Most marketing plans follow a very similar formula: build a website, setup social media, fill it with posts about your product or service, circulate a press release about a new client win or a senior hire, execute an email campaign advertising an offer or discount. Rinse and repeat.
The problem with this is, the focus is inward. Marketing plans such as the above are built from a principle of “I’ve got this to sell” as opposed to “how can I help?” It is no wonder that many businesses feel they aren’t getting the full value from their marketing output.
The reality is, the answer is very simple. By adopting an audience-first mindset, your view of how you conduct your marketing is completely transformed.
Adopt an audience first mindset
This begins by creating a very clear view about who your audience — or more likely, audiences — are, you begin to truly understand your potential customer’s motivations more clearly. This article by Shelley Walsh for Search Engine Journal gives a great overview on creating audience personas for beginners.
Find & Seek
For us, the key part of defining an audience is working out where they spend their time. We utilise a method called ‘Find and Seek’ to break this down further.
‘Find’ refers to your discoverability. Your audience knows they need your product or service, they just haven’t decided which is the best option for them yet.
You need to be setup in a way that allows you to be there, ready and waiting to be discovered, in the places your audience searches for an answer. Whether this means high visibility for long tail keywords via organic search, a highly targeted PPC account, a large social audience or a consistent presence within your industry’s key publications, or something else entirely, you need that broad spread and to be present at the moment a potential customer to find you.
‘Seek’ means your audience usually buys a product or service, but they’re not currently actively looking for an alternative. In this instance, you need to actively seek your audience through direct tactics, disrupting their usual purchase journey to articulate to them why they should choose you instead.
A successful acquisition strategy involves giving equal weight to both the find and the seek. We find this approach helps to really focus the mind, and prioritise the activity that will actually aid one or the other.
Once you’ve adopted this approach, it becomes clear why popular marketing tactics such as blog posts without a distribution strategy don’t work. Brands partaking in this activity are guilty of being inward looking again, presuming their audience is always just browsing their corporate site. Once you understand your audience and where they spend their time, it becomes obvious why this doesn’t work.
Take five minutes today and think about your current marketing output. Are you thinking about your customer’s needs first? Are you easy for them to find? Do you know where to seek them?
Being present works.