When a client is considering marketing their business or product, they will frequently be presented with a bewildering array of choices and options. There are so many channels open to advertisers and each new 'frontier' promises to be the answer or solution that businesses have been dreaming about. Unfortunately, this often turns out to not be the reality and disappointment and low returns are the result.
So how do businesses decide on what channels to target in their marketing or advertising strategy? Is YouTube the answer? Should they focus on direct mail or improving the search engine rankings on their website? Is print advertising still relevant or should they put more time and effort into their social media?
The answer is that there is no straightforward answer. Where businesses go wrong is trying to have a presence on every channel and doing a mediocre job across several different media rather than focus selectively and target the channels where they can make a difference. Everybody can think of examples of this - the business that has amateurish YouTube videos that were recorded on a mobile phone, the Twitter account that never gets updated, the press ad that looks like it was designed by an intern on their lunch break.
The best way to avoid falling in to this trap is to have an idea that underpins your marketing. What are you trying to say about your business or product? Is it unique? Does it speak to your target audience? Does it communicate your message in a humourous or memorable way? Always remember that the medium is not the message, the message is the message. So what is your message and what are you trying to say? If a business can identify this and create an exciting idea and strategy around it then it should become obvious which channels need to be targetted.
And remember whatever you do, do it well. In most cases that means getting a professional company involved if you do not have an in-house marketing resource. Yes, an extra cost will be incurred but if it's done right you should see a return on your investment and better not to do it at all if a cheap option reflects badly on your company's image.