August 7, 2012
Liz published this at 1:00 pm
Creating a buzz on this ultra crowded web of people, information, and brands is a challenging task. Only by forming a smart strategy and then executing it do marketers succeed.
Know Your Customers
The very first step that marketers have to focus on is consumer research before they can board the brand wagon. It is mandatory that sufficient research be conducted before even the tiniest effort of brand promotion because according to Sun Tzu, ‘Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.’ And strategies can be developed only by someone informed. Demographic and psychographic details are used to develop a customer profile.
Create a Brand
Using information from the customer analysis, focus on the creation of the three following things:
- Brand Essence – What is the one clear, crisp idea that the brand is about? The people behind Coke have worked to promote is as a brand that represents happiness, Lux is all about star appeal, while BIC characterizes disposability. Remember, a brand’s essence is the one thing about it that can never be change.
- Brand Values – What values that surround the brand? In addition to being a symbol of happiness, Coke also symbolizes celebration, sharing, love, friendship, familial values, etc.
- Brand Persona – If brand essence and brand values were personified, they would create brand persona.
Customer Internet Availability
Once the branding cycle is complete, probe into the web browsing behavior of the target market. The timing, the frequency, the websites/social media they use most to interact with others, the things they like to share, the things they enjoy but do not choose to share with others, the average amount of time spent on one sitting at a social networking site, etc.
Keep an Eye on the Competition
Along with details of web browsing behavior of the target market, knowledge about what the competition is doing on the Internet is also crucial. Find out what the industry’s leaders are doing and which and how new entrants in the market have been able to attract significant audiences at different social networking sites and other online mediums.
Keep in mind the selection of online media the target market uses and the different platforms used by the competition. There are two main strategies that marketers can go for – offensive or defensive. Campaigns with larger resources can afford to adopt an offensive strategy and establish their presence on online platforms that are already dominated by competitors. On the other hand, marketers may also adopt a defensive strategy by attacking the competition where it is not looking. In other words, it can establish its presence on mediums that the target market frequently uses but which haven’t been used by competitors yet.
Some of the most frequently used mediums and tactics for online marketing campaigns include application development, meta engines, online stores, PR engines, blogs, feed services such as RSS, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, social media and affiliate marketing.
Having conducted the research, created a strategy, and then applied it, the last yet perhaps the most important step of the entire process is to analyze the results. Thanks to tools such as Google Analytics, the results of an online marketing campaign can be determined. The findings can be used to improve future efforts to promote a brand online.