New Hope 360 Blog

Use FOCUS for marketing success

When I was a kid, I loved Mr. Magoo cartoons.  If you aren’t familiar with the character, he's worth searching on YouTube.  A nice older gentleman with very poor eyesight, he ended up in a variety of outlandish situations that could only exist in cartoons and was unflappable through all.  (I say he could only exist in cartoons, although Leslie Nielsen did a decent job portraying him in a movie some years ago.)

Poor Mr. Magoo could never focus. He wasn’t blind, but everything around him was always blurred; he was never sure where he was or where he was going. It was only via luck (and that he was a fictional character) that he always ended up coming out on top.

In many ways, Mr. Magoo’s blurred vision is akin to the way much marketing is done—well-intentioned business owners heading out, hoping for the best and waiting to see where they end up. If your business is like most, you have neither time nor money to waste or risk. Marketing in a “we’ll see what happens” fashion is something you cannot afford in more ways than one.

A stark contrast to Mr. Magoo is a methodology of marketing that I refer to as “Marketing with FOCUS”—going deliberately into a marketing effort with your eyes wide open and the details clear to you. Each letter in FOCUS stands for a part of the process:

F—Figure out your target. A key concept is to know your target market. With today’s marketing tools and the ability to reach specific market segments, don’t put time and effort into “one size fits all” efforts. There are ways that you can reach moms with two kids, young families, seniors and any other potential target you want to reach

O—Outside the box—that’s where you should be thinking! News flash: You are not the only one trying to reach your target. Just like you and me, those in your target market are inundated with marketing messages. You have to be innovative and creative to stand out from the clutter and attract attention.

C—Craft your message. Take some time to put together a message that will speak to your target’s needs. They are not as concerned with what products you carry as they are about what solutions you have. What pressing need can you help them meet? 

U—Use the right medium. Certain media reach particular target markets. Is a message for moms going to be effective on the sports page of your local paper? Will a Twitter campaign reach seniors? Not only does the message have to be right for your target, your medium does, as well.

S—Scour your results for insights. You want to be sure to measure the effectiveness of any medium you use. If you don’t, how do you know if you are spending money wisely or wasting precious pennies? Go through your results for obvious things—sales increases and the like—but also be sure that you are looking for more subtle things. What time of day did the increases hit (and were you staffed for it)?  What companion products sold with the ones that you promoted (and did you have enough in stock)?

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