A foundation for your marketing

How we describe ourselves, what our goals are, what we do – describing those things are the biggest issues we face in marketing. We’re good at what we do, but we don’t spend a lot of time crowing about it, or figuring out what to say that will get us leads. And we sure don’t know what results we need in marketing. How do we get started?

Thoughts of the Day: Know what you do, and what you don’t do. Explain what you do in words that the marketplace can identify with. Put the word out, so that the right people beat a path to your door. Make sure the marketplace can find you in quantity sufficient to meet your company’s growth goals. While you need to be aware of your competition, you want to promote what makes your company special.

The more satisfied the customer is with the solutions he or she chooses, the stickier and more profitable that client is likely to be. Make the job easy. Play to your strengths. Match your strengths to buyers who want exactly that.

While you need to be aware of your competition, you want to promote what makes your company special. Look for the intersection of your company’s solutions with buyers’ needs and wants. The stronger the connection, typically the higher the price you can command.

Start with research. The following are suggestions. If you’re not sure how to do any of this kind of research, hire someone who has experience, and pay them to do the job for you. Guessing wastes time and may cost you in ways you don’t see, as you take on the wrong customers, don’t get enough leads, or otherwise have misfires in marketing.

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What type of connection does your buyer desire? A relationship? A transaction? An experience? To solve problems, and if so, which problems? Transaction buyers tend to be more volatile and price sensitive. Experience and relationship buyers will pay additional if they believe their needs are being met. Value for solving problems depends on how costly and pervasive the customer perceives the problem to be.

Pay attention to how buyers makes choices. Look for both conscious and subconscious motivations. When emotions come into play, both fear and desire impact price. Often fear is the greater motivator. Don’t be afraid to use it to your advantage.

Want your marketplace to pay attention to you? Find out what they pay attention to, and appeal to that. Are they looking for entertainment, or education? Facts, conclusions or advice? Start to answer these questions by looking at how your desirable buyers get information today.

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Focus by testing messages on customers and prospects you know you want to get. One big mistake is trying to go too big, too broad, too fast, and drawing in a lot of wasted attention from potential buyers who don’t value or want what your company can provide. Instead, try messages out on your best customers. Ask them if what you’re promoting resonates with them. What you’re looking for is customers to say, “That sounds just like me.”

When it comes to marketing it is incredibly important to know what you are trying to accomplish. Are you trying to get leads right now? Are you trying to educate and draw in a market that doesn’t know about you? Are you looking for information on what else the market wants? Write down a set of goals you’d like to accomplish in the next year, then relate marketing activities to those goals and start testing to find out which work best.

Looking for a good book? Try “Kellogg on Marketing” by The Marketing Faculty of the Kellogg School of Management.

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