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Ice buckets, viral videos and making an impact

By now either you or someone you know has completed the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” – a charity video phenomenon sweeping the nation raising awareness (and millions of dollars) for research in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The Ice Bucket Challenge is just the latest example of something capturing the attention of the public and going viral.

So how does this relate to marketing?

Simple – it’s all about making an impact.

Let’s pretend for a minute that you’ve already laid the groundwork. You’ve done your research and properly identified your target audience. The next step is to actually market your goods and services – and doing so in a way that makes an impact.

WARNING: Making an impact does not mean flashy marketing!

It’s not always about cool slogans, expensive ad campaigns or overly-produced video spots.

Impactful marketing means knowing where your audience is and how you can best present them with your message. It’s about being productive with your marketing dollars and reaching your most influential prospects in a compelling way.

That might mean subscribing to sensible “nuts & bolts” initiatives like distributing a smartly written newsletter or implementing a well-conceived direct mail campaign. It might mean reinventing your web presence or getting serious about social media. Or maybe if the timing is right and the budget makes sense – it is about a fun commercial or hosting a special event.

There is no shortage of ideas. But based on your budget, goals and audience – there are most certainly “better” ideas. Understanding how to meaningfully impact your audience over the long haul will ultimately leave a meaningful impact on your bottom line.

So, while you might not stumble on the next Ice Bucket Challenge, you can still leave your mark.

“ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” flickr photo by theglobalpanorama shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license