As a young man, I loved to drive. The feeling of power and independence was euphoric not to mention the status it brought me. I was an invincible speed demon who could do anything on the fly so long as I noticed the signs and watched for cops. The specifics took care of themselves. I was in the zone.
Then one day the zone collapsed.
The whole thing seemed to come out of nowhere as my perfect world came crashing down into a smoldering heap of crumpled metal, bewilderment and the cold hard reality of the law. The sick knot in my stomach and the feelings I had of sudden accountability, loss, regret and clarity over what I should have done burned a lesson into my mind that I will never forget. I forever learned that the rules and their consequences apply to everyone, no exceptions.
Marketing a new business can be as exciting as driving a sweet car. While visions of independence, profits and the absolute belief in what could be motivate us to defy what’s possible, they can also blind us to the importance of marketing specifics and the rules of the road. Here are 4 specifics to insure that your marketing strategy is based on a sound foundation that will cross the finish line.
1. Define your purpose
Answer the question of why you’re doing it all. Don’t settle for a quick or easy answer like “to make more money” or “to provide good service”. Dig deep and ask yourself what you want to be able to say is true in the world because you do what you do. This should define something that goes beyond money and that you fundamentally believe in. This type of answer is important because it determines the answers to so many other questions down the line, such as whether or not to offer a new product or service or what your policies and processes are. It is also the one thing you believe in enough that will see you thorough the challenges that will surely come along the way. Remind yourself of it often.
2. Define your Target
Once you know what you are about, you can now answer the question “for whom?”. Again, be specific. Who benefits from your purpose being achieved? Who benefits the most? For which of these sub-groups are you the best fit and solution. Who have you been a perfect solution for in the past? As you answer these questions a very specific description of your ideal customer will immerge.
The modern market place is far bigger than any of us appreciate and there are plenty of ideal customers out there regardless of how narrow your ideal customer profile is. Don’t be afraid to get laser-specific here. Defining your target market down to specific niches is the key to knowing where they are, how to best communicate with them and what to say when you do.
3. Define your message
If there is one defined rule of the road in today modern market place it is that the consumer is in control. Thanks to the internet and access to instant world-wide information, customers are no longer something you go get. They are attracted to choose you. It is human nature for customers to choose and trust that which is most closely aligned with themselves and their way of viewing their own needs. Those who focus their message on the needs and wants of their target customers most effectively win their business. Effectively communicating with target customers involves talking about what matters to them and saying it as they would say it. As you review all of those feedback form submissions, correspondence and Facebook comments be listening for both what your customer wants as well as how they express it, then frame your message back to them in their own language.
4. Define your methods
Having the best focus, client profile and message on the market won’t help you if customers don’t know about you, but the key is to be in front of the right customers. Placing your offer where your ideal customer is looking online comes down to being positioned for searches with key words and terms they are using in order to find solutions to their needs as well as placing actionable messages where they congregate. Positioning your SEO and ads based on your target customer profile rather than general traffic volumes will increase your conversion rates and ultimately, your bottom line. This requires taking the time to learn about who your ideal customer is and what they do. Remember, it’s all about them.