So you’re an entrepreneur. You’ve made a product, set up a website, and are excited that your dreams are actually coming true. But before you head out to take over the world, I have two pretty important business questions to ask you…WHAT IS YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY? What steps will you take to help the public know who you are and what you offer? As much as you are convinced your product will be loved by the masses, having a marketing strategy is almost as important as the product itself.
Large companies pay marketing agencies millions of doallrs to develop marketing plans. Part of the initial consultation requires the company to fill out a fancy questionnaire to find out more about them and their objectives. In addition, the survey forces the company to re-evaluate certain aspects of their business. Some of these questions include:
1. Who Exactly Are You Selling To?
It is a simple question that’s easy for entrepreneurs to overlook. We assume that everyone with money is a potential customer. But that is not true. The most successful businesses have envisioned their customer’s age, income range, family structure, spending habits and more. I’ve even heard business owners putting an imaginary face and name to their “potential customer” to make it more of a tangible concept. Identifying your target market makes it easy for employees to remember who they are making the product for and also for the customer to feel that the product was made for them.
2. What Makes You Different?
Customers are constantly bombarded with ads and products over-promising and, (occasionally), under performing. This naturally makes people skeptical to buy products that they have never heard of. From a marketing perspective, this is an excellent opportunity for an entrepreneur to show customers what it is that makes their product different. The differences are what truly sell products. That is why it is so important for you to know, believe, and show your customers what they are.
3. What Are Your Short and SEMI-Long Term Marketing Goals?
Truly successful businesses know that the key to gaining exposure is consistency. The level of exposure can vary, but not being socially present is a kiss of death. This is why companies come up with seasonal campaigns and promotions. It gives them a chance to remail fresh and relevant. Now as an entrepreneur, the big budget approach may not always be possible. You may have to start slowly increasing exposure through multi-media approaches, (print media, social media, and face-to-face opportunities). Setting a timeline of short to semi-long term achievable tasks is a great way to make sure your name is getting out there. Also, by not setting a definite long term goal keeps you flexible and able to re-evaluate your approach at anytime, if needed, without feeling a sense of failure.
Having a marketing strategy is crucial to the success of a business. Using the questions above will get you on the road to developing a plan to increase exposure and build brand recognition.