“Write what you know.” – Mark Twain. As an undergraduate student intern at Popcorn, what do I know best? It might be sad to say but, it’s school. So, from the depths of the vaults at business school, here are the 5 most used acronyms from my marketing classes. 4 of the 5 were used in every marketing class I have ever taken. Despite my “greenness” to the real world, I’d like to believe these concepts are pretty important to a business’s success.
1. SMART Goals – For All Goal Setting
Specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, timely. These should be the criteria of every goal or objective you set. “Increase sales” is not enough. By how much? In which areas? By when? What are you going to do to measure your success/failures? SMART goals are more likely to be understood, motivating, and therefore achieved.
2. STP – For Getting Your Customers to “Get” You
Segment, target, position. You can’t be everything to everyone. Most businesses have a good idea of who their target market is. Or do they? A restaurant in Downtown could say they are targeting young adults working in the area. But what about their time sensitivity? Price sensitivity? Their need for consistency versus change even. All these identifiers help your business cater to the right needs and helps you find the right methods of promotion.
Divide up your market into as detailed segments as you can and choose the ones with the most potential. Then figure out what they want, how you can give it to them and how you can show them that you have what they want. It’s easier to make what people want, than to make people want what you have. (I wonder if the same can be said about dating.)
3. AIDA – For Communications that Work
Attention, interest, desire, action. Get the most of your communications. Every message should activate your audience’s attention, interest and desire. Every message should also make the desired action as clear and as simple as possible. Think of the best movie trailers. It’s easy to see AIDA in them. Have you ever seen one with neither a title, release date nor website? I hope not.
4. SWOT Analysis – For Understanding Where You are At and Where You Can Go
SWOT is just a reminder to take a look at both the internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external (opportunities and threats) environment of your business. These should be considered in goal setting, evaluating the potential of market segments and a whole bunch of other decisions. Keep your eyes peeled.
5. 4 P’s of Marketing – For Making a Great and Desired Offering
Product, place, price, promotion. Of all the things that make up the consumer perception, these 4 factors are the only things that you can control. Marketing, getting people to support you, is more than just promotion, sales and advertising. If you’re ever wondering how you can sell more, look at how these 4 factors are meeting the needs of your consumers. Get creative too. “Product” isn’t just about the features and appearances. What is an appropriate assortment? With pricing, also think about relative pricing and how that may be influencing decisions and expectations.
How many of these acronyms actually apply to real life practice? I’m in the process of finding out. Marketing is part art and part science. Sometimes it’s about the statistics, the pilot tests or the frameworks made of acronyms. Others times, it’s just grasping empathy and one’s philosophies of doing business. My guess is that the answer is “it depends”.