Are you banging your head against the wall from wasting thousands of dollars on your latest ad placement, PR push or website design and still have yet to see results?
Good design and a quality product isn’t enough anymore to cut through the clutter, skepticism nor the noise in the firearms industry.
Companies who want to maximize their firearms marketing efforts must go deeper into understanding how their brand can be leveraged and how content (inbound) can be amplified through placed or earned media (magazine advertising, television, sponsorships, product reviews or trade show) to get the biggest bang for their buck—while building their brand.
Your marketing must be on target to make it effective. Below are 5 points that will help you focus your marketing like a laser.
1. Brand purpose
Can you define your company’s purpose? Your purpose is what gets you out of bed in the morning. Purpose goes beyond just making money. Brands with a strong sense of purpose are more admired, more profitable and attract more customers.
Every brand makes a promise. But in a marketplace in which consumer confidence is low and budgetary vigilance is high, it’s not just making a promise that separates one brand from another, but having a defining purpose. (Source: Forbes)
Mission and vision support your purpose—this provides the direction of your company. Mission and vision are then supported by your goals. Every brand is built on goals. Without goals—your brand falls flat that can affect your company’s sales performance, employee productivity and engagement—which will ultimately result in lost revenue and customers. (See right: Strategic Pyramid by Marty Neumeier)
The most successful firearm campaigns today are purpose driven, here are a few good ones:
- Sig Sauer – Complete systems provider.
- SOG – Gear made especially for adventurous people who like to “live on the edge.”
- Beretta – Quality Without Compromise.
- Mauser – A symbol for the real, successful hunting experience.
When investigating any one of these brands, you’ll most likely begin to admire them—place them on a higher shelf in your mind or choose them over their competitors.
2. Customer focused
If you’re hoping to launch a marketing campaign without the understanding of who your customers are or what your brand means to them—you might as well throw half your marketing budget out the window. All great marketing campaigns begin with knowing who your buyer persona is. You create buyer persona’s by identifying specifically who you’re talking to by interviewing them to learn more about their pain points, background, demographics, wants, needs and what channels are best to reach them. If you haven’t talked to your customers in a while—it may be a good time to check in with them.
3. Be S.M.A.R.T.
What is it that you hope to accomplish with your marketing? Is it brand awareness, more customers, increase signups to your loyalty program, drive traffic? Is it attainable? Each campaign you initiate should result in some kind of action that can be measured (see next). Define what it is you hope to accomplish with every campaign. See “How To Set SMART Goals”.
Can your marketing be measured? If you place a printed advertisement, give a presentation, attend a tradeshow or send out a direct mail piece—how can you measure the effectiveness of your investment? A good marketing campaign can be tracked and measured and should be able to provide the data you need to make a more informed decision next time around. An effective way to do this is to create a content offer that you can track back to your website. By offering a free whitepaper or ebook, that gives your customers’ in-depth information on how to solve a problem—you’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of your campaign through traffic generation and lead conversions. See Havalon’s ebook example.
5. Nurture and deliver qualified leads/sales
The number one responsibility of marketers is to deliver qualified leads to your dealers, distributors or sales team. Does your campaign have a way to efficiently qualify leads? By placing your website at the center of your marketing activities, you can effectively track visitors driven by outbound methods to your website.
In conclusion, marketing that hits the mark starts with a well-defined brand that is customer focused, specific, measurable and that delivers qualified leads to your dealers, distributors or sales team. If you’re just placing ads and creating alot of activity in the marketplace and hoping for some kind of response, you may be wasting precious time and money on your marketing.