Let’s face it; if you have a business, marketing is an essential component for success. Whether you are selling a service or a product, you need to tell people about it. That’s where the use of good marketing tools plays a huge role.
The first step is to identify who you’ll want to sell to. Knowing your demographic is a key ingredient in deciding what you need to reach them. Often times, entrepreneurs know their product backwards and forwards, but have very little knowledge on how to sell it. We’ve had clients come to us and say “we need a brochure,” but don’t have a clue on what they will be doing with it.
When we meet with our clients for the first time, we ask a series of specific questions such as:
- What is it you want to achieve?
- Who is your target market?
- Where do you want to concentrate your marketing efforts?
- What sets your product or service apart from your competitors?
Getting the answers to these very basic questions can help define what the ultimate goal will become and to create a plan to reach it.
In today’s economy, it is imperative to have an online presence. When someone is ready to buy, they usually start by firing up their computer (or phone) and use one of the many search engines to locate what they are looking for. Your business should be there… ready to be found.
However, having a great website is only the tip of the iceberg. You can have the greatest product ever invented for mankind, but if no one knows about it, well then it’s not so great. You have to tell people about it. You need to tell your story. The right mix of media can help do that.
There are endless methods of reaching your target market. From something as simple as a direct mail postcard to elaborate and creative, out-of-the-box ideas to draw attention to yourself.
Its been said that whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability. Concentrate on what you do best. That’s where many folks fail. They’ll try and do their own marketing with very little knowledge of how to do marketing. And this can be discouraging when the results don’t match their expectations.
Personally, I leave the things that I do not do well or have little knowledge of to those that do. Yes, it does take money to do that, but the results are often far better than spending my time and resources doing them myself.
Getting a firm grasp on what you’ll need to sell your services and products sometimes takes an objective view from those who can help. Setting a few goals to reach and concentrating those can be the catalyst for a successful campaign and to grow your business.
Rod Roberts is president and creative director of Thunderstruck Design, Champaign, Illinois