The 5 most important questions to ask BEFORE you start marketing
Many people jump into marketing with a gut feel. They make decisions before asking some critical questions and really evaluating the answers. While this often leads to quick decision making (aren’t we all guilty of this more often than not?), it does not always lead to the most educated decisions, and ultimately the best decisions.
Marketing without a good deal of thought may end up being an expensive proposition. It may also lead to some people questioning the value of marketing per se if the decisions they make do not turn out great, rather than questioning their own decision making process. What I am suggesting is that decision making around marketing should be well thought out because, after all, you are spending your hard earned cash, and I am sure you would want that cash to work hard and well for you.
So, at very least, ask the following 5 important questions BEFORE you start marketing your products or services (and BEFORE you start spending your hard-earned cash):
1. Do you truly understand the value that your product or service is providing? What are you offering and how does it stand out from your competitors offering? Is it well articulated? Do you truly understand the customer needs? Does your offering satisfy the customer/client needs?
2. Who is your potential customer/client? Where are they? Do you understand how they make the purchase decisions and how do they collect the relevant information in order to make that decision? Are there influencers of the buying decision that you need to convince as well?
3. What is the basic message that you would like to send to this market in regards to your product/service? What is your competitive edge? (List at least four reasons why you are the good business choice). What is your positioning statement? (Indicate where your company stands in terms of relevant things other than your product/service). eg. add-on services, warranty, delivery etc. What is the customer/client benefit – WIFFM?
4. What is the best way of reaching your projected market? What media do they engage with? (i.e.- T.V, Radio, Print, Online, Social etc). How do they behave day to day? Who would influence their decisions?
5. Do you have the necessary resources to undertake the marketing effort? Have you defined success and do you know what will be required to achieve that success? Consider budget, people, focus, time and energy as important resources in this process. Can you do it yourself or do you need to get help? Internal help? External help? Professional help?
This is the minimum starting point if you want to embark on a professional marketing campaign. Ask for help if you cannot clarify the answers to these questions – better spend the time now rather than feel the pain after. This is the SMART way to go. And we can help…. or email me with any questions.
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