So you've started the business you've always dreamed of or you've landed your first marketing gig, where do you begin when it comes to marketing? I'm going to walk you through the process of identifying your marketing strategy and developing your first marketing campaign using my four step process in identifying your marketing fundamentals.
1. Know Your Target
Who are you trying to reach? Have you identified your niche? What do they look like? What do they do? What do they read? Where can you find them?
If you've done your homework you should be able to answer all of the above. Often business owners and even marketers thing that if you cast the net wide you will reach more people, when the opposite is true. When you cast your net wide you miss the ability to hone your craft, tailor your message and reach the pain points of those you are looking to serve. More is not necessarily better. Focus is always better. Know your audience like the back of your hand. Why will they purchase what we offer? Why will they object?
Do you see where I'm going with this?
Let's say that you wanted to be bilingual, you wouldn't study both French and Spanish at the same time, because you might learn both at the average level. You more than likely wouldn't be great at either, because you would be sharing your focus. You would be splitting time and giving only half of your energy to the cause rather than fully focusing on learning the language like it was your second language.
Does that make sense?
A narrow focus empowers you and strengthens the impact you can have in the market place. It's like marketing yourself as a general doctor versus a doctor specialized in working with children.
Ok, I think you get my point. Let's move one.
2. Educate on Your Benefits
Now that you know your audience you can educate them on your benefits and feature. You can really focus on educating them on why they should by your product or service. You've eliminated the noise and you can speak directly to them. What do you want them to hear? What do you want to tell them about what you offer? What do you want them to remember about your business?
Brainstorm, bullet out those features if you are selling to consumers and bullet out the benefits and cost savings if you are trying reach other businesses. Do your bullets pass the "so-what" test? If so, you are ready to move to the next step.
3. Craft A Strong Call to Action
Now, you've identified your target and you've listed out your features and/or benefits. Great work! You now must focus on what you want your prospects to do. What's the call to action?
If you are focused on a particular campaign what are the success measures of that campaign? Do you want them to call? Do you want them to buy something? Do you want them to submit and inquiry?
Be clear about your expectations. Once you've identified the course of action you want them to take, make sure you've removed any obstacles from them doing so. For example:
Test the process. You'd be amazed at how difficult we make it for prospects to complete the desired action. Make the transaction easy, no matter what the call of actions. Zero tolerance for obstacles!
4. Measure, Monitor, Log, Report and Learn
Now that you've put in the work and you are ready to push your campaign live be sure to measure and monitor the progress. Learn from your efforts, it will come in handy for each campaign that follows.
What were the results? Did they meet our expectations? If so, why? If not, why? Know the answers to these questions, understand the answers, identify how you can make a campaign better, identify what worked. Log these answers, analyze the data and work to make each subsequent campaign better.
By Laura Lake for About.com