When we asked applicants to The Winners Enclosure™ what their #1 challenge was, they said marketing. They found the whole subject area confusing and overwhelming. My 1:1 coaching clients say they want marketing simplified too.
Put at its simplest, marketing is:
All the activities that contribute to building ongoing, profitable relationships with customers – both new and existing – to grow your business.”
But when you drill down to what marketing really means, it’s all about getting the right mix of products or services, pricing, promotion, branding, sales and distribution that will bring healthy sales and enough demand that you can grow your business at a comfortable rate.
Phew! I feel overwhelmed just thinking about this. So it’s no surprise that applicants to our mastermind group were struggling with their marketing.
This evening, Emma D’Arcy, Christina Jones and I are going to attempt to make marketing simple on our Blab, ‘ Marketing Simplified.’ We’re on at 9pm GMT. The link to register is HERE.
There are 100s of different ways to market your business, so it’s no wonder business owners struggle to figure out where to begin, and to separate out what works from what doesn’t.
This is a massive problem. The #1 priority of start up businesses is to hit break-even point consistently, which means bringing in healthy sales and creating enough demand. It’s essential they create the right marketing recipe for their particular business quickly. For business owners, this is often a case of reading a few books and blogs, listening to podcasts, and following some people that know what they’re doing and learning from them.
This is not the same as creating a marketing strategy aimed at driving the success of your business. This starts by asking these 3 key questions which will set you on the path to a successful marketing strategy for your business. And put you streets ahead of your competition, the majority of whom won’t do this.
- What are your key strengths and how can you build on them?
Your unique strengths form the core of your offering. The more true to your core your marketing message is, the more successful your business will be. For example if you distribute organic, local produce in your local area, as many microbusinesses do in London where I live, work out how to improve your offerings so that they are more unique and better than your competition.
For example you may not be as competitively priced as your larger competitors or have a well-known brand name, but you could remind your customers that you are the local alternative. This allows you to use a phrase like ‘Shop Locally To Support Your Community’ in all your marketing communications. Building on your local advantage can help you to overcome the weaknesses of having higher pricing and a less recognised brand.
- What are the benefits of your product or service?
A successful marketing programme communicates benefits i.e. qualities that your customers value - and not simply features. These could include convenience, ease of use, brand appeal, attractive design, local sourcing or a lower price than your competitors.
An established grocery retailer in Germany with 600 stores in the UK, Lidl firmly targets the discount sector. Its TV adverts make clear that customers are able to make substantial savings on their grocery bill by buying top quality products at the lowest possible prices. These are the benefits. But to get customers to give up brands they know and love, they have placed customer satisfaction at the heart of their values.
- Who are your target customers?
Unless you’re operating in a highly niche market (read this for tiny) the likelihood is that you’ll have several different target customers. Your job is to have a very clear understanding of your target customers. Their age, lifestyle, income level, level of education, hobbies, politics if this is relevant, and what s/he cares about in life. Ask yourself whether s/he prefers a rational, information based approach to marketing, a personality based approach, or a balanced mix of the two.
I find it helps to cut and paste pictures from magazines of 1-3 people who represent your target customer on to a board. I use this as a visual reminder to help me with my product design, content selection, advertising etc.
If you find marketing confusing and overwhelming, join me on Blab for ‘ Marketing Simplified.’ We’re kick off at 9pm GMT. The link to register is HERE.
Join the Conversation
Question: Do you find marketing confusing and overwhelming? What has helped to make marketing simple for you? You can leave a comment in the box below.
Explore Additional Resources
If you enjoyed this post, then you may also like:
Prior to becoming a business consultant and coach, I have 25 years’ experience in business, including 8 years as a former CEO. This experience is backed up by training at Cranfield School of Management, the UK’s leading business school. With experience in business planning, financial management, risk management, building strategic partnerships, product development, marketing (including PR) plus leading and developing staff teams of up to 150 people, there’s very little I haven’t had to deal with or experienced.
You can find out more about working with me HERE. Or alternatively email me on email@example.com to arrange an informal chat over coffee. There’s no hard sell. Just solid advice and a straightforward, honest assessment of whether 1:1 business coaching or business consultancy would be a good fit for your business, the results you can expect and how to get started.