It’s time to take marketing seriously. You may have a fantastic product or service, but if customers are not aware it exists, there’s no point in being in business. To make sure your product is exposed to consumers, you need marketing strategies that work for your small business. This article will focus on developing a marketing plan and budget for your small business- something we’ll discuss more in the next article!
Step #1 of a Marketing Strategy: Validate the Market
How do you know whether your offering is good enough to fulfill your customer’s needs? This is a component of the validation process. First, you should validate the market or verify that there is a need for it. Here are some questions to consider to assist you with this.
- How large is the market locally, nationally, and globally?
- How often do people buy your type of product?
- How big is your market opportunity?
- Will your customers buy daily, weekly, monthly, annually, or every five to ten years?
The answers to these questions will:
1) Reveal whether your offering is sustainable and
2) Assist you in developing your marketing plan and tactics.
After verifying the market, go deeper into your target demographic or client.
Step #2 of a Marketing Strategy: Define Your Target Market
You need to figure out who your target market is for your product or service to sell. And the truth is that it is never “everybody.” Nobody will buy anything if everyone can use it.
The most effective strategy to succeed is to create a customer profile that includes as much information as possible. Answer the following questions:
- Who is your customer?
- How much income do your customers make?
- Where are they located?
- Are they male or female? What age?
- What is their level of education?
- Are they educated or not? Manager or rank-in-file employee?
- Can you see the face of your customer? What do they physically look like?
Remember, the more you understand your consumer, the greater your chances of closing the sale. It’s time to describe what attracts customers to purchase once you’ve identified who your client is.
Step #3 of a Marketing Strategy: Create Customer Value
Many company owners excel at describing their products and services. However, few understand how to convey their goods or service to demonstrate value to the consumer. Explaining advantages is quite powerful since if you can assist the client in achieving the aim, the product will sell itself.
Start by figuring out which characteristics your consumers like and dislike about your service. Next, you must construct your marketing plan around how customers perceive the value of your product. WIIFM is an acronym for “what’s in it for me?” Therefore, it’s critical to consider the consumer’s interests when formulating a marketing strategy and understand and communicate what sets your product/service apart.
Step #4 of a Marketing Strategy: Identify Your Competitors and How to Deal With Them
Today’s economy is rarely faced with a product or service that does not compete. But, unfortunately, your competitors are aiming their messages at the same people as you, so your message may be lost in the spam.
To avoid this, explain to your customers exactly what makes you stand out. What is it about your product or service that sets you apart from the competition? What is your unique selling proposition, and how will it help your clients? For example, perhaps you have a longer warranty than your competitors. Alternatively, maybe you’ve shown a track record of success with other businesses. Share these unique perspectives of your product/service to help stand out.
The four main components of developing a successful marketing plan are validating the market, identifying the target audience, creating customer value, and identifying your strengths from your competitors. Once those steps are completed, it’s time to define the tactics you’ll use and determine your marketing budget!
Keep an eye out for part II of this series, as we’ll be tackling those next two steps!