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What is the biggest marketing challenge facing businesses in 2018?

Most economic indicators show that the U.S. economy is continuing its recovery. A recent article in Investor’s Business Daily highlighted a number of economic reports that illustrate these signs of growth.

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits is down while payrolls are starting to rise. Retail sales rose in October and consumer confidence hit a 17-year high in November. Also in November, labor costs fell while productivity surged. And, the federal tax cuts in the new tax law could spur increased capital investment, triggering even more job growth.

All of these indicators point to an increase in consumer spending. How will your company large or small, B2B or B2C, take advantage of this renewed optimism?

If you want to be a part of this recovery, you need to get your products and services out in front of consumers. To accomplish this you need to strategically place your marketing dollars where they will best reach your target audience. With the numerous online and traditional marketing channels available, the biggest marketing challenge facing businesses today is how to increase visibility and generate more quality leads.

How to increase visibility and generate more quality leads

To meet this challenge there are a few questions you need to answer about your target audience.

1) What problems are they trying to solve or what need are they trying to fulfill?

Even with more disposable income people still need a reason to part with their money. Will your product or service make them happier, healthier, or complete a task with less effort? How will you help or improve their life?

2) What makes your product or service different and why would your target audience want to do business with you?

Many times manufacturers think that price is the biggest motivating factor for consumers. That’s not necessarily true. Many times a consumer will pay more for a product or service if it makes their life easier. For example, it may be worth paying a store to deliver your groceries if it gives you more time to be at home with your family.

3) What compelling message will move your target audience take action?

Based on the information above it’s easy to see that your message must touch on a consumer’s pain point. The consumer wants to know, “What’s in it for me?”

4) What strategies are available to reach your target audience with your message?

Perhaps online messages delivered through email or social media will work best for your target audience. Maybe traditional media channels like newspapers, magazines, television, radio, direct mail, or outdoor advertising will work best. The truth is, a combination of both online and traditional media is the ideal solution to reach today’s consumers.

5) Are there new ways to reach your target audience?

Today’s marketing channels are constantly changing and new ones are being created. And many traditional media channels have new features that may help you reach your target audience in ways never before imagined. For example, direct mail pieces with variable text and images will create a personalized customer experience. Or embellishments like dimensional print that can add depth and texture to a marketing piece and thus capture the attention of the consumer who then pays more attention to the offer being made.

6) What marketing channels appeal to your target audience?

Today’s consumer is connected 24/7. You should see this as a marketing opportunity. Your website can provide information to the consumer when they want it. A B2B StorFront can provide online sales just as easy as B2C sites. If your clients are online your marketing should be online, too.

At the same time, if you offer financial products, research shows that a tangible product, like a direct mail piece, creates a greater feeling of trust in a consumer than an online offer. If you are targeting younger people perhaps an online offer followed up with a printed piece will work best.

Today’s marketing options are endless. And at times they may be overwhelming. A partnership with a company who understands the ins and outs of the industry can be a big help. Working with a company that can help you define your target audience and reach that audience with both online and offline-marketing materials is this best way to get your products and services in front of consumers and increase visibility and in turn generate quality leads.