the best ways to accomplish that.
The variables in each business determine what marketing strategies will be most effective, and that’s why there is no one-size-fits-all strategy.

Let me give you 2 hypothetical examples to help depict this concept: 

  1. Amy owns a popular yoga studio and wants to plan a weekend retreat.   2. Kate is opening a new downtown café and wants to promote the grand opening.

Both events are 3 months away, so both business owners tell their staff to “start marketing” with the goal of getting at least 50 attendees. Let’s zero in on the difference in their situations, methods, and outcomes.

Amy’s yoga studio has been in business for 4 years and has cultivated loyal customers who attend regular classes, have gotten to know the instructors, and love the atmosphere. Although it’s not the cheapest studio in town, the staff is friendly and knowledgeable, the classes are well organized, and there’s a sense of community amongst students and instructors.  

Kate chose a popular location for her quaint coffee shop with plenty of foot traffic, nearby attractions, and businesses. However, there are multiple cafes within walking distance of hers, so as the “new shop on the block,” her challenge will be finding ways to draw attention to her new location, stand out, and get people to choose her café over the others.

The main differences we’ve identified so far are: –    Amy has an established audience who are already connected to her brand and service. –    Kate doesn’t have an existing brand or customer base.

If each of these business owners told me about their situation and asked me “how should I market my event?” I would have wildly different answers and strategies for each one. Although both businesses may use similar tactics like creating signage and flyers, posting on social media, and putting a sign outside their door that advertises the upcoming event, they will require notably different marketing strategies and methods to accomplish their goals. Amy might tell each customer about the upcoming retreat as they check in for class, hand out flyers, send a few emails, and make some promotional social media posts. Her customers will accept this as an exclusive invitation from a known, trusted friend. On the other hand, before Kate can convince people to spend their afternoon at her brand-new café, she’ll need to do the work of:

     Identifying her target audience

     “Warming them up”

     Offering them value

     Convincing them to do business with her

She also has the task of trying to persuade someone to do things they’ve never done (visit her café and taste her coffee and food) instead of the thing they’re familiar with (buy from the verified place they’ve been regularly visiting for the past few years). Since Amy has an established clientele base, my marketing advice would be to implement a campaign to further educate them on the value and experience of the retreat and showcase what it has to offer. Let them know what to expect and help them get excited about it! Tell them how it will enrich their lives and performance, advance their skills, deepen their self-awareness, and give them an opportunity to destress, unwind, and get grounded. Her marketing materials should showcase the picturesque location, sunset views, juice bar, and studio features. She could offer an “early bird discount” to create a sense of urgency, or an incentive for everyone who signs up with a friend. Perhaps inviting a popular instructor or influencer would increase the value and create FOMO (fear of missing out).
I couldn’t help but write up a complete marketing strategy for the Kate character, because I’m a passionate person, and I’m obsessed with what I do! Stay tuned to read Kate’s full marketing strategy!!!
Don’t get overwhelmed! Defining your target audience and creating your plan of strategic action is a process, and if you need guidance, we’d love to help you! The beauty of marketing is that the strategy will be unique to each brand or business, and that’s part of what keeps it interesting! Fill out the form below to get a customized marketing strategy for your business!

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