The Three M’s of Marketing

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The Three M’s

In marketing, there are three M’s.  Market, Message and Media.  Who are you speaking to?  What do you want to say to them?  How do you get that message across?  Why do so many of us get these around the wrong way?

If you don’t know the answer to that, here’s what happens.  You’re sitting in your office and the phone rings.  “Hello” say’s the caller “I’m from Weekly Press, and I have a great deal.  We have one space left in our local newspaper.  It’s read by over 200,000 local people and the advert will only cost you £200.”  What a deal you think.  Done!

What’s the problem?  You’ve chosen media first.  So what do you put in the advert?  Who is it speaking to?  You have no idea.  Are you pushing self assessments, credit control, or something else?  Since you don’t know, you end up with a general message, speaking to no one, in a paper that probably doesn’t speak to your target market.  The next thing you’ll say is “I tried advertising in a newspaper, it doesn’t work.”

If you had only decided your market first, you could have questioned that friendly salesperson much more.  You’d have realised that of the 200,000 readership, only 100 were your target market.

It’s so important to know who you’re speaking to before you start.  Is it hairdressers, plumbers, or property developers?  The more clearly you define your target market, the easier it will be to craft your message to speak directly to them.

Your target market will respond much more positively to a message that speaks directly to them than they will to some general marketing.   The aim of the message is to get your target market to sit up and take notice.  They must believe that you totally understand their problem.  More than this, though, they must believe that you have the solution to this.

So many bookkeepers blend into the background with a weak message.  We are a bookkeeper.  We do bookkeeping, VAT and management accounts.  We are professional, reliable, friendly and insured.  Not only is this boring, but it also will get the response from the reader “I should hope so too!”

Be bold.  Stand out from the crowd.  Don’t make the title your name, make it about the clients’ problem and then offer your solution.  Dare to be different.

When you’ve got your target market and message, then you can decide how best to speak to that group with that message.  Is it a newspaper, is it direct mail, or a trade magazine?  As you refine your market and your message, the media becomes cheaper.  No longer must you speak to people who are not interested to hit the small number who are.

It’s much better to take your message to a small number of your ideal clients than with a ‘hit and hope’ strategy.  If you’re targeting builders, maybe that’s a well-placed advert in a burger van or at the counter in the builders’ merchants.  These wouldn’t work if you were after childminders.  Childminders would be more likely to see a flyer in a soft play centre.

By making the simple change to the market, the message and then the media you can start to take a bit more control of your marketing strategy and see results with very little effort.

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