Marketing

How to choose the right marketing channel for a new business

- July 12, 2023 3 MIN READ
Single dart in the centre bullseye of a target

So, you’ve started a new business, you’ve made a few sales through word of mouth and now you’re ready to start growing. Selecting the most suitable marketing channel is really important for small businesses. Not only could the best choices completely transform your life, but poor choices can be catastrophic (no pressure!), writes small business marketing expert Amy Miocevich.

For so many small businesses, choosing marketing channels is often about picking platforms they see their competitors on, platforms they use themselves as founders or advice they get from others.

But today I want to show you the step-by-step process we use, called ‘Bullseye’, that supports business owners to choose marketing channels with confidence and achieve success.

Bullseye is all about brainstorming opportunities, narrowing down options, investigating each channel, making a final choice, and testing and tweaking the results. The whole process only takes a few hours each quarter, and ensures you optimise your marketing efforts and maximise your return on investment.

To undertake this process effectively, I recommend you draw a very big ‘bullseye’ with three layers on a whiteboard.

Brainstorming

Start by brainstorming all possible marketing opportunities. This means casting a wide net and brainstorming various marketing opportunities without any biases.

Consider both traditional and digital channels, such as social media marketing, content marketing, email campaigns, influencer partnerships, search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, events, and more. Explore a range of options to ensure you don’t overlook any potential avenues that could be effective for your business.

Fill these ideas in the outer-most layer of your diagram.

Probable channels

Narrow down your list of possibilities into four to seven channels based on factors like relevance to your target audience, feasibility, budget considerations, and alignment with your business goals.

This shortlist should represent channels that appear most promising and worthy of further investigation.

Write these ideas down in the next circle within your bullseye.

Investigations

Now you’re going to undertake investigations on each of those four to seven channels. Investigating each of these channels in detail helps you decide which one to prioritise next with confidence.

planning your marketing strategy will help your business grow

 

Work your way through each of the below steps to undertake your investigation:

Market size:

Examine the potential market size for each channel. Research data and industry reports to understand the reach and potential audience you can access through each marketing channel.

Competitors:

What competitors are also advertising on this channel. Is it noisy? Crowded? What can you do to stand out?

Feasibility:

Assess the costs associated with each marketing channel. Take into account both direct expenses, such as advertising budgets or content creation costs, and indirect costs, such as staffing or technology investments.

Required actions:

Plan out the specific actions and strategies involved in implementing each marketing channel. Consider the time, effort and resources required to execute campaigns effectively.

Evaluate the complexity and feasibility of each channel’s tactics and determine whether your team possesses the necessary skills, or if you would need to hire external expertise.

Goals:

Examine the goals and objectives that can be achieved through each marketing channel.

Align the goals of your business with the strengths and capabilities of each channel to identify the most suitable options. For example, if you are looking for a short return, SEO may not be a great marketing channel because it produces long-term results.

Choose your focus

After completing your investigation, you will need to choose one marketing channel to sit in the very centre bullseye. This is the marketing channel that you are going to focus on for the next 90 days.

Choosing one marketing channel only is very hard, but it will give you the space, the time and the energy to make that one marketing channel work for you at 100 per cent. So many businesses will give many marketing channels 20 per cent and it creates confusion as to whether that marketing channel is not right for your business, or if you just haven’t been able to put in the effort required to make it work.

At the end of the 90 days, you should be able to quickly see whether the action plan you set up on the marketing channel you chose has lead to the goals you wanted. That gives you a clear indication of whether you should continue using it for your business or whether you should abandon it and try something else.

By brainstorming all possibilities, conducting investigations and focusing on one method for 90 days, you can ensure that you get the most out of your budget on that channel, and that you conclude the period with absolute confidence as to whether that marketing channel is the right one for you.

Now, wouldn’t that be great?


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