Targeted Marketing Campaigns Done Right for Small Business Owners

What is targeted marketing?

Targeted marketing is an approach that increases the likelihood of reaching the right audience for your brand. A campaign of this type identifies the demographics like to buy your products or services, and promotes your business directly to them. Identifying the specific groups that you want to cater to enables you to create a strategy that will directly appeal to them, in order to boost brand recognition, interaction, and eventually, sales. Marketing campaigns, as well as specific products or services, will then be created solely for these audience segments.

Who uses targeted marketing nowadays?

Brands that use the targeted marketing approach are usually those that offer specialized products or services. These products and services usually don’t belong to your typical “need” so convincing consumers to spend money on them would be a challenge. Your favorite coffee shop chain, for example, can be classified as a business that offers specialized products. It’s because there are cheaper alternatives if you’re just looking for a caffeine fix. That’s why they targeted the younger generation, including women in their early 20s who are looking for a place to hangout while sipping a good cup of coffee.

Is it suited for my small business?

You might think that an extensive campaign that involves targeted marketing will just be appropriate for big businesses and name brands with deep pockets. They need such campaigns especially when they’re testing new products or services, or are exploring to expand in another market. Well-known brands typically have a wide and diverse reach, so it is a must to narrow down to their target audience, or else it would be like blindly casting a net over a vast ocean. And because it is a way to efficiently use your marketing budget, targeted marketing can also be applied to startups and small businesses.

Is it worth it, considering my limited budget?

For a startup or small business, any exposure you can get for your brand will help bring in customers or at least increase engagement with potential clients. So even with a limited budget, setting aside a small chunk for marketing can help jumpstart your success. Targeted marketing may take more effort because of the research that you need to identify your target audience as well as the campaigns that work for them, but eventually, it will save you a ton because your campaigns will be more efficient. If you haven’t allocated any for marketing yet, perhaps it is time to consider doing so. With the help of the Internet, targeted marketing can now be achieved at a relatively lower cost.

Samples of well-known targeted marketing campaigns

Back in 2015, Coca-Cola brought back their “Share a Coke” campaign in the US, this time allowing people to buy their favorite beverages with their name on it. This was promoted on TV and on social media, encouraging people to post and share about sharing a drink with the person whose name appears on the can or bottle. No freebies or promotional pricing was involved, just a “personal” touch on their drinks.

Small businesses can use this as an example of an approach to reach their target audience without resorting to lowering prices or giving out free stuff. Coke targeted the audience that loves to “share” their stories online on social media, so giving them something to share about really boosted the brand’s engagement with consumers. The personal appeal enabled them to draw consumers away from their competitors, encouraging to buy a product not only for themselves, but someone else whose name appears on a bottle or can of a Coke product.

Another notable example of targeted marketing was by Kotex, back in 2012. Instead of a major marketing campaign, they reached out to 50 Pinterest influencers. These women had the right mix of virality, trendsetting, and activity in the platform and their reach were by the thousands. They gave them gifts, which almost all of them reciprocated by posting about it on their social platforms. This was a successful campaign for Kotex because the fans and followers of these 50 influencers are the brand’s target demographics. The social media activity that this campaign created was more than what you’d expect from reaching out to just a few people.

This is a perfect example of a budget-friendly approach to targeted marketing. By going through influencers, you’re assured that thousands of eyes and ears are focused on whatever campaign you’re doing. The reach and engagement generated are massive compared to what you’ll spend to reach out to just a handful of influencers. All you need is to create a content that would appeal to your target audience, but still align with what your influencers stand for.

Startups and small businesses can benefit greatly from targeted marketing because it provides an affordable way to engage customers, build relationships, and boost their brand efficiently. This could be a big step to make their small business grow, even globally. Couple this with a proper communication system for business, add some project management and collaboration tools, and the business is all set to grow and expand in the nearest future.

 

About the Author:

Francis Mansueto has been writing for more than a decade now, focusing on Digital Marketing in the last couple of years. He is currently in charge of writing web-optimized content for RingCentral, an industry-leading cloud phone systems provider. Francis is also a voracious reader, spending most of his free time immersed on fictional worlds. You can reach him through Twitter.

 

 

4 Work-From-Home Pieces that Do Double Duty

What you wear when you work from home is one thing, but if you meet with clients throughout the week or need to stop by the office, you may want to rethink some of your wardrobe choices. To make sure you are dressed appropriately for whatever the day throws your way (but still comfortable enough to be productive at home), include versatile pieces in your wardrobe.

From a soft blazer to throw over a knit dress to the perfect blouse to pair with your jeans, here are some comfortable staples that can easily turn into meeting-appropriate professional pieces when styled correctly.

  • Blazer

Blazers are extremely versatile and look just as cute when worn with a pair of joggers as they do over a formal dress.  A blazer can easily elevate your outfit from casual to professional, making it the perfect layering piece. If you don’t want to invest in the typical black fitted blazer, opt for an oversized boyfriend fit or even a loose, open duster in a fun color. When you’re lounging around at home in jeans and a t-shirt, throw on a blazer to instantly upgrade your look before making an appearance at the office. Even just draping a blazer over your shoulders can take your outfit up a notch.

  • Casual Dress

When in doubt, wear a dress. Casual dresses are great for everyday wear, especially when they’re made from a comfortable fabric like jersey or cotton. Choose a dress with a forgiving fit and a longer length so that it can easily transition into a professional setting. Pair it with sneakers or loafers when you are working hard at home. When it’s time to meet a client or head into the office, slip into cute flats and add pretty statement earrings.

 

  • Dark Jeans

Every woman should have a pair of dark jeans in her closet. Not just any pair, but a pair that sits higher on the waistline and has a bit of stretch tends to look more polished. Whether you are sprawled out on the couch with your computer in hand or running to and from meetings, jeans are classy and comfortable. To dress them up for the office, slip on a pair of heels and layer on a blazer or a cute sweater.

  • Tunic Dress

There are many ways to wear a long tunic, which makes it a versatile addition to your closet. Invest in a tunic that is long enough to be worn alone as a dress—one that you feel comfortable wearing both inside and outside of the office. To dress it up for the office, simply layer a long cardigan or a printed scarf over it. In the colder months, wear it with a pair of leggings for extra comfort, and if the office calls, add a pair of tall boots for a chic look. To mix things up, treat it as a blouse by tucking it into a midi-length skater skirt or a pair of jeans.

Working from the comfort of your own home has its benefits, but it shouldn’t be an excuse to lounge around in your pajamas all day. Every morning, you should put effort into getting dressed for the day so that you feel comfortable and confident regardless of your work schedule. With these four pieces alone, you can create several outfits that are perfect for rotating Monday through Friday. Fashion should be fun, so get creative with your weekly wardrobe—no matter if you find yourself on the couch or in the conference room!

 

Allie Lochiatto is a fashion blogger who provides great style tips for those that work from home. She writes for her own blog, Allie Wearsand for thredUP.com, an online and offline consignment store that carries a large section of women’s clothing, including dresses perfect for work.

 

 

Top Considerations for Packaging for E-commerce Retailers

A major but sometimes overlooked decision all e-commerce businesses need to come to is how they choose to package their products so that orders are delivered safely and with the consumer in mind. Below, we’ve outlined some of the main points for e-commerce business owners and logistical strategists to consider when plotting their packaging strategy.

Products at the forefront

The products you trade should be the main consideration when determining your packaging strategy. A common consideration for any company with a wide product portfolio is finding cost-effective appropriate packaging for all of their products. To minimize costs and waste, companies should try to locate adaptable packaging which is suitable for multiple items in their stock.

Pay particular attention to your stock’s individual requirements, too. Anything fragile, toxic, flammable, heat sensitive, sharp should obviously be appropriately wrapped. To transport perishable products such as food we’d recommend using specialist food packaging to ensure that the produce will be protected from heat, moisture and insects.

Photo: Pixabay

The product is only the beginning

Failing to dedicate sufficient time to your packaging designs may mean needlessly using more materials than is required. As a result, you’ll find yourself paying over the odds for shipping costs and consumers might even judge your brand as not being particularly eco-friendly. Save money and avoid negative connotations by developing a packaging strategy which protects the product while using a small amount of materials – and is recyclable where possible.

The packaging you choose should reflect your brand’s characteristics. Ask yourself, do I want something low-key and mysterious or instantly recognizable and bold? Many e-commerce sites have low overheads, especially smaller businesses. They’ll often purchase non-branded packaging as it is often cheaper. If you’ve purchased non-branded packaging but would still like to leave your mark, you can purchase branded stickers to apply onto the surface of the packaging. Alternatively, to minimize fuss, choose a packaging manufacturer with bespoke packaging options.

Preparing for bulk orders

Be prepared for the possibility of an influx of orders over a short period of time from multiple different recipients, too. There’s been many cases lately of websites crashing due to traffic spikes – commonly ticket outlets and retail sites. Traffic spikes typically occur due to media attention, event announcements or new product releases attracting unusually high numbers to a website.

Developing a system on your website to prevent or minimize these issues can be difficult but worthwhile, if it means keeping your website visible and operational. Consider adding a content delivery network (CDN) to your websites infrastructure along with adopting the use of load and functional testing tools such as Gatling to identify and make adjustments to bottlenecks and critical failure points.

Sending out bulk orders

Once you’ve identified a date in which you’ll be required to distribute a bulk order, in advance, ensure you have plenty of packaging materials onsite. It’s best practice to always maintain a regular stock of additional packaging in case you enjoy an unexpected splurge in purchases with short delivery deadlines. Also, plan to have adequate hands on deck available for the physical activities involved in the order process.

Photo: Pixabay

Invest now to save money later

By investing in and upgrading your current packaging materials and processes, you’ll be able to release some of the strain placed on your workforce – as well as have the capability to meet more order requests. One of the main issues e-commerce websites face with their packaging, is goods arriving at their destination damaged.

It’s estimated replacing damaged goods can cost retailers up to 17 times the price of shipping a product – and the demand for protective packaging is growing. If you’re still unsure, consider using corrugated cardboard boxes – even the double walled versions are lightweight and either is strong enough to protect most products.

We hope you’ve found the above article helpful and consider using it as a resource during your next packaging strategy. Always remember, your packaging holds as much value in terms of how your brand is perceived as your products – so it pays to give packaging the attention it deserves!

About the author:

This post was created by Elizabeth Raw from R+R Packaging – suppliers of high-quality food, catering and other packaging solutions to a variety of industries.