By Ricardo Ortizcazarin
Marketing is one of those things that everybody thinks they know something about. After all, every day they are exposed to it through emails, phone calls, direct mail, web ads and more. What they don’t see is the strategic thinking that goes into designing campaigns that reach them with the right message, in the right medium, at the right time that stimulates their interest to act.
For more than 17 years, I’ve worked with small business owners to create successful marketing campaigns to grow their businesses and educate them. Based on that experience, here is What Every New and Small Business Should Know about marketing strategy:
1) Establish your value proposition. What makes you different from your competitors? Why should anyone do business with you? What do you have to offer? What makes you stand out? Is it a specific niche; you’re open Saturday and Sunday? Most owners don’t know.
You find the answer by talking to your customers and listening. Don’t look at the world solely from your point of view. You may think it’s your great services, but if customers say it’s the affordable rates, you had better make that part of your marketing message.
I highly recommend talking to your best customers on a regular basis so you know what you are doing right. And you might even learn how to do it better.
2) Identify which customers are best for your business. I like to describe customers as being rabbits, elks or elephants. For a detailed explanation go to www.cazarin.com/videos/
Rabbits are small budget and you need a lot of them to make a profit. Elks are the perfect customer with the highest profit with the least acquisition cost. Elephants are very large customers with large budgets that use up a lot of resources.
Know your ideal customer and focus on how many elks, rabbits and elephants you want in a month. Maybe your goal is one rabbit and three elks a month and one elephant a year. The important task is to know what you need and have a vision, a goal of the type and size of the customers you desire to attract.
3) Set goals and measure the results. Effective marketing is planning, measuring and fine tuning over time. It should be an ongoing effort, not a one shot deal.
You need a goal, like four to six new clients every month totaling a minimum of $40,000, or a telemarketing campaign that must provide two qualified appointments monthly. This will help you set your budget.
4) Understand “Concentric Marketing.” That means your website is the central pillar of your marketing. It is where you can talk in detail to your elk, elephants and rabbits about how you can meet their needs. The goal of your postcards, radio or TV spots, print ads and any additional marketing tactics is to send your prospects to the web site.
5) Work with marketing professionals. Small business owners who do it themselves often find marketing pushed aside for other pressing matters. They have no time to execute a campaign. They lose momentum and the sales pipeline shrinks.
They are better served working with a full-service marketing company that will handle all of it, from research to design, to print and implementation. Ask if they can spread costs out over time to avoid heavy up-front costs and make it more affordable and predictable. My clients appreciate that.
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Readers of New Business Minnesota are invited to receive a 30 minutes of free advice if they mention this article. To learn more, contact Ricardo at
(763) 400-4555 or email@example.com