Peter Drucker famously said, “The purpose of business is to create a customer.”

Marketing is the engine for making customers.

It is also a huge field. I like to think of marketing as the communications directly with your customers. You could choose advertising, email, your website, etc.

Wherever customers and potential customers interact with your brand, you have marketing opportunities. The question is, are you making those opportunities great.

What makes marketing great?

Great marketing will help you make money and not waste it. It starts with four key elements:

  • Identifying your ideal customer or customers. All great marketing revolves around specific customers, who they are and their goals.
  • Making a connection between your company and what your customer desires. Great marketing shows your customers how your company will help them achieve their desire – whether that is to experience memories with their family, feel better about themselves or make a difference in the world.
  • Core strengths. Great marketing needs a focal point, preferably one that is highly desirable to the target customer.
  • Constant optimization. Great marketing constantly evolves as audiences’ needs and competition changes. That means optimizing the message and design to stay ahead, remain interesting and keep in touch.

A word about integrated marketing

Marketing works best when integrated with other communications disciplines, such as public relations and social media.

There was a day when disciplines lived in their own silos. That day has passed.

Integrated marketing includes:

  • Overall objectives
  • Common messaging across all media
  • Effective timing and coordination

Marketing campaigns

Campaigns are a staple of marketing. They are an ongoing series of events designed to achieve  specific goals. They reinforce the brand.

A campaign makes sense if your company:

  • Needs to reach people in a broader target audience. This could be as simple as purchasing an email list or as complicated as a multi-channel media buy.
  • Has significant competition. Repetition of your message is crucial in a crowded market.

Examples of campaigns include:

  • Advertising, both display or pay per click
  • Direct mail
  • Offer-based emails
  • Rebranding
  • Specific product

Marketing projects

Projects are best for companies not quite ready for the investment of money and time necessary for campaigns.

Projects can still be highly successful if they focus on a single, high-return audience. Best of all, the execution of projects requires less budget and a short turnaround.

Some examples include:

  • New collateral
  • Targeted advertising
  • Microsite

Inbound marketing

Every great marketing effort now plans for effective inbound marketing, which involves driving the right traffic to your website and using it to build your business.

Content is the of heart inbound marketing. Good content attracts and builds trust with your target audience. It might be a whitepaper, a webinar or an infographic. The possibilities are endless. The right answer depends on the target audience and what they will find both useful and/or entertaining.

In addition to content, effective inbound marketing includes:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Landing pages
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Analytics

Measuring the results

Marketing should always have an immediately measurable result, often within 30 days.

Here are a few examples:

  • Sales leads
  • Actual sales, if you sell a consumer product or via your website
  • Donations to a non-profit
  • Attendance at a event

The real value with marketing is the cost per result, e.g. cost per lead. Once you know this number, you can begin to optimize your marketing programs for efficiency and effectiveness as well as benchmark if there is available industry data.

How Amy Atkinson Communications can help you with marketing

Our team has managed dozens of marketing projects for companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses. We tailor our services to the needs and expectations of the customer.

These five services form the core of our marketing services:

  • Research – target audiences and competition
  • Strategy development
  • Channel assessment
  • Message creation
  • Design

Hire Amy Atkinson Communications as a marketing coach

Amy Atkinson is available to consult with and coach your marketing team.

Amy will help the team create a plan, understand key objectives, prioritize activities and report to the top management. She is available for ongoing coaching to ensure the plan stays on target and help the organization develop its marketing capabilities.

Having managed teams of more than 30 marketing and public relations professionals, Amy understands how to get the most from small and large teams — be they on staff or agency partners.

Amy can provide coaching in any or all of the following areas:

  • Writing an effective marketing plan
  • Managing priorities
  • Managing a marketing team
  • Marketing reports that executives will read