Marketing is Complex, but With a Few Essentials, You’ll be Well on Your Way
Marketing is a broad and sometimes daunting concept. After all, many people go to school for several years to study it – so how can the average untrained small business owner pull off a successful campaign? Hiring a marketing expert is one option, but what if you don’t have the resources?
Fortunately, you don’t have to know everything there is to know about marketing to do it successfully. Here are my 5 most essential tips for improving your marketing campaign.
Focus on benefits, not just features
Features are stated facts about what a product or service offers, such as the number of miles a car gets per gallon, the percentage of germs a household cleaner kills, or the speed of a cell phone provider’s data plan. While it’s essential to communicate basic information about your product or service to potential clients, you are selling your campaign short if you stop there.
People want to know how features translate into benefits. They want to know how what you’re offering will make their lives easier, more enjoyable, or safer, or how it will save them time.
A car may get 32 miles to the gallon, but that fact alone is almost meaningless without explaining how it benefits potential buyers. They need to hear that this MPG translates into savings at the pump, as well as a decrease in harmful emissions. They need to hear that a cleaner that kills 99 percent of germs will keep their families healthier, and that a data plan’s speed makes browsing easier, more reliable and more convenient.
In short, features inform, but benefits sell.
Find a niche
If you are one donut shop out of thousands, your competition will naturally be stiff. If you are offering the same donuts as all of your competition, the only incentive you have to offer potential customers is lowering your prices – not a position you want to be in.
However, if you are the only donut shop in town that offers gluten free, gourmet, or vegan donuts, you will drastically reduce your competition, and secure yourself a client base.
Know your demographic
You know your product or service inside and out – but you must also know exactly for whom your product or service is tailored. This is especially true for niche markets, but even if your product or service has a broad appeal, there will always be some people who are more likely to make that final purchase than others.
Create a demographic profile that’s as specific as possible, including gender, age, interests, habits, and anything and everything else you feel is relevant.
Create a unique marketing message
Once you have narrowed down your target demographic, you can tailor a message that appeals directly to them. This is tricky, as the message has to reflect the product, your brand and your audience all a once, but if you get it right, it will pay off in a big way.
Of course, you should follow up with current and potential clients in case they have an interest. But you should also follow up every step of your campaign with thoughtful research. Ask your current clients why they buy from you. Research your sales to ensure that you have your target demographic right. And continuously research your clientele and your market to see how you can make your campaign more effective.
Of course, marketing is a complex concept that is difficult to condense into short steps. However, it is not a concept you need to fear. Following even the most basic rules can make your campaign more efficient, and help bring you the success you imagined.