There’s nothing quite like the enthusiasm for business that entrepreneurs hold. Often fueled by a great idea or a passion, they run in a variety of directions to get things launched. But unless there’s focus and an understanding of the basics for success, plans can falter. From a marketing perspective, there are several key questions you need to answer.
1. What is Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
In other words, what do you do: a) that your competitors don’t, b) that’s not easily copied, and c) that your target market cares about? If you can answer that question in a tight one-liner, you’re onto something. And though it seems somewhat counterintuitive, the more focused your offering is, the better. Yes, this is one time when doing less is better.
While you might think that doing many things will render more sales, it can confuse the marketplace. Focusing your offering allows you to become known in a defined competitive space. It can also be helpful to consider large societal trends that could bring opportunity, or needs in the market that are not currently being met.
2. Who is Your Target Market?
You need to intimately understand who you are selling to in order to make intelligent decisions to inform your marketing. Generally, we define target markets by demographics (age, income, gender, education and family structure), geographics (country, province, state, city or town, climate and online versus offline), psychographics (values, beliefs, social class, lifestyle and personality) and behaviour (readiness to buy, use frequency, benefits sought, loyalty, consumption status and purchase occasion).
Creating personas of your ideal target market and giving them a name will allow you to remain focused. Ideally, you start with one primary market, but you may expand as your business grows.
3. How Will Your USP and Target Market Inform the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place and Promotion)?
Understanding your target market well will help inform decisions around pricing, distribution, product or service offerings, promotions and selection of media. Choices made in these four areas must be made with the target market in mind in order to remain focused and start to develop your position in the marketplace.
While these three questions seem simple enough, in practice, it takes time to clearly be able to focus your plan to respond to them thoroughly.
Want to know more? Register for Mary’s Marketing Essentials for Small Business seminar. Fast paced, interactive and filled with examples to get your entrepreneurial ideas flowing. This seminar will help you focus on what your business has to offer and how you can communicate your message successfully.
Plus, don’t forget that you can meet one-on-one with an expert to get specific information that applies to your business by booking an appointment with Small Business BC’s Ask the Expert service now.