When it comes to marketing, you must NEVER assume that you've "done enough" to connect with your audience with the materials you're creating. The minute you stop and assume that your efforts are "as good as they're going to get" is the minute you've lost a game you never truly understood in the first place.
In truth, there is ALWAYS room for improvement and you ALWAYS need to be proactive about finding it. If you actually want to make sure that your marketing collateral is getting better over time, there are a few key opportunities you can capitalize on to do just that.
The World Has Changed. Has Your Marketing?
In your continuing effort to always get the right message in front of the right people at the right time, you likely use services like Respona to research all of the "hot button" issues and topics in your industry. The most critical thing to understand is that this is NOT something you "do once and forget about." That's a great way to find yourself left behind, as the "conversation" will have shifted out from under you while you weren't paying attention.
You don't have to do extensive research via these types of services every time you sit down with a scatter plot maker or some other type of visual tool to craft collateral... but you should do so on a regular basis, certainly. At least once a month is recommended, if not more frequently if you have the time.
Think for a moment about the most important breaking news item of last month, or even last week. Go to Google News and search by older stories if you have to. Doesn't it feel like that event happened an eternity ago, even though that couldn't be farther from the truth? Isn't it almost quaint to think that you were once so focused on X, but it has since been replaced by something like Y or Z?
That's exactly how your audience members are going to feel if you're still cranking out collateral based on "last week's" or "last month's" insight and information.
It All Comes Back to Your Audience
The audience that your business has dedicated itself to serving has no shortage of opinions. Especially when it comes to your marketing, it is always in your own best interests to listen to them.
So if you really want to know if your marketing collateral is getting better over time, the best thing to do is to come right out and ask. Include surveys on your website that invite people to let you know how you're doing." You might even set it up as a contest - "provide us with your open and honest feedback and win a chance to get a certain percentage off your next order."
Or, you could consider some of your marketing collateral to be "transitioning material," allowing it to BECOME part of the conversation taking place. The next time you fire up a banner creator like Visme (which I founded), make all of the choices you normally would based on the information you have available to you at the time. The twist is, at the end, solicit opinions about that very piece of collateral. People will be more than willing to tell you what is working and what isn't - all you have to do is listen.
Then, the next time you use a similar tool, you can use all of that feedback to implement changes to make your next piece of collateral that much more effective.
In the end, the most important thing to understand is that your audience is always going through something of an evolution all around you. Indeed, the same is true with your business and even the industry you're operating in. This is why your marketing is never something that can be truly "perfect." It, too, needs to go through its own regular evolution... just not in the way that people might think.
Your marketing needs to meet your audience members where they are - not necessarily where you hope they'll be. For the best possible results, pay attention to how consumer behaviors are shifting over time and make every effort to shift with them. That is how you stay ahead of your competitors in the fast-paced marketing landscape we're now living in, and it's how you turn a collection of passive buyers into an army of loyal brand advocates as well.
About the Author
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.