December Marketing is a Science
by Lorraine Ball
have always believed in both marketing art and marketing science. Marketing art is found in the masterful use of words which inform, motivate, and persuade and with the right images that leap off the page, straight to the heart of your potential customer.
The Art of Marketing helps your customer connect on an emotional level to you and your product. The ability to do this well is critical to your success. However, without a rational side marketing is often expensive and ineffective.
Marketing science is the rational side. It is a step-by-step process which clearly defines: goals, targets, action plans, and results. This process can help any marketer, but for small business owners with limited marketing budgets, this process improves the quality of your decisions regarding how, when, and where to invest. Treating marketing like a science helps you spend well.
Do you remember your fourth-grade science class? This is when you where introduced to the elements of the scientific process.
- Observe the environment – Look for patterns and trends.
- State the hypothesis – Based on your observations, make preliminary conclusions about your environment.
- Determine elements to test – Describe elements you wish to learn more about. Identify parts of your hypothesis to test.
- Design the experiment – Select the specific techniques you will use to test your assumptions.
- Conduct the experiment – Follow the plan you have laid out, carefully collecting and analyzing the data.
- Prove or disprove the original hypothesis and begin again.
Take a closer look at that list, because each of those steps are part of marketing science as well.
- Observe the environment – Study the market and your competitors. These days it is easy with a simple Google Search to learn a lot about what’s going on and where you fit. Then use a S.W.O.T. Matrix (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threat analysis) to organize your findings and being outlining a plan of attack.
- Define your target customer – Based on your evaluation of the market, begin narrowing your focus to identify the best candidates for your products. What are their problems and what solution can you offer? Remember your target customer is not the only customer you will sell to. If someone comes along to buy from your, I say go for it. But defining a target customer narrows the focus of your marketing.
- Define your goals – Every marketing campaign should have specific goals. It is not enough to say you want to grow your fan base, or generate more leads. You need to outline by how much and by when. Without those specific goals it is impossible to set appropriate budgets or accurately measure your results.
- Create a marketing calendar and a budget – This calendar identifies when and how you will spend your funds. You can also use this same calendar to plan your free online promotions.
- Measure the results – When following the plan you have created, measure the effectiveness of all expenditures.
- Use the information and begin again – Just as good researchers conduct experiments over and over again to verify their conclusions, good marketers must do the same.