Bright Shiny Objects

iPhones, iPads, Google+, QR codes…. so many innovations that look so cool and exciting.  You see the demo and you are amazed at what new technology can do.  There are so many new ‘tools’ out there for us to consider.  How do we decided which are right for our business instead of just following the ‘bright shiny objects’ that are constantly appearing before us?

Some tools are used internally in our business and they help us to be more efficient, to interface with our suppliers or the government, or to gain information that gives us a competitive edge.  Other tools help us to interact with our customers and potential customers.  It seems like more than ever before we have been given a vast array of marketing tools aimed at staying in front of the customer and engaging them.

Before you can decide which marketing tools can help you, it is important to go back to the basics and to clearly know:

Who is my customer?

Not, who are all of my customers, but who is my ideal marketing customer?  If I try to market to everyone, then my message gets confusing and even my best potential customers will miss it.  You want to make sure that the technology that you choose will speak to the ideal client.

Where do I find my customers easily and in large numbers?

Where is my ideal client hanging out?  Facebook, email, Twitter, on their Blackberry or iPhone?  Do they watch TV or listen to the radio?  Do they sign up for teleseminars or webinars?  Will they come to free talks or business expos?  If you know where you can reach them, you will have a better idea of the technology used to communicate with them.

What technology do my customers use?

Now that I know who I want to target and where I can find them, the scope of technology choices becomes smaller.  If my target audience is young mothers, there is a pretty good bet that they are not hanging out on email.  They probably have a smart phone so an appropriate ‘app’ makes more sense.

If your target client is the over 60 crowd you may lose a lot of them if you are counting on them to have a smart phone (and know how to use it).  If you only want the over 60’s that have smart phones, then go for it and target that niche.

What would make me more responsive to my customer’s needs?

Do my customers want to sit at their desk and browse an online catalog or do they want to swipe their smart phone over a QR as they walk down the street to see what the special deal is?  It makes no sense to market to them with cutting edge technology if you can not deliver that same technology in the servicing of the customer.  If you market with ‘apps’ don’t make them go to email when they want to place or check an order.

Choosing the best technology to help you to market to your customers becomes simplified if you analyze your market first.  Instead of chasing all of the bright shiny objects that are flashing before us, knowing your ideal marketing client will save you time, money, and confusion.

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