This approach may have worked in the movie Field of Dreams. But, when it comes to business, this isn’t usually the case. Many companies think their product or service is so great that once they open the doors people will flock to them. If this is the approach you’re taking with your business 90% of the time you are going to be sorry.
So, what do I need to do so people will flock to me and buy my goods or services, you ask? The main answer is MARKETING!
“Marketing is everything you do to promote your business from the moment you conceive of it to the point at which customers buy your product or service.” Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerilla Marketing.
Marketing planning is the essential place to start. Why is marketing planning essential? The profitability of a company is impacted by many intertwining factors, marketing being a large part of it. Bringing strategic knowledge to the marketing planning process is essential.
A few items under the umbrella of marketing planning are:
Determining Your Target Market
This isn’t something that should just be done at the start of the business. Your target market can change as can the avenue in which you need to market to them. Once you determine your target market, you must decide how you are going to communicate with them.
Many businesses don’t understand branding or think they are small enough that they don’t need branding. Not True! Every company needs some level of branding. Branding covers many different aspects, but often refers to the name, logo, fonts and color schemes used to identify your company or product. Building consistency for your brand is the first step in building your image.
What is your budget for communications? Are you going to use traditional means of communication (i.e. radio, television, newspaper, magazine)? Does your target market use social media? If the answer is yes. Then, what social media channels are going to get you in front of your target market while aligning with you brand. This requires research and a lot of listening.
The items listed above are just a few of the things you need to keep in mind. However, if you can determine who your customer is, what problem they have, how you can solve it and how you are going to effectively communicate that with them, then you are headed in the right direction.