How To Select Your Marketing Channel With 3 Simple Questions

In this digital age if you are a startup / business owner, i believe you must have come to this crossroad where you don’t know when or where to spend your marketing dollar when there are tons of marketing channels out there, but when i talk about channel here it’s not necessary mean to be Facebook sponsored ads, Google ads or any ads related channel but basically any places, ways, methods that can help you to growth your businesses.

Here are the 3 simple questions for you to ask yourself before you decide your very own marketing channel.

  1. Who is your Target Audience?

There is no mass audience for you to target these days, regardless what you sell, there is a certain group of people you want to start reaching from, Facebook doesn’t reach billion of people at the beginning but only Harvard students, Uber focus on San Francisco’s tech community during their early time, GoPro only target outdoor enthusiast at the beginning, if the today’s giants doesn’t target mass audience during their early time, why should you?

To build a successful business today, you will need to find the “tribe” that will help growth you business with the smallest amount of money that you have. You will need to fully understand your own product and find out which type of people is perfect suit as your early adopter and then only find the “channel” to reach this group of users but not the other way around.

Uber target tech community because they know this group of users will try any new tools that might potentially make their life better so they giveaway free rides during tech event, they hustle a lot in startup event which gives them both exposure and early traction of users.

So who is your first “tribe” and how will you reach to the tribe?

2. How much is your marketing budget?

So aside from all of the reachable connection point like events, networking, growth hacking tactics and now you want more similar type of audiences, where will you be looking for them? Your reserved marketing budget is the second crucial factor for selecting marketing channels.

Let say you selling cooking courses online and you have RM5K marketing budget, where will you spend it? SEO? it takes months to see the effect with no guarantee result that your website will be listed on the first page, not to mention hire a team / agency can easily finish the RM5k within a month just to do SEO alone. So SEO very unlikely will become your first choice of marketing channel.

Google ads? Maybe, depends on how competitive is the keywords in your country and how many people might potentially be bidding on the keyword now which raised the bid price game. You can find all this info in Google AdWords planner within minutes before you decide whether or not you should spend your RM10k on AdWords.

The bottom line is you will need to know your marketing budget and how much is the potential ROI for each channel before you invest in one. If you have the budget enough for you to do the test in each of the channels is even better since different industry work better on a different channel, there’s no one size fit all marketing strategy in today business world.

3. Push Or Pull / Inbound or “Outbound”?

How to decide which type of business you are operating now? Inbound or Outbound? Very simple, do people search for your business? If not, in what circumstances they will need your product or services?

If you are a new locksmith, you can’t force people to look for your services until the point where they forgot their key or left their car key inside the car, so in this case, you want to make sure your number are there when people looking for you. Make sure you got one of the top 3 spots in Google page is one of your best bet to get more business, so Google AdWords here you go.

If you operating a new business says…helping people to clean their pets’ shit while they not at home (i have no idea whether this service exists) you might want to try Facebook, Google Display Network or even better out of the box guerilla marketing ideas.

Because generally, no people are searching for your service when they don’t know your service exist or what is your business about, very much your business is still in awareness stage where you want to get more people to understand your business where at this point Google AdWords just doesn’t work for you.

So these are the top three most simple questions where you can ask yourself when you deciding your very first marketing channel, remember, any channel is good if they bring good ROI. Period.

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Originally published at ckjustin.com on June 5, 2016.