THE MAGIC OF MARKETING
We cannot talk about running a successful business without emphasizing the need for quality and effective marketing. Marketing is inherent to the process of being a successful entrepreneur.
Having the right idea, the best product or the most exquisite service is never enough. No matter what business you do, if your product can't find its audience or your audience can't find your product, your business loses.
As a business owner, therefore, you must through your marketing endeavours, burn through the bushel that separates you from your intended market and prevents them from seeing the light of your business.
The primary goal of marketing is to create an awareness of your business in the minds of those that need them. People can't patronize a business they've never heard of and know nothing about. Through marketing, we let people know who we are, what we do and why we are in business. We also share with the world, what we want them to know and believe about our business.
Effective marketing is not as simple as it sounds. You don't get people to know your business just by yelling about it. There's so much noise out there already. How are you sure your voice will be heard?
For you to market your business in ways that will connect with your audience and lead them to do business with you, you must be strategic about it. And that requires that you answer the following questions. The answers you provide will serve as foundation for your marketing.
1. What Do We Do?
What exactly does your business do? What is your brand statement? You should be able to succinctly and viciously communicate what your business does to your market. And mind you, what you do is not the product you sell or service you render; what you do are the SOLUTIONS you offer. So, you don't just say "we sell clothes", you will be communicating your business better if you had said, "we help you look beautiful and classy by providing you with quality and exotic clothings." That way, you are not just communicating activity, you are communicating value.
2. Who is The Audience?
Any business that does not have an audience it serves is no business. And the business that does not recognize its audience will be starved of rewards. Not everybody in the market is your audience. Not everyone who knows what you do needs it. And not everyone who has a need for your offerings will have the means to acquire them. You audience are the people who have needs your business can meet and do have the means to pay for the solutions you are offering. When you can identify your audience, you will not beat around the bush in your marketing, wasting energy and resources. You will be able to direct your message to those who need it most. Your pearls will not go to swines, figuratively speaking.
3. How Do We Connect With The Audience In A Compelling Way?
Marketing is not just getting people to know that your business exists. It's more about thinking creatively to know ways you can share your message in manners that engage your audience and hopefully compel them to do business with you. Amongst other things, your marketing should help get your audience do three things - KNOW you, LIKE you and TRUST you, to a point where they'll want to do business with you. This surely requires high creativity. Without creativity and innovativeness, your marketing effort will be regular and common place.
4. What is Our Unique Selling Proposition?
Whether you like to admit it or not, you are not the only business in the market place. You are not even the only person doing the kind of business you are doing. There are thousands, if not millions, of people doing similar business. How then, do you want customers to leave other businesses that sell same products or offer same services as you, to come to you? This is where the need for a USP comes in. You need to have something special and different about your business that will make customers prefer it to others. What's that special, differentiating factor you've got? If there's really nothing very special about what you do, no matter what marketing strategies you deploy, you won't get noticed and may not hold the attention of your audience for so long. And that increasingly means you won't get patronized as much as you would have desired.
5. What Are Our Competitors Doing?
You need to keep an eye on your competitors. There's no faster way to be at a disadvantage in the market place than being clueless about what your counterparts are doing to win customers. The essence of researching your competitors is not to blindly imitate what they are doing but to intelligently emulate the strategies they deploy that get them results and to also know what can be tweaked for better results.
When you are able to define your business in clear and attractive manners, when you know who you audience is and how to reach them in compelling ways and you also have something unique to offer, without ignoring what your competitors are doing, you will be getting your marketing right.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR.
Olayiwola Oladeinde is a writer, trainer and coach. Through his writings and speeches, he inspires, guides and empowers individuals to become better versions of themselves and create wealth from doing the things they are good at and enjoy doing.