Building an internet marketing campaign for a startup is about targeting the right customer. To do that it takes research conducted by a credible marketing agency.
The first part of creating an internet marketing campaign is research-based. To be successful at marketing a product is to first understand what that market is and where the focus of effort should lie.
Sometimes the important focus is not always apparent. The question was once asked about the fast food giant McDonalds and what business were they in. The apparent answer is the food business. While that answer is to some degree correct, the reality is that they are in the real estate business. For their business model to succeed, it is about the location of their stores.
What is Being Sold in The Marketing Campaign?
The focal goal must be understood for all products. What is the purpose of the product that is being marketed? If it is a book that that is for sale, that is one thing. If the book is only there to draw people to the site, that is something entirely different. For example, someone who is trying to raise money for a cure for childhood diabetes may publish a book about coping with the disease and use it to generate revenue, but book sales are not the goal. The goal is to raise awareness and money for research.
Now the purpose of a startup marketing campaign is to get the word out to those who would benefit the most from a particular product. On the internet seldom is there more than one chance to make a first impression so locating the Most Desirable Customer (MDC) is the goal. The MDC is the person, who, when presented with the proper product or site, will generate the desired outcome whether that is making the purchase, donating money, or even just providing an email address.
How Does MDC Find the Product That is Being Marketed?
When the MDC is looking for the product in question, how do they find it? Usually, it is from a search on the internet. The search engine can present the MDC with many choices – sometimes in the millions. Even when the results are less than 100, or 10 pages of 10 items, seldom will the user navigate beyond the first page listing of 10 items and almost never past the third.
When that MDC clicks on that first item which is generally one of the first three listings on the first page, there is about a 15-30 second window to make that first impression – to sink the hook and get them to stay longer. This is where the research comes in.
Think Like a Customer
To begin with, ask the question of what will the MDC search to find the product? Begin by typing those words and examining the results. Look at any competition for the same market and see what it takes to find them. Are they ranked on the first page? Do they have multiple hits on the first page? If there is a competitive product website, take a trip to Google Keywords and enter in that website to see what keywords would guide their customer there.
The final part of the research is to understand the market. Getting the desired result can be different for different groups even if the result desired is the same. Having a hip site full of rich media may work for a younger crowd, but might send someone over 70 running as fast as they can hit the back button. Providing a book or pamphlet may work for an educated group, whereas a podcast may be better suited for those struggling with language or education barriers. An affluent group might not have a problem dropping 20 dollars for an ebook that provides useful information, but for those who are struggling to make ends meet, providing coupons or services may be the better way to drive traffic to the site.
The Goal of Market Research
The goal of market research with regard to an internet marketing campaign is to first gain a complete understanding of what the target goal is. What the desired response is. Then it is to determine who the customer of that targeted goal. Once the MDC has been identified, how is that customer to be drawn to the website? How will they find the site, when they find the site, is their interest peaked to look around? If it is, how is the desired response obtained? Once these are in place, it will be time to actually target the customer.