Get more from a limited marketing budget
Identifying the points of choice helps us create more impact from each client’s branding and marketing program.
As a business person, you know it’s important to build your brand by marketing to your target audiences at various touch points – the places where you connect with potential buyers or influencers. But today the number of touch points and media choices for even a single target audience is overwhelming.
Time and resources often limit which touch points to address. Whether marketing online, in print, or in person, how do you choose where to invest your marketing budget to get response and improve your ROI?
The secret? Market at your audiences’ points of choice. Instead of spreading your budget to cover all touch points, prioritize. Focus on the points at which potential buyers are making a decision to move to the next step–click through, refer, enroll, request information, join. Where do you start?
Step 1: Identify your target audiences.
Well-planned marketing must start with knowing your target audiences—define who they are and the benefits they see from what you offer. Most manufacturers and B2B marketers have multiple targets, each with different perceptions and expectations. Each will have different points of choice in the sales process.
Step 2: For each target audience, define the stages in the sales process.
Start at the beginning. When and where does a prospect find out about your company? What happens if they find you online? What’s the process after a trade show? Or a sales call? Where is the next step that will move them forward towards a final decision? Each step is a point of choice, where your prospect will decide to continue or not.
Step 3: Identify the buyer’s decision points in the sales process.
Next, find the information and action each each target audience needs to move forward. For example, a buyer might find your website by searching for what you offer. They’ll visit your website (and others) to learn more or request information. At a tradeshow, a prospect will learn more about what you have to offer, and accept or decline the opportunity to talk further. More points of choice. Examine how you can be more effective each time that prospect is making a decision.
Step 4: Develop marketing strategies focused on these decision points.
You want to encourage your prospect to take the next step. And you must be sure he/she has the information needed to make that decision and follow through. If a prospect has received a referral to your company but can’t find your website, you have a problem … and an opportunity.
For both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) marketers, the most powerful points of choice is the internet. Organic search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click online campaigns are critical components to support and drive audiences to your website. Social media also grows your online visibility.
You must have a well-branded website with easy-to-use navigation, distinctive messaging, clear calls to action, and information to help your audiences understand why to choose you. Offline points of choice vary greatly based on your industry, product or service offering, and the audiences you must reach.
In a survey by GlobalSpec, industrial (B2B) firms cited the best new lead sources are the company website (70%), tradeshows (44%), and e-mail marketing (33%).
This is a quick overview of the point of choice concept. As with all effective marketing—know your audiences, check your sales process, and put yourself in your audiences’ shoes. What’s in it for me? For a bigger return, optimize your brand first at the points of choice for each target audience.