As marketers and healthcare leaders, we all love that feeling of confidence and excitement in our marketing plan. But these emotions can be misleading when it comes down to feeling good versus actually delivering results. Frankly, the strategies that seem best to you on the surface may simply not be what your campaign needs to generate a return on investment (ROI). Of course, your marketing strategy needs to resonate with somebody, but with whom? Your marketing approach needs strong ties to research-based marketing theory not just opinions.
“Your Opinion, Although Interesting, Is Irrelevant”
This quote from the book Tuned In is a perfect summary of my point. Think about it: you’re not marketing to yourself, so why should your marketing and brand communications depend on the fonts, colors, or wording you like? The only opinions and perspectives that truly matter are those of your target audience – which is not to be confused with what you think your target audience will respond best to. Just because you love this message or that design, doesn’t mean your customers will agree. Likewise, just because you don’t like something, doesn’t mean your customers won’t like it either. When you crunch the numbers, you’d be surprised at how differently their opinions can be compared to your own.
Marketing Is a Science
Especially in the extremely competitive business environment of the digital age, any and all marketing strategies need to be smart, precise, and premeditated. For any sound marketing plan, you’ll need cold hard data as the foundation on which to build your strategy, as well as for ongoing “maintenance.” You’ll need to truly understand your audience, their consumer behaviors, and how they react to different messaging strategies.
Apart from understanding your audience, you’ll need to carefully address the following:
- Current positioning, performance, and customer perception of your brand
- Identifying and defining marketing opportunities as they relate to your brand specifically
- Creating, refining, and evaluating your value proposition and marketing strategies
- Measuring the performance of your campaigns, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and making appropriate changes
Establishing a Buyer Persona
A great step toward better understanding your target audience is to craft a “buyer persona,” which is essentially a comprehensive model of your ideal customer: demographics, personal interests, buying behaviors, metabolic mindsets, and the like. Most often, you and your C-level peers that frequently influence marketing decisions rarely represent the company’s buyer persona – which further confirms the notion that your personal opinions are seldom the best reasons for marketing decisions.
Evaluating Your Brand’s Performance
There’s virtually an infinite list of techniques that marketers can use to tap into their audience in order to get direct feedback: focus groups, one-on-one interviews, surveys, mind genomics, and the like. Tracking methods for your specific campaigns are also effective tools. For example, call tracking numbers and coupon codes in advertisements and commercials can help brands keep track of where the customers came from.
For the sake of your bottom line, leave your personal opinions and preferences at the door and rely on the facts. Once you have a firm understanding of the complexities of what makes a truly “good” marketing plan, you’ve taken your first steps toward nurturing your brand and breaking through the healthcare haze.
Let us know if you need a marketing partner to grow, differentiate, and win! Call us for for a free consultation at 407-523-0604.