As a business owner, have you every asked yourself what business you’re in? Have you ever asked other business owners that question? If you haven’t, try it sometime. The most common answer we receive when we ask our clients that question, is definitely not what we want to hear.
From our perspective, there is only one acceptable answer and that is: I’m in the marketing business’. You see it doesn’t really matter what product or service (or widget as we call it) you sell, your product or service is simply a means to an end. The key to success in any business is marketing. Everything you do in business is marketing AND marketing is everything you do. This is a MUST not a ‘should’.
We believe the following summary of the marketing process provides a great starting point to build a marketing business.
Phase 1: Identify the total market. This involves all conceivable market possibilities relevant to your product or service, eg you might include the entire population of the West Coast of America.
Phase 2: Segment the market. This requires that you ‘break-down’ the total market into various segments, eg by age, ethnicity, income, religious persuasion, etc. What you are attempting to do is ‘split-up’ the total market into its various components clearly identifying possible markets you might wish to target.
Phase 3: Choose one or more target markets, eg you might focus on females between the ages of 25 and 40 years with an annual gross income of in excess of $70,000. It’s important to understand that you can choose more than one target market.
Phase 4: Position your business within your chosen target market(s). You need to determine how you want your chosen market(s) to perceive your business products and/or services, eg high quality/high price; value for money; etc. This is one of the most (if not the most) important phases of the entire process and communication is the key. Our preferred method of communication is Emotional Direct Response Marketing where we focus on and agitate the emotions of our chosen market(s) and ultimately provide a solution. How well (or otherwise) we achieve our intended outcomes in this phase, will determine the success of our business.
Phase 5: Implement the communication/marketing strategies developed in phase 4 and monitor the response. Ideally you should ‘test’ your campaign prior to total implementation. As a general rule we identify 100 households in a specified area (within our chosen target market of course), and monitor the results. If the results are not what we expect, we amend/tweak our approach and ‘test’ again until we get it right. At that stage we implement the campaign fully and monitor the results.
It’s crucial that you establish very clear goals or required outcomes prior to developing a marketing campaign . . . if you don’t know where you’re headed, any road will get you there AND ‘there’ is likely to be somewhere you do not want to be.
If you’re in business and not confident with your marketing skills, it’s best to engage the services of a professional. A word of warning however – make certain the professional you engage is not going to charge you enormous ‘up-front’ fees with the promise of fabulous outcomes. We see this happen almost every day, very often with poor outcomes (at the very best).
Our philosophy is that a professional marketer should ‘share the risk’. In other words, the marketer should be paid the major part of his/her fee only when the results materialise. If he/she is not comfortable and willing to do so, it indicates they are not confident in their ability to produce the outcomes promised.
While the above discussion is limited in detail, based on extensive testing and application, the 5 Phases provide a sound foundation upon which to build your marketing campaigns. Read up on each of the Phases mentioned and give it a go . . . you might be surprised with the results.
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