Marketing 101 – The Basics

basicsAs business owners, understanding marketing and its role in growing your business is critical to your success.  Especially if you are looking to build a business that continues to grow well into the future. Although there are thousands of marketing tactics, strategies and ideas, if you do not master the basics those will never work.  There are three core building blocks to any marketing plan that is essential when you get started marketing you business:

  • Market:

The first rule in marketing is “Know thy customer” so it is critical that you know your market and understand your customer.  The key to success here is to niche your market and be selective about who you choose to work with.  For example, instead of saying small business owners, try CPAs or service professionals or Women CPAs.  As you can see, by identifying a niche, you are able to focus your time and energy on marketing to that segment of the market vs. the entire small business community which is entirely too broad.  This is where many business owners fail simply because they do not do their research and do not isolate a defined group that they can focus all of their energy, resources and money towards.

  • Message:

The next step is to identify the exact message you want to send out to your market.  If you have done your research you know your customer and their wants and needs and can create a message that resonates with your customers.  You have unique position and value that you bring to your customer and the goal is to define that value into a marketing message.  But beware, the common “here is who are and this is what we do” message does not work.  Really focus on the value you bring and the benefit that your customer gets from working with you.

  • Media:

The last step is to deliver your message to your market.  This could be in any form of advertising:  Print media, TV, radio, coupons and much more.   They goal is to be strategic about the media you choose and to select more than one.  In a time where email marketing is at an all time high, it may be a good time to focus on direct mail to stand out.  Although it may appear more expensive, if you get more response and have a better return on your investment, it is the better choice.  Many business owners fail to invest in their marketing and their message gets lost in a sea of other messages.  You have less than 3 seconds to capture the attention of potential customers so use powerful headlines and compelling offers to attract your customers to read on and to take action.

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