During my 11+ years in radio, one of the things I like most about my job is the opportunity to help new businesses launch and grow their business. The key to their success is quite simple; you have to have a solid marketing strategy. You could have the best and most unique product in the world, but if you don’t take the right approach to market it, no one will know it exists. Here are a few things to consider when creating your marketing strategy:
1. Identify your target market: Who will buy your product or service? What is their age, gender, socio-economic factors, geographic location? It won’t make sense for a small, one location store to target the entire Dallas Fort Worth metroplex, so focus on the target area.
Define your product or service: What makes it unique? In your marketing campaign, stress the uniqueness of your product or service and how it will help the consumer.
**Ask yourself – “If I were a customer, what would I get out of the product or service? For what problem does this product or service provide a solution?”
2. Know your competition: Who are your biggest competitors? What competitive advantages do they offer that you do not? Why should your potential customer spend his or her money with you instead? What are your competitive advantages? You need to be sure to include this in your marketing message.
**Be clear about your strength and weaknesses of the product or service, before your competition does.
3. Positioning: Position is the significant difference with which your brand is associated, by which it is remembered and for which it is valued.
**Examples of positioning are value positioning and quality positioning. For example we all know that when you fly on Southwest Airlines, your bags fly free. That is an example of value positioning. A good example of quality positioning is Bounty paper towels – the quicker picker up, which means their paper towels are of a better quality and will pick up your spills quicker than their competition.
4. Advertising & Promotion: Research varies on how often a person needs to hear a message before they will retain and recall the advertiser. Keep in mind that needs often arise unexpectedly, so it is also important to stay out in front of your potential customers to keep your brand top of mind.
**Some people say that 20% of the gross annual earnings of a business should be funneled back into advertising and promotion, this is a good rule of thumb to follow. Then decide how to spend your marketing dollars whether it is radio, television, digital, direct mail, newspaper, etc. A good advertising mix will yield the best results.
A marketing strategy is a map that gets you and your business where you want to go. It gives you a plan to promote your business, target the right clients and allocate your resources wisely. For additional information, please download “The Small Business Guide to Building an Effective Marketing Strategy”. This tool will give you a road map to help develop an effective marketing strategy and build a successful business.