Although marketing is often poorly understood it’s probably one of the most fundamental issues businesses face today and as a professional writer I spend a substantial amount of time crafting materials businesses need to promote their products and services. It’s fun work and can be very creative but it’s also highly disciplined and complex, and one of the reasons I’m still in this business is that it is absolutely fascinating.
But what is marketing?
The definition I like best is this one:
“Marketing is the range of activities required to funnel potential clients into the sales process.”
The opportunities for marketing a product or service are limitless; business owners today can advertise, network, create web content and brochures, develop email and newsletter campaigns, sponsor events, develop PR campaigns, activate a social media presence and run themselves ragged trying to get their business and their message in front of people who might buy what they’re selling.
The problem is that time and money are usually limited and choices must be made.
How do you do that?
It’s always a good idea to get the detailed advice of a marketing expert to help create a marketing strategy that will keep your efforts on track, but if you’re stalled at the “on-ramp”, here are three basic steps that might help focus your thinking, no matter what business you’re in or how long you’ve been around.
- Know exactly what you offer. Getting clear on your brand identity and the product you offer is critically important in the drive to attract the right kind of attention. You need to know how your product or service is special and what problems it solves for customers so that message can be delivered in any written documentation you create.
- Know your audience. Who is most likely to benefit from your product or service and what do you know about them? Knowing as much as possible about your target audience helps you create an approach, an offer and a marketing channel that speaks directly to the people most likely to buy from you. And if you know who you’re targeting, you can filter every marketing opportunity that comes your way by asking if it brings you closer to your target audience or distances you from it.
- Know your goals. How much revenue do you want each product or service you offer to deliver this year? Knowing the answer to that question will help you balance your marketing investments and keep you from spending too much time or money promoting low-profit products or services that have only made it as far as your “B” list.
Some people find this type of analysis tedious and it can take a lot of deep thinking to come up with the information a writer like me likes to have on hand before starting to craft copy. The benefit of doing the work, however, is that you are able to present your business in a professional and appealing fashion that positions your organization ahead of your competition and top-of-mind with consumers.
Want help with that? Contact me today!