Smart Marketing: Taking aim with your marketing dollars and time

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    By Karen Rosenzweig

    Would you go fishing with a broom, chop veggies with a sponge, or ride your bike to Florida?

    Of course not, since there are appropriate tools for every job that save time and aggravation and get the job done. It’s the same concept with marketing your business.

    Choosing the most effective tool depends on the job at hand and what you hope to accomplish. For example, you “could” ride your bike to Florida if you were trying to set some kind of record – but not if you needed to be there for a meeting tomorrow. In terms of marketing your business, choosing a target market is crucial as well – until you know who you want to attract, how do you know where to go?

    Some balk at the thought of narrowing their target market, insisting “I want to sell to everyone.”  Well I’m not saying you can’t do that, but the point really is — if you could work with your dream client/customer day after day, wouldn’t that be ideal? I think we’d all love to work with people who know, like and trust us AND are willing and able to pay us! Let’s face it, your product or service is NOT for everyone, no matter how much you wish it were so.

    That’s why knowing your target market is so crucial to making the most of your marketing dollars and time. If you want salmon for dinner, you don’t go to the pumpkin patch, right? Your fish is not swimming among the vines! Once you take the time to analyze who your ideal clients are, then you can choose the right tool, method or location to reach them effectively.

    This is the strategy I use with my marketing clients at One Smart Cookie Marketing, specifically in regards to social media tools.  Sure, it might be fun to be on Facebook for hours a day, but what if your clients aren’t there? You might think Twitter is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but what if your ideal customer doesn’t have the time or attention span to use Twitter? If you stop to take dead aim right at your target with your marketing efforts, you will be more profitable and productive, not to mention happier.

    For example, if you own a restaurant, it might make the most sense to spend your time on Twitter, where things are moving fast, and people are looking for current information and specials right now. If you are a retail or service business, you might choose to spend your time on Facebook, building a community, where your friends and fans can share their thoughts and have substantial conversations with everyone.  Or you might be a consultant or subject-matter expert and choose to blog regularly, sharing your expertise and wisdom through your posts, to attract and retain clients.

    It is the rare person that can be all things to all people. Everyone is looking for a specialist, the expert who is the “best” at whatever is needed at that moment –of course, budget willing! If you narrow and define your target market well, you’ll be able to focus your marketing dollars and time effectively, and fill your business with the “perfect” clients you’ve been waiting for.

    So don’t take your fishing pole to the oyster beds. Don’t use a knife to mix your cake batter. And don’t try to row a boat to Hawaii. Choose the right tool for the right purpose – that’s the One Smart Cookie way to go!

    Edmonds resident Karen Rosenzweig is a social media consultant/trainer and owner of One Smart Cookie Marketing. She writes weekly about how companies, entrepreneurs and restaurants can increase their customer base and gain visibility through Twitter, Facebook, blogging and other social media tools.

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