“What type of marketing works best for my business?” is a question that I am often asked during an initial client consultation. My answer generally starts with “well, it depends.”
The reason my answers start with “It depends” is because truly understanding the nature of your products and services and how they relate to the market is critical in the development of a proper strategy.
If I don’t already know, I will ask them to tell me about their product/service to determine whether their wares align more with an impulse or considered purchase decision. Determining this result is one of the main factors in deciding what type of marketing campaign I will recommend.
I will lay out a general guideline of what types of marketing campaigns would best suit a company that offers products/services that are either an impulse or considered decision. Let’s go through this exercise together:
Here are some key factors to consider with each (Impulse vs. Considered Purchase).
An impulse purchase decision contains the following common factors:
- The outcome is more a desire than a need.
- The buying cycle (time from conception to decision) is generally short.
- Generally, it involves lower cost items.
- There is usually a lower overall risk if the purchase does not turn out according to desire.
- During the short consideration process, heavy weighting is usually given to the factor of availability.
These are the factors that generally make up a considered purchase:
- Generally, there are multiple factors to consider (timing, cost, quality, availability etc.).
- Research is of each of these factors is usually required.
- The overall buying cycle is longer (due mainly to research and analysis).
- Typically these decisions represent more of a financial investment/risk.
- Typically the decision is more of a necessity.
With an answer in hand, it is time to look at marketing campaigns that tend to fit best with either option.
Impulse Purchase Marketing
For an impulse product or service, a marketing campaign should focus on placing the potential customer as close to a purchasing action (e-commerce check out, quotation request form, sales phone number, etc.) as possible.
There are several ways to do this, the first and most common is utilizing an advertisement campaign. Google paid ads (PPC, AdWords, Google Display Network) and Social Media advertisement are two of the quickest ways to place a customer in front of your product/service. With a simple click through from an ad, they are instantly in the right place to make the final purchasing decision. Another effective route is to engage in affiliate marketing, where your product/service is promoted by affiliate marketers and once again a hyperlink away from your customer in front of a purchasing leaver. Other marketing campaigns may include e-mail marketing campaigns or even a current customer referral program. All of these marketing campaign strategies are valid, assuming that the potential customer is in the decision stage of the Buyer’s Journey. Even with impulse buys the potential customer still goes through a truncated process of awareness, consideration, and decision.
Considered Purchase Marketing
That leads us to the marketing process for a considered purchase. The best marketing campaign for a considered purchase, utilize the Inbound Marketing Methodology. Inbound marketing is all about accommodating a potential customer as they are researching information and options.
With Inbound Marketing, a company first identifies a buyer’s persona (a semi-fictional representation of an ideal customer) and identify key information (common questions, issues, and needs the buyer has, as well as where they go to find information and answers to these issues). Once these things are identified they are overlaid with the Buyer’s Journey of awareness, consideration and decision. A customer’s needs, questions and issue will changes as they progress down this buyer’s funnel.
Then comes the step where all this information is used and becomes relevant to the potential customer. That step happens through content creation and distribution. Remember, the key factors in a considered purchase revolve around the research done before a decision is made; specific relevant content is that gold your customer is digging for.
Finally, your content needs to be distributed in locations where your buyer personas live, work, and research so they can easily find the answers to their questions. Through utilizing the full Inbound Methodology, your content will also be woven together with Calls To Action (CTA), landing pages, additional offers, contact information gathering forms, and remarketing outreach (powered by Marketing Automation Software).
Helpful Equates To Trust
All your actions and content focus should be created to simply help your potential customer. By genuinely helping potential buyers, your company will build a strong relationship of trust with your target audience. This trust is key, seeing as your customer’s purchase decision usually represents a high amount of risk, time investment and monetary value. They will most likely engage with the company they trust the most.
All Inbound efforts are aimed at reaching the potential client with helpful information, when they need it and the nurturing of a relationship.
Other Factor To Consider
Besides Impulse vs. Considered Purchase Decision, there are many other factors that will help define what type of Marketing campaign will work best for your company. Some of these other factors may include the types of goals you have (Social engagement, website traffic, referral acquisitions etc.), the timeline for results/ROI, current marketing resources and budget.
As I mentioned above, the key to developing the right marketing strategy is understanding the nature of your products and services and how they relate to the market (this is part of a Positioning Strategy).
If you’re looking for additional guidance on what marketing efforts would be best for your company, book a FREE marketing consultation. I am happy to review the variables with you and at the least, point you in the right direction. Please don’t be shy, I love to help.
For an example of a Positioning Strategy, download our Free Positioning Strategy Template. A solid positioning strategy will focus your overall company marketing plan and direction.
Written by Stephen Platte