What Is Marketing Anyway? Pt. 2

17 Feb

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So now that we’ve defined them, lets really get into how marketing, advertising and public relations coordinate together to work for you. As I suggested, picture marketing as the broader subject; advertising and public relations are supports.

I’m going to take a product through each discipline so you can see each unique function in the creation of a product.

The product we’re going to use is a new post-pregnancy workout DVD series. It will be tailored for women who were active before and during their pregnancies. Each DVD contains a 30-minute intermediate workout by a veteran trainer who is also a mother herself and understands the emotions and challenges involved with childbirth and fitness. We’re going to assume that the product has already been launched and exists in the market.

——-

Marketing
Marketing is going to play the role of  developing the identity of the product and “creat[ing] the entity that the brand will become.”1 To start, we’ll narrow down our target market to: mothers who is at least 6 weeks postpartum that exercised regularly before and during her pregnancy. Here are some other demographics to consider:

  • a) women who are in their prime child-bearing years (20-35) who exercise regularly; and
  • b) women who are 6 months to a year postpartum still struggling to become fit.

Now that we know who we want to purchase the DVDs, we have to design promotions that will inspire interest and stimulate action. The overall campaign should be inviting, while reassuring the new mom of its safety. In fact, having a doctor’s recommendation for the product will greatly increase its success. Promotions should include trigger words and phrases like “safe”, “doctor recommended” and “short but effective workouts.”

When it comes planning the placement of promotions, we need to consider all the criteria for our target market. Also knowing more about them than just their pregnancy will give a full picture of who these women really are. Through research and surveys, we determine that they are:

  • stylish, first-time new moms eager to regain her pre-pregnancy figure;
  • workaholic moms with at least one child already who just wants to lose the baby weight;
  • single, empowered moms who need a quick exercise option to do after work and before making dinner;
  • newly married women thinking about starting a family;
  • a group of stay-at-home mothers who want to organize a playdate/workout program.

[Are you starting to get a feel for what this product is? At this point in your research, if you can’t answer yes to this question, it may be a good time to stop and re-evaluate your marketing plan. I’m obviously not going very in depth, but you’ll want to find out much more about your target market by getting to know them more intimately.]

Advertising
We’ve created our product and defined our intended audience. We know more about who they are. We’ve established the emotion of the campaign. Now let’s get the message out there. So how are we going to reach this diverse audience? We go to where they are. We’ll want to advertise in parenting and pop culture magazines; fitness magazines or trade journals; and on women’s television networks like Oxygen, OWN, WEtv and Lifetime. We’ll even consider signing on a celebrity spokesperson. Remember: The idea of advertising is to be visible.

(Note: I am not an expert in advertising by any means. I can only give a concise overview of how it plays into the marketing scheme. There is much more that goes into advertising than just knowing where to place ads. There is an entire psychology to design and placement that I just don’t know enough about.)

Public Relations
Advertising is expensive. Let’s face it – not everyone can afford to place ads in magazines or commercials. This is where public relations can really work for you. Start with some word-of-mouth, networking and partnerships and then when you have the budget for it, conduct an advertising campaign. For this particular product, I think taking a grassroots approach will be successful. It will be a lot of work, but rewarding in the end. We’ll start by partnering with large regional or national gyms and women’s fitness centers (i.e. Gold’s Gym, Bally, even YMCAs) to offer classes incorporating the DVD series. Another idea is to network with OB/GYN and general practice physician groups that can recommend the program to their patients. They will probably not be able or willing to endorse the product per se, however, they may be willing to make information available in their patient resource center.

Fitness is a hot topic and always in the media. We’re also going to position ourselves as experts specifically in the area of postpartum fitness. Media is always searching for accurate resources to verify elements of their work. Think about it: how often does The Today Show or Good Morning America call upon experts on various topics to debate an issue? We’re going to be that expert. There is also a great resource called HelpAReporterOut.com or HARO that lets you do just that on the ground level. We’re going to become a trusted source that media outlets will contact regularly.

And the most basic PR practice of all is the humble, yet amazingly valuable press release. Never underestimate its power!! We’re going to send press releases to major regional media groups (radio, TV and print) to create a buzz about our new product. The beauty of the press release is that it is earned media. Though it’s a promotional piece that we create, it doesn’t come across that way to audiences. Instead, it sounds like a third-party endorsement and, in general, people are more likely to take action on something they hear from a “peer” than a pushy ad. [Can you tell I love public relations? It’s incredibly useful.]

——

I sincerely hope this helped answer some of your questions. I love being a resource for my fellow entrepreneurs. If I can help to answer any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. Call me at 610.393.4430 or e-mail. Thanks for stopping by.
~Laura~

1 “A branded WORLD” Michael Levine p. 6

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