Before jumping into any marketing campaign, business owners need to figure out who they're targeting, says Spencer Saunders, president and founder of Toronto-based marketing company Art &Science.
"It always comes down to the customer," he says. "Who are they, what are they doing and how does your product fit into their life?"
Owners must also decide if they want to go local, regional or national. A lot of people think they should go national when they should really target a smaller area, he says.
Gail Walker, principal at the Atticus Management consulting company in Toronto, adds that business owners also need to think about demographics, income levels and even where the target customer lives. "Am I looking to service dual-income earners? Or condo dwellers, or homeowners?" she says.
Before planning a marketing campaign, business owners should make decisions about the following three things, experts suggest.
Target your customer
Define your customer. Think about demographic, geography, income levels, housing situation and whatever else will help you figure out which marketing tool will target this customer best.
National, regional or local
Think about how big this campaign should be. If you're doing direct mail, for instance, do you want to send cards to homes across Canada? Or does it make more sense to target your region?
While some marketing methods, such as social media, are cheap, it takes time to do it right. Consider how much time it will take to build a social media presence. If you're not willing to work at it for at least six months, then try something else.