With more than 600,000 pupils this morning eagerly awaiting the time when they can open the envelopes to their GCSE results we are told that there will be a lot of ‘turbulence’ this year due to changes in grading and some of the exams just toughening up.

Businesses too can find themselves with external factors influencing marketing results so what can you do to make sure you get the right results?

The key, as with anything is in the preparation… teachers always used to tell me ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and that mantra has stayed with me all of my life. The same is true in marketing. Quite often the results you get from a campaign indicate the level of preparation you put in.

The key area you need to work on and put your preparation too is ‘understanding who your customers are‘ as this will dictate the words and images you use on your marketing collateral, it will shape the audiences you build on the social network platforms and it will highlight the exact pain points that you can focus your solution on.


Once you know your ‘vertical market’ – and of course you can have more than one. You can then think about the types of people that make up this audience, each one may have a slightly different take on the same problem and you may have to address marketing to them in slightly different ways. In marketing terms these are called personas and we wrote about this in a previous post you can find here.

Now, find a pain point.. and really understand it. General pain points are ok, they would read something like

  • time pressure
  • social pressure
  • work pressure
  • family pressure

but specific to the vertical industry would be better as it is laser targeted.

So for example, if you were running a production line you might deploy a ‘just-in-time’ (JIT) purchasing strategy which demands a really close scheduling system to ensure you have all the right parts in the right place for the production line. This could be a pain point that your solution addresses.

Think about this pain from the point of view of the purchasing manager, the production manager and understand what will make them want to read your marketing.

Now you need to create your marketing collateral that will prompt them into some kind of action, this could be a white paper, or a case study where you have solved this problem for another company, or simply a document that will help them understand that if they get JIT purchasing right what the return on investment will be. Of course in return for this document you require their contact details (which most will give if the content is exactly what they are looking for).

Now you’ve got an absolutely qualified lead, you know your solution addresses the pain they have and they’ll be happy to talk to you.. this inbound marketing technique has got you a foot in the door.

Without this understanding and implementation you are compromising the success of your results and you’ll end up with a C instead of the A* that you set your heart on!